Tag Archives: Vannevar Bush

The Power of Words

The function of hypertext

The function of hypertext

We’ve been talking in class about the progression of media and how society has taken technologies from the past and, not only, built upon them but applied them to needs of today.  Steven Johnson’s discussion of hypertext does exactly this.  What is the function of hypertext?  Johnson connects the ideas about a machine conceived by an engineer, Vannevar Bush, in 1945 to links on the Web.  He argues that links have become a form of punctuation but have the potential to completely transform storytelling, or, more generally, how people relate to information.
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Links: Even Grandma Gets It


When one considers the effect that modern technology has had upon scientific and social progression, it is nearly impossible to imagine our culture in the days of non-existent or even old technology.  As the flow of knowledge becomes greater and greater each day, the expectations of technology grow exponentially as well.  Everyday, a new technology, scientific breakthrough, artistic creation or even something as minor as a new interest posted on my Facebook page all become part of the information highway.  The Internet has allowed this constant knowledge flow to be recorded and stored in the World Wide Web, however, it is fundamentally incorrect to assume that the abilities of new media have completely surpassed and replaced old media.  Important minds in the scientific and technological fields have examined the ways in which some new media (i.e., the Internet) have appropriated and integrated old media models.  This paper will examine the works of Steven Johnson and Dr. Vannevar Bush, and the ways in which both men understand new media and the evolutionary processes that occur from old to new media.

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