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Self-reference is the idea that something talks about itself at another level of abstraction. For example a writer talks about writing this book.  Self-reference here allow us to discuss a meta level over the book itself which helps to organize and promote it.

self-reference icon

dragon eating his tail:


self-reference in legal contract

words used are particularly defined to remove ambiguity out of the document. This "Page", the set of words (and other media types) that is assembled in a certain order to convey a certain message. The "Author" of this Page shall consists of a human being, a collection of them and | or combined with a digital way to generate text. The "Page" can only be superseded by another version approved by the same "Author" at a later time. The "Page" thus has a time of creation and so do all it's subsequent versions.


There exists various literary meta-fiction elements, where for example in The Neverending Story by Michael Ende uses self-reference of the book prominently, when a character (Atreyu) of a story within the story (also called 'Neverending Story') finds a book called the same, and it is the same book the reader is reading.  In Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, the titular character realizes she is the character of a book. Similarly this book back cover might include a picture of someone reading this book. The important aspect of such meta-literary devices is that they provide the hooks to socially network a large scale literary construction where the Book can start to reference the Network it is part of.

circular references

In computer sciences, we can use something called a recursion. Essentially that would be a routine that calls back itself until some end condition is met (eg N times, is smaller then).  If such end condition is never met then we created an infinite loop. Imagine we are reading an article and it references another article which references back the original article. This sometimes happen in academic publishing where as per the review process, two articles are asked to reference the other as alternative approaches to address the same problem. So imagine you have a reading robot that reads articles and read referenced articles but not the references of these referenced article (only has one degree of separation). Upon a doubly linked event as this the robot would infinitely reread the same thing as it would start reading the original article over and over again.  So by design we tend to want to avoid circularity at that level. To do so each Page has to be Versioned so we clearly remain a directed acyclic graph. 

In "PageX" - title ID.Version, "AuthorA" - right Id writes:

"In "PageY" - title ID.Version, "AuthorB" - right Id, accuses me ("AuthorA" - right Id) of using the same alphabet as Shakespeare did but I use 7% less blank spaces then AuthorB"

or writes (without personalization)

"In "PageY" - title ID.Version, "AuthorB" (ID), accuses "AuthorA"  (ID) of using the same alphabet as Shakespeare did but  "AuthorA" use 7% less blank spaces then AuthorB"

Anyhow, in order for AuthorB to retract or defend his point of view, he cannot simply edit in place the reference to AuthorA, he has to amend the "PageY".  Any other way would make the global socio-historical consistency collapse. One could say there is a global tick (a discrete time quantum) which is unique to any document.version.

The Depletion of References

If we consider the reading model as a stream where you read sequentially until a point A where you are offered to jump somewhere else. If you jump from Point A to Point B and then read until Point C and jump from Point C to Point D. Two things can happen: you skip parts of the whole or you come back to a Point already read. Within an Author's space the options are often not explicit hyperlink jumps but rather meta precision such as "we describe this elsewhere" where "this" might be relevant yet in order to say something you have to not say everything at once. So stylewise we prefer from an Author loose hyper references rather then hard coded links. 

At the Docuverse level and any subset larger then one Author contribution for that matter, hyperlinks are semantically necessary as well to maintain necessary closure on the Author collection of content. From a Reader point of view, the trap is jumping from a point in the Docuverse to another and continuing from there produce knowledge gaps and the depletion of the net Read of alternative thought patterns. That is we follow a thought pattern that is continuously reinforced rather then challenged.

Meta-References and the Business Model of the Book

A bit like a story about actors playing their own role in a theater play, we sort of meta-fictionalize the Authors in order to create a web of entry point that permits the business model to operate. Socially what is important is not that books can be inter-connected in some sort of peer-to-peer network but that this backbone permits to have people communicating through such systen under a totally different modality and in a fashion that allow to integrate various communication modality. The Society and it's economics is Literary as opposed to Information based when the Author is a subject, the Content is interactive objects, and the Verb is a set of commands, actions one can perform in some order.

Reality Books

In the decade 2000, we have seen a television phenomena we called "Reality TV" where essentially some sort of "celebrity" day to day life is chronicled like a soap opera. Events are invented much like in standard TV drama but are acted in real life and documented with a video camera, and post-edited much like a TV drama. Instead of using the sometimes pejorative term "celebrity" we could use the term "personality". In fiction and documentary alike, we often fall back on the narrator device, a meta system that communicates directly with you to contextualize the content. That narrator can use the form "I", "we" or a third person neutral tone. A direct equivalence of narration we use in this Book is when we nest integral content by introducing it with content to contextualize the inclusion. We also use examples to clarify points that come from our own life performance. The set of all such interventions forms a particular "personality". That "personality" can further be reinforced at a level completely exogenic to the Book. The more you know about the "personality" of the Author, the more you can interpret deeply what is said, and also the more you can predict what is going to be said and why.  The more such "personality" is unique, the less it is encyclopedic. It becomes a particular point-of-view to lens information.  Then it's not just what is said but who says it and why. An encyclopedic method should aim at listing all the ways a certain topic can be approached:  science says.., the law says..., religion says...   while in reality there is usually conflict of interests. Science can say A is bad for you and B is good for you yet Organized Culture at some point probably needs to say we need to do some of A as we can't afford to do just B, if we were to afford B then there would be none left to do C...  So to conclude we can use the theatrical expression "breaking the fourth wall"  (Diderot, 1800s - theater realism) to simply say that the Author can communicate outside of the Book about the Book to the Readers. A Reality Book therefore would create a reference layer about writing a particular book. The meta-level can be much wider then "the making of".  For example it would include for the Author the activity of editing a wiki so it links back to the Book. That process is completely exogenous to the Book yet promotes and evolve it's context.

More on the Blank Page

"this page is intentionally left blank" therefore this page is not blank anymore but instead it's content is that it is and on purpose. The Blank Page is a special copyright case. All blank pages essentially have the same exact content so once a Blank Page is created once, all the Blank Pages in the Docuverse would sort of be a direct copy or at least an explicit derivative. In practice the blank Page has the status of an alpha-numerical character. It's also probably the only such Page.

Another variations is "this section not printed by request from the author". A section of a Page can also be left blank intentionally. For example the Author might be on a non-disclosure agreement context where the content has to "blank" until a certain term. The term can be a date, that the information is avaiable in the public domain and so on.