Revision [8855]

This is an old revision of HypertextBJR made by BonnieRobinson on 2018-04-02 09:49:17.


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.

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.

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