Through my readings and understanding, I know that Hypertext is text displayed on a computer display or other electronic device with references or hyperlinks to other text which the reader can immediately access, or where the text can be revealed progressively at multiple levels of detail.
Hypertext also allows the reader’s own freedom of association, being able to decide for themselves where they choose to click next. It allows for easy revisiting of older or previously read material, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge through associative indexing, rather than a system of alphabetical or numerical filing. It makes life a lot easier for everyone using the internet.
But where did Hypertext arrive from?
It is good to learn that the concept of the memex influenced the development of early hypertext systems (eventually leading to the creation of the internet and personal knowledge based software. However, the memex system used a form of document bookmark list, of static microfilm pages, rather than a true hypertext system where parts of pages would have internal structure beyond the common textual format.
In our reading “As We May Think,” Bush describes a memex as an electromechanical device enabling individuals to develop and read a large self-contained research library, create and follow associative trails of links and personal annotations, and recall these trails at any time to share them with other researchers. This device would closely mimic the associative processes of the human mind, but it would be gifted with permanent recollection. As Bush writes, “Thus science may implement the ways in which man produces, stores, and consults the record of the race”.
The technology used would have been a combination of electromechanical controls, microfilm cameras and readers, all integrated into a large desk. Most of the microfilm library would have been contained within the desk, but the user could add or remove microfilm reels at will and many more intricate words and information that we were required to understand were just hard to comprehend.
All in all, these technology terms and jargons of words only tells us that in the end these technology are there to aid us in our daily lives, help us improve our future in the field of medicine, science and of course technology. I still do not really comprehend the readings that well but I do know that hyperlinks made things a lot easier for me in terms of my daily usage of the internet and also school work. I look forward to future readings and symposium sessions on hypertext to get a deeper understanding of it, with elliot discussing and breaking the readings down so i understand it a little better.