Thursday, February 7, 2008

Is ignorance a bliss?

In spite the fact that this is my first course in MCM, I was shocked by the significance of new media that I took for granted. Also, my level of ignorance was alarming as I had a peek on how these new media have changed and reshaped the present day. Before taking this class, I had no knowledge regarding “hypertext.” However, I was to realize that that hypertext has always been a part of my life, for while surfing the internet or “google-ing,” I would click on links which are in the form of html(hypertext marking language).

Strained in the conventional knowledge of reading a book, reading the hypertext literature, “Patchwork Girl” aroused frustration, for unlike the classical notion of a book which usually has a lucid start and a conclusion, the hypertext literature never had an end. Because of the perpetual presence with no past or future, the reader him or herself becomes the writer, creating links and notes on the book , if I can call it a book, thus to question the identity of an author. The never static nature of hypertext literature could be found in the ever expanding cyberspace or the internet. Through blog posts and comments on blog post on the internet, the reader, or the user, becomes the author of the text, augmenting to create a new, which could yet again be revised to become a new. One can see examples of the phenomenon when people add comments to news articles or response comment on an essay, which are available to all user; this is unthinkable for the classical text, for although one can write their own comments on the book, it would not be available to others, thus ending the process. The perpetuity itself makes hypertext much more attractive, engaging the reader through active and emotional interactions with the text.

Does the never ending nature of hypertext bring progress, or does it threat the purity of communication?

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