The Blawger’s Body of Evanescent Work.

One attraction of intellectual property is that, although the exclusive rights are for “limited times,” the I in IP embodies an element of immutability. Even after IP is devoted to the public domain, the invention was one that persons of skill in the particular art, at the time of invention, would consider new, useful and non-obvious. That ‘moment’ of invention and its recognition tend to live on, unchanged. It, perhaps, was the best idea anyone had had up to then. It’ll be mentioned in the inventor or author’s obit. “We feel, conceive or reason …Nought may endure but Mutablilty.”
In this age of disposables and non-renewables, the thought of lasting contribution raises little general interest. Still, my attendance at a ceremony recognizing the life’s work of a group of septuagenarians subsumed thoughts about what current and on the cutting edge. One of the group was absent, having died, but her work was recalled. It was saddening, because she tirelessly spent the first years of her retirement, establishing an exhibit space for creative works. Her vision was ‘reduced to practice’ and no long thereafter she died suddenly. Other tried to keep it going, but the museum although beautiful, later closed and there is no sign of it.
The digital medium, and certainly works in cyberspace, are the most mutable forms of expression. The Dead Sea Scrolls or the Magna Carta appear fragile, but I expect those to be around for centuries to come. When all the works of intellectual creation are arrayed as digital bits, retrievable as long as the electricity holds out, or evanescent if the medium in which those are fixed becomes inaccessible, then hereafter, what “body of work” remains. It hardly seems believable that, if I ever have grandchildren, that they’ll want to come over and look at my hard-drive, just like I wanted to peruse the photo albums of my grandparents.
So, whether you are a blawger or lawyer, you’ll choose a day to give that work up. All those finely-worded and bound briefs, all those well-organized file wrappers, and all those blawg posts will go away, either dumped, shredded or deleted. Only mutability will endure. But, maybe if you invent something patentable, then you can sort of ignore that enduring fact.