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Category: Correspondance

Email from User Brad Stephenson

Brad Stephenson is a Liquid | Author and Flow user who got in touch asking where Liquid | Reader is since he had seen it on the website. I apologised that it had been held back a bit and asked him why he was interested. His reply read like a manifesto for why we are building it so I asked him for permission to post his email and here it is:

Your mention of Reader as a helpful Literature Review tool caught my attention. My understanding, in simple terms: Reader would open PDF documents and allow copying of text within the app, then when pasted (assumedly in Author or another word processor) the bibliographic meta data would be embedded and automatically pasted with the text (I wasn’t exactly sure how it would be displayed and read _ code or text). Additionally the document could be read and highlighted in its entirety then Reader would include a feature which allowed only the highlights from the document to be displayed for review and assessment. This of course would make citing from PDF’s more streamlined and efficient.

A major frustration for me in completing my dissertation was in relation to citation software. My institution began with RefWorks as recommended by the library research assistant. The next year they dropped the contract with RefWorks, and recommended Mendeley, the following year dropping Mendeley and supporting Zotero. What I discovered was citations downloaded in compatible format from the library websites opened in Zotero were unreliably formatted. Instead of making the job easier it made it harder. If I were doing the project again I would probably build a bibliographic database using a spreadsheet, and manually insert footnotes. Your description of Reader indicating an ability to have the citation data embedded with the text which would be easily pasted and referenced for bibliographic or footnote usage.
Brad Stephenson
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A Reply to Lorand

In reply to the comment on http://wordpress.liquid.info/why-work-on-improving-our-tools-for-thought/#comment-4167954257

Lorand, I don’t have a problem with the importance of knowledge graphs as you put it.

I agree that what matters is to find a way to visually encode the author’s intention in such a way that the reader can most effectively critically access it. I completely agree that a visual approach to this is the way to go and I don’t think we disagree that textual components of this are likely going to be very powerful as well.

I have started some work on this for my Author word processor as Dynamic Views and I am working with Christopher Gutteridge and Gyuri Layos on their visual graph systems for jrnl.global

You say that “text is outdated because of the:”
– need of serialization,
– lack of exact definitions and structures,
– missing ability to follow morphing background.

I don’t agree, with the first and third, as my dynamic views system (and all other visual graphs show) but the second point I do agree with but I just wonder what nodes or symbols or statements or ‘things’ we have available to use which are rigidly defined and structured.

If you want to talk with Ted that’s quite a challenge these days. He is extremely busy with his work but if you like I can tell him to have a look at what you suggest if you send me something very specific.

Your angry tone betrays a frustration I can identify with but I can’t see much in terms of specifically what you suggest should be done. Please note, you trash talk linear text but you reply to me using exactly that. Please show me exactly, even with pencil drawings, I don’t mind, how you think you and me should be talking. No hyperbole, just description. I would very much like to engage new and different thoughts when presented clearly.

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