November 4, 2012

Hypertext and the Modern Media

After reading this week’s article on hypertext and taking into account the subject of Monday’s documentary, I decided to look into the term and how hypertext functions in today’s society. Hypertext is defined as text that can be displayed on a computer or other electronic devices with links to other texts that the reader can access, usually by clicking on it or pressing a key on the keyboard. The prefix hyper- (from the Greek prefix for "super") signifies the overcoming of the old linear constraints of written text. By far, the most pervading use of hypertext is that of the internet. For those of us who were born in the 90’s or late 80’s, a hypertextual internet is something we grew up using. It wasn’t a language we had to learn as older generations did, but something that had been a part of our lives since we were born, and therefore profoundly influenced how we communicated and received information. It became a natural extension of our way of life and communication.

For me, hypertext and the internet are so intrinsically linked that there is no separation. Without hypertext, there is no internet. Or at least, not the internet as it is today. Especially in recent years, hypertext and the internet have grown and evolved into something more than just “text”. Hypertext can accomplish things that static, linear text cannot. It creates an interactive and immediate dialogue with others, that overcomes distance, age, language barriers, and political opinions. The hypertext of the internet has even been expanded to include hypermedia as well; the use of graphics and sounds as text.

By using the different mediums of hypertext and hypermedia, different and unique works are created that could not be accomplished with other mediums. It is a new kind of dialogue and therefore requires its own kind of criticism, because it does not operate within the realms other critical works have existed in. The rules and the tools used to create it are new and different such as with, for example, the practice of remixes that the documentary addresses. If it is done simply for the pleasure of working with music, if the samples used are just tools used to create something new, to create a dialogue with the music instead of just passively consuming it, done without monetary gain, should copyright law necessarily apply? By creating new rules and mediums to exist within, how many of the old rules for the older media should apply?

3 comments:

Bridgette Balderson said...
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Bridgette Balderson said...

I think what you are wondering is, "Is hypertext and hypermedia some form of remediation? After all, like you said "hypertext and the internet are so intrinsically linked that there is no separation." Is there really anything original or does all knowledge just draw from generations before it? Is everything just remediation? Are we supposed to give the original creator credit and profit? Let's look at the ongoing battle between Apple and Samsung over smartphone technology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._v._Samsung_Electronics_Co.,_Ltd. Can there ever really be a winner if these technologies existed before?

Drea Fetchik said...

I agree when you said that hypertext and the upcoming generation of the internet are intertwined, because when i think of hyper text i think of html and the things that make up the internet text itself.
I also find it interesting that you find hypertext's interaction with us today is a new form of conversation, because it is true we have never been influenced by text or this type of text until recently.

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