November 5, 2012

Hypertext, hyper learning

I found this article to be a very interesting look at hypertext. While I was already aware that hypertext and the Internet allow for a much broader knowledge base and more interactive reading experience, I found it interesting that Landow pointed out that hypertext allows readers to pick their own "center", or purpose/meaning for reading a text or set of texts. Countless times I have been researching on the web for a paper topic, only to find myself on a different web page learning about a similar topic but different opinion than my original idea. Many times this has resulted in me shifting my center and writing a different paper altogether. While this can also happen through flipping through books in the library, the Internet allows for it to happen easier and quicker.

I also thought it was interesting how Landow discussed Deleuze and Guattari's book, A Thousand Plateaus, especially the part about hierarchy. They were in opposition to hierarchy, so I'm sure they love the ways in which the Internet moved to removing hierarchies. Libraries, for the most part, only contain the top of the literary hierarchy works. They only contain published works. The Internet, on the other hand, allows all types of literary works to be read, published or not. Everyone on the Internet is an author. Sure, when you're typing a topic into google, the more recognizable "top of the hierarchy" work will be the first link you see. But if you scroll through all the links, you can find a blog post written by a fifth grader, and who knows, maybe this blog post is so insightful it changes your center. You never would have had access to this opinion or written piece of work without hypertext.

I also liked how Landow talked about how Derrida hates how you can't tamper with a book. On the Internet, you can "tamper" -- you can leave comments on a page or write an opposing piece and lik the article to your own. He also says the book form alone can no longer settle. I agree. Now that the technology is out there, I don't think we could ever go back to a world without the Internet. It has changed the foundation of learning researching and reading so much that a generation with access to it would never be satisfied with just a book.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.