Writing and Reading with New Technology

Again following on with the concepts revolving around hypertext, this weeks reading focuses on possibilities available for narratives and the potential role of the reader.  Despite the length and breadth of the reading however, it was one of the opening quotes that sparked my interest the most.

What if you had a book that changed every time you read it? —Michael Joyce (1991)

Straight away this reigited my childhood memories of the classic novel series, ‘Give Yourself Goosebumps’ by R.L Stine that through a choice of options at the end of various chapters, enabled you to jump between pages and chose the narrative  outcome. As a child, I, as I’m sure many others, absolutely loved these books. This structuring of the text allowed the reader to feel as though they were becoming involved in the narrative and enabled the reader to read the book multiple times and through trial of each options, progress through a different story on each occasion. However in the format of a written book, bound by a front and back cover, there was a limit to these variations. Discussed and questioned throughout the reading is the potential of hypertext to produce novels that are continuously changing, that through visual interaction enable the reader to constantly produce different outcomes. Yet isn’t this simply the production of completely different narratives? How is this any different to picking up three different novels from a library about teenage love or zombies?

The reading then continues on to discuss the kaleidoscope book. A book that really could interact with your choices, moods and fantasies, that allowed you to decided when the book ended and how. Is this what hypertext could lead to? Do we want to control the narratives that we read for enjoyment and relaxation?

Technology has provided the human race with so many improvements and opportunities but how far do we take this technology in erasing all the history and fundamentals it has arisen out of?




Have we changed HTML or is HTML changing us?

This weeks lecture presented a variety of ideas around education, the future and why all this ‘stuff’ is so revenant to us as communications students. However once again they all related back to HTML.  With the majority of symposium discussion in the last few weeks being primarily orientated around html, I’ve found myself becoming much more aware of not only the complexity of this subject but also the immediate relatively of it’s content.

Everything we do now bows down to the Internet. We revolve our everyday lives around it from messaging friends and family or emailing work clients . We bathe ourselves in technology from radio to TV, computers to phones. Yet in contemporary reality there is little distinction between these technologies. You can watch TV on your phone, just as you can listen to the radio on your TV. You can use your TV as a computer and a computer to make audio calls to people in distant locations. As a result of this, hypertext is something that can ultimately be woven throughout all things that we engage with on a daily basis and is no longer specified to your ordinary desktop computer. Integrated within hypertext is then also the component of hypermedia, which then goes beyond simply text but to images, audio and video. This then got me thinking. Has constant access to information readily available at our fingertips, changed the way we process information? If we are now unsure about something, we simply look this up on a search engine, or more accurately the search engine, google. Has this, or will this access encourage us to be more intellectually active or simply lazy?  How often do you rely on someone else searching something and you gaining that information from them? Is this different to when we had to get up and physically go to a library if we wanted to find out a pice of unknown information?

Adrian then extended on my train of thought by questioning us on questions…Have we forgotten how to ask good questions? It seems our world today t has very much lost its clear-cut black and white colouration. So much of today is blurred with masses of grey yet has this been achieved through mass confusion or the evolution of a more curious and inquisitive race? something to think about…



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