Revision [8909]

This is an old revision of HypertextBJR made by BonnieRobinson on 2018-04-09 18:20:52.


Notes from |Computer Lib/Dream Machines

I liked the fish analogy - that we are like fish in water, unaware of the changes in the media around us. I liked how he said we need to take control to shape the molecules we swim in.

The section about teaching was also interesting. I need to go back to this section. I thought it was interesting when he argued against the idea that teachers are "warm and human" and computers are not. He talked about other machines like the toaster or the bathtub as having the association of being warm, so why not a computer? It was an interesting idea, and it made me think. I can't say that I have had any experience where I would consider the computer warm.

In A Modest Proposal section on page 313 he talks about how to motivate students to take control of their own learning by encouraging them to use what he calls "ultra-rich environments" - which I think means hyperlinks that can lead the student deeper and deeper into his/her studies. He advocates a lot of free range, allowing the student to pursue that which the student finds interesting. He says this eliminates curriculum and tests.

The picture on 314 shows a sort of guided form of hyper-linking that could be used for instruction where the student gets to choose one of several listed possible links to get to where he/she needs to go. For example, if the student doesn't know anything about that subject, he/she would follow each link in order, but if a student does have some knowledge or is catching on quickly, he/she could skip down to another link.

Terms from Nelson

His argument: "I believe computer screens can make people happier, smarter, and better able to cope with the copious problems
of tomorrow. But only if we do right, right now. " -317
"Why? The computer’s capability for branching among events, controlling exterior devices, controlling outside events, and
mediating in all other events, makes possible a new era of media." - 317
Nelson seems to be saying that we just need to recognize how machines can be used and improve their functionality for a more positive experience.

* I can't figure out what Nelson is doing with the enframed pages in the center of the page. I tried to zoom in, but even at 1000%, I can't read what's there. I can make out some of the diagrams and I see that those are sometimes repeated in other parts of the larger printed page, but I can't figure out the purpose or what's going on here.

On 331 Nelson addresses some of what Krug is getting at in terms of the "Don't Make Me Think" concept. Nelson talks about how when you are using your computing system to do one kind of thinking and then you experience computer problems unrelated to that thinking, it's frustrating. Computer systems need to work simply and effectively to support the kind of complicated thinking and working you're doing. "Well-designed systems can make our mental tasks lighter and our achievements come faster."

Nelson uses Parenthesis link hyperlinks. On page 331 you see (see page 335) and you see (see page 317). That's a lot of page-turning back and forth, plus, when you do visit the suggested page, it's not easy to know what you're looking for or at. The connections are not clear on a first read-through.

I'm not sure I understand what his Xanadu Project really is... or what it would look like, and it's also interesting to read something that was written about as an idea for a system after a similar system has already been a major part of modern life for a long time.
Nelson's ideas for conventions and navigational tabs or editorial tabs are now common place tools.

| Notes from Hypertext Gardens

It was interesting to click around. I followed the Eastgate link almost right away. This looks like a fun place to come back to for a visit. It looks like it provides tools for writers who want to employ the hyperlink in their work. I tried reading The Trojan Girls, but was only able to get so far, then realized, I had to purchase the book if I wanted access to the whole thing,but the excerpt seems to show off a little bit of how "stretchtext" is used.

Bernstein introduces the fact that some disorientation is designed intentionally - upsetting the reader can sometimes break down barriers and make the reader more receptive to new ideas or problems.

I like how Bernstein is putting all that we learned from Krug into question. He tells us how these rules have come to be the rule of the day for web design and he critiques this method by calling it rigid and also costly.
He points out how traditional navigational tools signal the end of a task or closure to the user, stopping the thinking process. Mission accomplished, and the user will explore no further. Irregularity, Bernstein argues, can encourage that curiosity and does not need to be avoided as much as "they" say it should.

Parks = tamed wilderness; Gardens are planned, designed, created. Hypertext should contain both parks and gardens.
Highway = fast and efficient - not always best. Garden paths are sometimes longer, windy and scenic and enjoyable.
Detours = ways to provide the user a richer, better experience.
* Earlier in the piece, I found the shortcut. I clicked the link that took me to the 7 Lessons from Gardening. I read all 7, but when I got to the end, I saw the link saying, "In Conclusion." I realized I had found a shortcut, and if I read the conclusion, I would have missed some material in the middle, so I backed out (something Berstein and Krug agree is important for the user to know how to do). Later, I found myself back at this same link after taking the detour or the garden path.

I wondered how I would know if I got to the end of this piece. Honestly, I worried maybe there wouldn't be an end, and I would have to decide when I'd read enough or when to stop, but this garden did have boundaries, it did have an ending. I thought it was interesting to see how all of the links were listed at the very end in case a reader had missed one section of the garden.

I liked that Bernstein said sometimes the reader likes a wilderness and just wants to explore, but it's also good to have crafted spaces, boundaries and pathways set up, so the reader doesn't feel overwhelmed.

|Reading On Screen by Vandendorpe

Evolution of Reading

Oral (slaves reading to their masters)>Scrolls>Codex>Codex with illustrations>Printed Page>Extensive reading across multiple books>Screen>Hyptertext>print, audio, images, video are combined>portable screens>
*It's interesting to read V's commentary about how the original print to screen mimicked the ancient scrolls and PDFs are more akin to a codex... we are still working to make reading on screen more like reading a book.

