Understanding Citations and Redundancy

Note to the reader: In this post, I make no effort to introduce new terms.  This is just a thought for myself. -jFc

While trying to navigate and record a net of citations, I had a wonderful realization:

  • Citations, like mailing addresses, are written in a redundant encoding system
  • The fundamental purpose of a citation or reference is to enable the reader to find the source

As I write this, I realize, on a somewhat unrelated thought:

  • Email addresses contain little or no redundancy; that is:
    • all of the characters must be present, and
    • the characters must be in the correct order
  • This is significantly unlike postal addresses, whose redundancy enables delivery of a great deal of incorrectly addressed mail
  • This begs the question, “Should email addresses (or URLs, etc.) contain redundant information, in the name or reliability?