Hypertext 2.0

Landow’s “Hypertext: an Introduction” was definitely all about the postmodern in that it highlighted the importance of looking past the linear concepts common in society and instead applying old methods to new technologies and visa versa in order to produce the hyperreality of a medium that utilizes multilinear systems with “nodes, links and networks.”  In other words: “hypertextuality embodies poststructuralist conceptions of the open text.” The idea of having an all encompassing network that allows one to store information, link information to that information and so on and so forth is mainly what Landow addresses in this chapter; he talks about the hypermedia and and how it doesn’t only include text, but hypertext, information, sound, and animation as well and how they’re all linked together through nodes and networks.  Landow’s poststructuralist view also encompasses the idea that technology is not only digital, but it’s also our books, our pens, and our structures of education.  This reading resonated with a lot of our previous readings regarding Socrates and also Kirschenbaum’s  Mechanisms. Landow talks about Newton’s/Socrates’ arguments that books lead to learning “without exertion, without attraction, without toil, without grounding, without advance, without finishing…” and how these scholars completely overlooked the fact that the institutions of higher learning were in fact technological themselves. This connected with Kirschenbaum’s ideas that we have become completely desensitized to the process of using a machine because electronic technology “removes or abstracts the reader/ writer from the text.” Landow then brings up the argument that we only notice and pay attention to the “new” because everything else we’ve been exposed to seems natural to us. So, this brings me back to the initial concepts brought up in this log post–if we keep using old media to remind us of what’s lacking in the new and if we keep applying the concepts of new media to old, will we ever get to a point where both overlap completely? Children now a days are so used to computers, iphones, t.v.’s, etc…they don’t appreciate the now estranged value behind books and epistolary communication. Will we ever reach the point where technology is the natural and the  natural becomes our technology, where this elaborate hyperreal system of links and nodes reverts us back to our most primitive modes of technology?

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