Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 2 - Hypertext Possibilities

Evolving Hypertext: Vision and Reality
“As we may Think” – one of those visionary minds foresees the future of technology. Bush presents the need for collaborative between medium and disciplines; and presents the possibilities that can emerge from such collaboration. As Bush writes, “ ... record of ideas .. has enabled man to manipulate ans to make extracts from that records  so  that knowledge evolves and ensures  throughout the life rather that of an individual” (Wardif-Fruin & Monfort (2003), p. 37). There is always the threat that, “ truly significant attainments becomes lost in the mass of the inconsequential”  (p.37).
In the world of WWW – this statement is so true. With the number of websites created every day, it is not that easy to find the pearls lost in ‘virtuality’. Here the possibility of hypertext with its ability to link allows the searcher keep together the knowledge found on the web.
Bush(as cited in Wardif-Fruin & Monfort (2003 ) discusses the evolution of modern technology – the “advanced photography which can record what is seen...” (p.38); facsimile transmission a technology that can be transferred into printing photography; voice translator – Vocodor by Bell; mathematical computing machines and predicts someday we will “click off arguments on a machine” (p.42); and finally his dream machine – memex – “ a device in which an individual stores all his books, records and communication ... may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility” (p.45).
The foresight on the availability of hypertext mechanism on memex – “... with a mesh of associated trails running through them” (p.46) and the ability to “strike the trail established in studying an earlier similar case” (p.46); is very incredible at that time and age. But as Michael Joyce points out what Bush predicted was not exactly the hypertext of the WWW.
As per Joyce (as cited in Wardif-Fruin & Monfort (2003), the use of Hypertext as an exploratory tool, “ ... enables its audience members to view and test alternative organizational structures...” (p.616); and hypertext as a constructive tool can, “... use hypertext as an invention or analytic tool...” (p.616).
Hyper text challenges the traditional structures of knowledge organisation. For instance the use of tagging allows the data to be stored in the cloud without any structure but can be accessed any time. The possibilities of hypertext seem exciting.

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