November 5, 2012

Actively associating

Just last week we read part of Landow's article in my "What is a text?" class but it was accompanied by reading Kimberly Amaral's online essay "Hypertext and Writing" and ever since then I've been trying to wrap my head around these ideas. In Amaral's article she discusses how hypertext could be seen as working like a the brain does. She said we work through a non sequential way; i.e we work through associations. An example would be right now, in order to understand hypertext I had to connect it through associations I already had like Google or Facebook where links all the are literally hypertext.

Going with this example of Google or Facebook an example of how the internet works on associations would be with Google, when you search something, based on your history they provide each person with different results. On Facebook, the ads cater to you. They are specific to each person. An example would be, that I get ads for baking or cooking schools all the time while my sister usually get music related ads.

With Landow's article we could this idea of association back through the concept of the active reader.  "All hypertext systems permit the individual reader to choose his or her own center of investigation and experience" Hypertext allows the reader to make their own assumptions depending on which link or association seems most appealing to them. The idea of the active reader is very interesting to me because I feel like I'm always active in a text in one way or another. Maybe with novels our path is more linear but with hypertext, like Amaral stated, it is non-linear?

One last questions I had for this reading was if  my associations change depending on my mood? How does the idea of mood fit into hypertext or active reading?

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