Scott Rosenberg at Wordyard.com has written In Defense of Links, Part One: Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification. It's a fascinating and carefully reasoned argument, and I'm looking forward to Part Two. Here's the intro; go read the whole thing.
For 15 years, I’ve been doing most of my writing — aside from my two books — on the Web. When I do switch back to writing an article for print, I find myself feeling stymied. I can’t link!
Links have become an essential part of how I write, and also part of how I read. Given a choice between reading something on paper and reading it online, I much prefer reading online: I can follow up on an article’s links to explore source material, gain a deeper understanding of a complex point, or just look up some term of art with which I’m unfamiliar.
There is, I think, nothing unusual about this today. So I was flummoxed earlier this year when Nicholas Carr started a campaign against the humble link, and found at least partial support from some other estimable writers (among them Laura Miller, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jason Fry and Ryan Chittum).