Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reading Machines

Speaking of the future of reading, I just ran across a book on the topic:
Ex-foliations: Reading Machines and the Upgrade Path
by Terry Harpold.

I didn't quite understand what it is all about. Apparently it looks at early ideas of hypertext, such as the Memex and Xanadu. Memex had the idea of storing a large research library in a machine (now true!) and was supposed to be a "Memory Extender." The book also examines hypertext fiction, and looks at "questions of media obsolescence, changing user interface designs, and the mutability of reading." The author proposes that "we may detect traits of an unreadable surface—the real limit of the machines’ operations and of the reader’s memories—on which text and image are projected in the late age of print." (Whatever that means!)

One of the interesting things when I was looking at the book was that it was set up so it could be a print version of hypertext. Each paragraph had a number, and there could be references in one paragraph to a different paragraph using the number.

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