Pull quote: “The notion that the URL points to a data feed is another major conceptual hurdle. If you need something from me, a million years of evolution taught us how that must work. I hand it over to you. If I also need the thing that you need, then I make a copy, hand over the copy, and keep the original. When the thing in question is a chunk of information we reify it as an exchangeable object: a piece of paper, an e-mail attachment. That’s the physics of the real world.
In the virtual realm, though, different laws of physics apply. I can simply refer to the thing you need. I hand you the reference instead of the thing, I still have the thing, you have it too, and we only need to do that transaction once. Thereafter when I change the thing, you have my changes too, no need for me to send another fax or e-mail attachment. The principles at work here — indirection, linking, automatic data exchange — are inherent to cloud-based systems. Computer programmers and information scientists realize that, but it’s still far from obvious to most other people.”