November 4, 2012

Why use Hypertext?

While reading Landow’s “Hypertext and Critical Theory” it brought me back to what I learned in my What is a Text class. We discussed much about Hypertext Specifically in consideration with HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language). Hypertext defined in our reading from “Hypertext and Critical Theory” states that Hypertext, a fundamental intertextual system has the capacity to emphasize intertextuality in a way that page limited books cannot. Kimberly Amaral another theorist who talks about hypertext explains that hypertext is “simply a non-linear way of presenting information” or a “Non-sequential writing.”

Why use Hypertext? Hypertext is said to be associative it works like how our brains should work opposed to a linear path. Since hypertext works in a way that our brains work, processing many different things at once that hypertext can be considered accoriding to Amaral a “thought machine”. In landow’s article it explains “All hypertext systems permit the individual reader to choose his or her own center of investigation and experience. What this principle means in practice is that the reader is not locked into any kind of particular organization or hierarchy” (landow Pg 38). With the use of hypertext the reader has no constraints. So overall hypertext is a multi-media medium. Which involves the users to be interactive. By using hypertext you are more then a writer, more of a reader and a user. 

1 comment:

Catalina said...

If hypertext works similarly to the way our brains works, could it be a possible way for more effective communication? The interactive reader with his individualistic reading experience seems great -- but wouldn't hypertext have the opportunity to really express what is going on inside your brain? A closer version of your thinking process? I think hypertext could be a way of perfecting expression by simulating in the viewer exactly what is going through the composer's mind. Each utterance could be connected to what it actually conjures up in the composer's mind. You could use articles, music videos, images, family photos, anecdotes, whatever actually happened in your brain. Could that get rid of the ambiguity Locke was worried about by using language, by transitioning from things to ideas to words to viewer/hearer to words to ideas to things? Maybe you could get closer to communicating from thing to viewer to thing! It would be like stream of consciousness but less linear and more of an experience. Granted, you might lose some interactiveness, but it would be a different type of hypertext, one based on composing pure thought rather than on the viewer having his or her own experience. A text executed correctly might actually have one meaning! Could that be more powerful than a text have an infinite number of meanings?

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