‘Litera scripta manet’ – Horace

Litera scripta manet‘ (The written word remains)…. or does it?

Hypertext is the way of the future, the next stage of literature, and the next step in education, art, culture and technical fields. Hypertext means Non-sequential writing. Theodor Holm Nelson in his reading ‘Literary Machines‘ talks about hypertext being text that branches out and allows the viewer to be apart of an interactive screen. There are multiple links that will connect the reader to different pathways throughout internet, which results in this being the most general form of writing.

The computer and now the personal computer, have opened whole new realms of disorder, difficulty and complication for humanity” (Nelson), however my generation and those under me, this digital media and network literacy comes more naturally than it does to others. We have been brought up in a time where technology has changed dramatically, and we have no other choice but to progress alongside technology as it advances into the future. This brings the topic back around to technological Determinism*, where it is said that technology changes society. Is this the case? Do we change due to the fact technology is changing?

Some people like all of this incompatibility and complication, and say it is the new world we much learn to live in” (Nelson). Personally I find print literacy easier to use and would say it is a preference of mine. However this is quite rare, as everything is online. I do admit, where would we be if there was no such thing as network literacy. I read this reading off a computer screen, although I was taking notes with a pen and paper. Some say I might be doing double the work load, but there is something about reading your own writing and notes that allows me to understand the text in greater detail.

Three major points about Networked Literacy:
-Origin: The parts where elements begin.
-Commonality: The sharing of elements between units.
-Links: Mark, annotate and connect portions of the units.

The Future is not what it used to be” (Nelson).
We are entering into a new age, where everything is online. The written word has changed dramatically, and society will change alongside this. It is said that offices will be paperless, and that the world is advancing into a place where hypertext and hypermedia are taking over. There will be no more print literacy. We are leading an open hypertext network. To sit back and think about what the future is going to be like, no one can tell exactly. Will there be such a thing as going to a bookshop to buy a novel or will you have no choice but to read it off a compeer screen?

The questions are endless, and I guess the only thing we can do, is see where the future will take us.

*This is a great link to a website to someone who has has their own blog about understanding technological determinism.

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