By any measure, we live in interesting times. In the information world, today's breathtaking evolution of our ability to communicate is unmatched by any time period since the invention of the codex book in the 2nd and 3rd century AD. Nowhere is the dynamism of the age more evident or important than in the world of information and design and, if you will, markup. Markup is the vehicle by which we define how and to what extent intellectual property is to be captured for use by the growing worldwide audience for content and knowledge.
But, like our counterparts in many fields of human endeavor, we are in some danger of seeing our history only in terms of outcomes, forgetting and failing to learn from the often tortured path our antecedents trod as they developed, deployed and assimilated the advances of their times. In this paper, I hope to highlight some of the signposts on humanity's road to information independence, relating them to similar challenges we face today. By this device, I hope to shed some light on cautions we should recognize and be prepared to address effectively lest we fall prey to the same or similar pitfalls as our ancient forebears.