Would just like to mention that I’m currently sprawled on my bed with a chai latte - definitely preferable to the Monday morning dash to the lecture!
Okay, time for nuts and bolts – or hypertexts and html.
Seth wants to to explore these questions in regards to the lecture:
- What happens if there is no beginning, middle or end?
- How will links change the way you structure your essay?
* Hypertext theory suggests that Hypertext can/ought to contain the following:
- model narratives
- writing and dialogue
- model pathways
- plural vocal
* Traditionally, texts are understood to be singular in narrative and being costituted by a single chain of events which is narrated. However, digital texts allow for random access points which offer several different narrative pathways and versions of material. Conclusions can no longer be planned or worked towards (19th C Notion of a ‘noise removal’ – removing things that are chotic and unordered)
* 20th C ideas are surrounded by chaotic order, disorder and they keep spreading out. The whole idea that you can constrain ideas and contain events is no longer feasible to producing knowledge.
Print constrains digital texts as it is inherently linear and always ha a beginning middle and end and a definite un-moveable structure.
* All writing is always in dialogue with other texts that surround it – you understand it via your context which informs how you relate to things around you. Your context informs how you understand and relate to texts.
* Relationship/dialouge between the text and the writer:
“I write the text but the text also writes me”
* Writers can be surprised and confronted by their own writing/ideas which ‘writes them’ – uses example of logic surrounding texts and language.
“Whats something that rhymes with shop and you buy at the butcher? Chop. What do you do at a green light? Stop.”
* Language controls us and is somewhat external to reason and rationality.
* Print culture conceals/disallows this dialogue ad certain structures apply to writing.
* Hypertext legitimises the personal and social into your writing and work is no longer closed, self contained and discreet. This can be exemplified in the medium of blogs which provide texture and voice.
* The physical page does not allow for anything but a linear reading, however indexes, footnotes and glossaries allow different pathways through a text.
“no longer does a work require a single or dominant centre, but allows the reader to meander through the work”
* Imagine if the Catholics (visual culture) has invented print rather than the Protestants (de-emphasized imagery)?
* When you arrive at the web we introduce colour almost habitually, so why in the world of fiction and academia do we restrict ourselves only to black on white as legitimising our work?
* We as humans do not have a single voice – we adopt/have multiple voices we use in different relationships and hypertext allows us to incorporate this multitude of voices into our writing.
* Hypertext MUST include a computer because it cannot be published in a linear form and can only ever be multi linear. There is no page 2 in a hypertext, there is no linear structure or pathways to follow.
* Miles describes book as an increasingly irrelevant form. This makes me sad.
* Linking is like editing, each link is like a ‘shot’. Hypertext is made up of links and form connections and bring together things that are equally far apart. We are unconstrained regarding ‘what comes next’, there is no distance. We can link our website to anything, just like we can cut a shot of an exterior to a close up of a lamp filmed in Russia.
* A link is a promise and presents a moment of risk. We can make sense of jumbled links and edits in a way we cannot make sense of jumbled text. What’s going to fill it in the gap?
“Its juncture and disjuncture”
* Hypertext is an infinite amount of edits, and nothing is broken as a result – you can exit a reading of a blog at any point via a link, yet it is still a whole.
* Links are filthy dirty sluts – they will link anywhere, so we invent rules to try and control their behaviour. We have assigned rules like “HOME” must link to a home page.
“links are like noisy, messy, drunk teenagers”
* Hypertext changes every time you read it – you can get lost in loops which begin to make sense through repetition. Print teaches us to ignore things like repetition as it is not a part of the form of a book. Repetition gives us agency and choice.
* What words will you link from and why? What picture will you paint with words?
* Our writing changes as we link from more abstract
words. Eg) Verbs and Nouns produce different journeys.
* Nodes must be interlinked but self contained and must make sense standing alone. Yet any sense of flow or linearity is gone. There is no hierarchy or ‘first’ link.
* Your writing must change in the world of Hypertext, you cannot distribute a world document you have previously written directly into Hypertext because you need to accomodate links. You can’t turn a book into hypertext.
* The fact that there is no beginning, middle and end means that people can enter from any point which means the entire page must provide context. EG) Each page should contain a link to your contextualising statement/name/etc.
* Patterns determine meaning as much as the syntax of your words. We create hypothesis on patterns. Patterns are fundamental to ‘meaning/sense making’. Patterns in link structures create meaning and subtly create an experience (similar to thematic/artistic editing). If you can read the pattern the work gets richer.
- There should be no dead ends
- Repetition is okay and can be used to create multiple meaning/consequential change to readings
- Use images to link from rather than words – it opens up endless possibilities (should text accompany image or image accompany text?)
- Imagine your work as a series of parts which are dispersed.
We get this joke
because we are awesome!