All print journalism now trails an Internet shadow: the digital version, a Platonic reflection consisting of what might have been if you could have elaborated, footnoted, and linked far beyond the margins of the lines on the page.
On paper, the limits of space -- of word counts and ad/edit ratios and the cost of printing and distribution -- exist in an inverse relationship to the extensibility of online prose. In broadcast media, where the limiting factor is time, you encounter a similar kind of extensibility whenever Jon Stewart winds up a Daily Show interview segment with a frustrated unwillingness to stop, announcing that the conversation will continue off the air and "we'll throw the whole thing up on the Internet."
Information in general wants to be free, but online text, with a nominal distribution cost approaching zero, really is free, and every time I commit my professional words to paper these days, I immediately begin scheming to scoop up the words and ideas and connections that were left on the cutting-room floor, and reconstitute them online.
For the March issue of The Atlantic, I contributed a report on startling innovations in 3D audio as developed by Edgar Choueiri, a professor of applied physics at Princeton University. (Read "What Perfection Sounds Like.") In this post, I'd like to unpack the Internet shadow of this particular article of mine by presenting a few notes on useful background information and context that travels in the slipstream of the finished product, along with some deleted scenes from my encounter with Professor Choueiri.