November 4, 2012

What is hypertext?

When Landow begins to discuss the benefits of hypertext on page thirty six he gives his opinion that the use of hypertext through HyperCard would not turn a person away from using things such as books. Hypertext is just an additional tool that will be available to the users. I think I have to disagree with him on this point. Maybe for the users who are loyal and dedicated to paperback books this statement may be true, but the more modern approach is Internet is faster and more accessible. People of today’s generation are growing up and handed IPads for their birthdays instead of literary books. When I am using hypertext to me that is enough say I want to read Shakespeare I will use the hypertext No Fear Shakespeare and be done. The site has combined the actual text in addition to film snippets and more useful things. So at least for me I see no reason to refer back to the paperback version of the play, and as a result makes this and other literary books obsolete.

As I moved along the page it mentions hypertext and decentering. I was not sure how or if it was to seem as a positive to the reader, but in my eyes I did not see the benefit. Unless you are not worried about coming to a definite conclusion on whatever you maybe clicking link after link to discover; the only benefit I see is it opens up your search to several irrelevant topics. It in a way reminds me of the tedious progression of videos on YouTube works. One minute you could be watching videos on cute kittens and the next end up watching the biggest pimple ever.

After reading the claims of hypertext I believe it is a tool that can be manipulated in equally unfortunate or favorable ways by the user. I think Landlow would come to agreement with this since on page thirty eight he states, “All hypertext systems permit the individual reader to choose his or her own center of investigation and or experience.  There is in a way no correct or hierarchy way to organize a piece of work. Another thing I found clever which was discussed in the excerpt was the fourth definition of hypertext. I thought it was just odd that a definition embodies three other existent definitions and is allowed to change whenever there is a better way to word what it actually is. In its entirety I felt the excerpt developed a good grasp on an invention that continues to change. Hypertext can account for numerous actions. Hypertext can be make literary books into online network of links and paths, or a gathering of lexias which is also turned into links, and lastly the use of additional computers to create network refers for the purpose of sharing information. 

1 comment:

HScott3 said...

I completely agree that hypertext will inevitably take the functions of books away from existence. I also agree that it serves no essential benefit to the meaning of text. Although really god with opening up a plethora of resources to view, it serves no essential purpose in a definite meaning of a text and I feel that text shouldn't be open minded in interpretation if they were written for a purpose. As far as being used to manipulate, I think thats a function that is accepted by writers. We use language as a tool of manipulation so why not hypertext? You could argue that how can a hypertext even manipulate with the broad interoperation it carries with it.In conclusion, its cool but not necessary.

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