Modes of Reading

  1. grazing (aka continuous reading)
  2. browsing
  3. hunting

Other Changes to text in the move from Print to Screen

Grazing is the one mode that hasn't translated well to computer screen reading, according to Vandendorpe,but he thinks with advances to technology, we could see a huge shift from people reading printed books to reading the e-book. I think we are already getting there with iPads, but I also still see many people reading books.

Literary Machines

Doug Englebart's theory of "Agumenting Human Intellect" was that humans needed better tools to enhance our thinking abilities. One of these ideas was a hypterlinked, collaborative system that Nelson compared to "thinkertoys", and I would say sounds much like the way Google is used today in the collaborative modes of Google Docs or Google Classroom.

Post Reading Reflection

It's interesting to think about how to use hyperlinks as a writer/designer and also about how to engage with hyperlinks as a reader/user. They are freeing and yet limiting too. It can be liberating to know that as a writer, I don't have to summarize or synthesize all the information; I can just link to it. But, on the other hand, when I'm writing, and I know I need to attribute a source, it can be cumbersome to have to include the link rather than a quick in-text citation. It's freeing to know as a reader, I can go any direction I want, follow a link or not, but it's also overwhelming because I feel compelled to have to follow every link. I don't want to miss out on what might be behind the next door. It's kind of addicting in that way, perhaps that's where the contradiction is at. Like an addiction, it's enjoyable and you like it and want more of it, but at the same time, you hate the hold it has on you.

Krug might argue for a more structured and systematic and predictable method for employing the hypertext, where Bersntein and some of the others we've read like to play around with the hyptertext and keep it mysterious.

Notes on |The Jew's Daughter

This was another very challenging piece to read. I figured out how to navigate it pretty quickly. I recognized each blue word to be a link. I found the little icon on the top that allowed me to know which page I was on and how to return to an earlier page if I wanted to. I wasn't sure how to use that feature though - or what it was really there for.

I could not figure out a rhyme or reason or a pattern with the links though. Sometimes I thought I had figured out how to continue reading after clicking (or rather, scrolling over) a link for a more continuous story line or flow of thought, but then the next link would not work the same way. If there was a pattern, I never found it. Instead, I ended up re-reading certain passages several times depending on how the links changed the text. Sometimes I read carefully, other times I skimmed until I knew it was brand new material.
Moving so fluidly from page to page was interesting.

It was interesting to try and figure out who the narrator was. I thought it was a female narrator at one point, and then I read that the narrator had a beard, so I realized the narrator had either switched or I had been wrong all along. It was also interesting how, sometimes, when the link was clicked, it changed the dialogue from one character to another.

The piece was very difficult to make any sense of. I got snippets of story here and there, but wasn't able to piece together anything sustainable.

Page 134 was particularly odd with the typing that appears, forcing you to read along as the letters appear, forming words, erasing and reappearing??? I think. I am now having trouble getting the text to work, :(
|This nifty little Prezi reveals some info about Morrissey's piece and explains how Morrissey uses Ted Nelson's methods of "stretchtext" in this electronic poem.
this article reveals parallels to T.S. Elliot, James Joyce and Homer in Morrissey's poem. I found this interesting; however, I've never actually read T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land or James Joyce's Ulysses. I have read Homer's The Odyssey. However, I would not probably have seen the similarities on my own.

Making Connections

  • Morrissey employs what Nelson called "stretchtext" by adding and taking away words.
  • Morrissey plays around with Bernstein's ideas of hypertext gardens in that you know you are on a path that is leading you through a designed space. As a reader, you feel invited to explore and revisit and reflect while in this space.
  • Vandendorpe's theory that there are three types of reading is challenged by Morrissey's piece because I think a reader does all three: graze, browse and hunt while reading the poem. Grazing is almost impossible because of the tidal waves of changing text. It feels like when you follow a wave as it recedes into the ocean. You follow it farther and farther into the sea, staying just an inch or two clear of the water, but before you know it, another wave comes rolling in faster, bigger, and stronger, crashing over your legs and feet, and you have to start all over. Despite a reader's best efforts, grazing is not possible here.
  • Browsing is something I found myself doing. I'd skim some pages to see what had changed and what had stayed the same after a hyperlink had been activated.
  • Hunting was another thing I did. I'd look to see where the next link was. I'd hunt to match the last word on a page with the first word, or I'd try to find a pattern from the linked word to the next change of words or from link to link. I was hunting for meaning or a way to crack the code to assist me in the meaning making process. I didn't really have much luck in this regard.

| Notes on Halavais

  • I didn't really understand the section about hyperlink networks the first time around, so I need to re-read this. From what I can tell now, there are some perplexing and interesting patterns in the ways hyperlink networks are formed, suggesting that there is something else going on when it comes to how and why these links are created.
  • The Citation - not as simple as we thought. A technologically enhanced version of textual conversation through the use of linked indexing and referencing. In the past, referencing was done to authors who were typically dead - now we link to sources that still were published in the past, but it can be recent past, and the author can reciprocate.
  • The nod of acknowledgement or a thank-you
  • The invitation to a conversation
  • Instant access to the referenced source
  • non-citation related uses such as opening a web page, placing an order, editing a picture, etc...
Social Effects
  • links have the association of power and/or credibility
  • the more links a site has, the more links it gets as companies like Google seek out the most linked sites. This increases the leverage or power of these heavily linked to sites, creating a wide divide that any newer sites would need to try to cross to gain any credibility in the blogosphere. This system makes it almost impossible for any social mobility to occur.
  • If a blogger tries to game the system, they will be subject to name-calling -- "link whore" or "link dropper"

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