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hypertext: as we may think? fdm 20c introduction to digital media lecture 07.10.2008. warren sack / film & digital media department / university of california, santa cruz. outline. apple demo tapes vannevar bush and his essay “as we may think”

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Hypertext as we may think fdm 20c introduction to digital media lecture 07 10 2008

hypertext:

as we may think?

fdm 20c introduction to digital media

lecture 07.10.2008

warren sack / film & digital media department / university of california, santa cruz


Outline

outline

  • apple demo tapes

  • vannevar bush and his essay “as we may think”

  • tristan tzara, william burroughs, david bowie and the method of “cut-ups”

  • reviewing project one


Today s focus

today’s focus

  • Hypertext: One way that digital media has been understood is as new forms of writing, reading and thinking.


Recall computers can take many different material forms

recall: “computers” can take many different material forms

  • “computer technology” does not necessarily start as silicon and gold;

  • “computer technology” does not necessarily need to be implemented as hardware or software.


Charles babbage difference engine 1848

charles babbage, “difference engine” (1848)


The two building blocks of computers

the two building blocks of computers

  • switches: a steering element that can combine multiple signals into a single signal

  • connectors: the connecting element must have the ability to branch , so that a single output can feed many inputs.

    see w. daniel hillis, the pattern on the stone: the simple ideas that make computers work (especially “chapter 1: nuts and bolts”)


An or block built with hydraulic valves source hillis p 14

an or block built with hydraulic valvessource: hillis, p. 14


Hillis tinker toy computer

hillis’ tinker toy computer


Claude shannon a symbolic analysis of relay switching circuits 1939

claude shannon: “a symbolic analysis of relay switching circuits” (1939)


Today s reading

today’s reading

  • Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” Atlantic Monthly, 176(1): 101-108 (July 1945)


Who was vannevar bush

who was vannevar bush?

  • MIT professor

  • inventor of "differential analyzer"

  • science advisor to President F.D. Roosevelt

  • leader of the Manhattan Project

  • founder of NSF


Vannevar bush s differential analyzer 1931

vannevar bush’s “differential analyzer” (1931)


What is the memex

what is the memex?

  • The Memex was based on Bush's work during 1938-1940 developing an improved photoelectric microfilm selector.


What is a microfilm selector

what is a microfilm selector?

  • photoelectric microfilm selector is an electronic retrieval technology pioneered by Emanuel Goldberg (see Michael Buckland, “Emanuel Goldberg, electronic document retrieval, and Vannevar Bush's memex” here http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/%7Ebuckland/goldbush.htmlfor more on photoelectric microfilm selectors.

  • think of a photoelectric microfilm selector as a sort of electro-mechanical database


Photoelectric microfilm selector

photoelectric microfilm selector


Questions about as we may think

questions about “as we may think”

  • what is bush's stated motivation? (see page 37)

  • what problem is bush trying to solve? (see page 38)

  • what role do economical considerations play in bush's thinking? (see what he has to say about leibnitz and see page 43 on the telephone system)

  • who sponsors this work? (“Eastman Kodak and National Cash Register each provided $10,000 funding,” Buckland)


Questions about as we may think1

questions about “as we may think”

  • who are the key people/types of people bush writes about?

    • scientists (see page 42)

    • men

    • girls (see pages 40 & 43)

    • secretaries/calculators


Questions about as we may think2

questions about “as we may think”

  • what is “thinking” and what types of thinking are possible according to bush? (see pages 41, 43, 44 and 45)

    • repetitive v. creative thought (page 41)

    • what is repetitive thought? (p. 41)

    • what is creative thought? (page 41)

    • what is intuitive judgement? (page 42)

    • what role does arithmetic and logic play? (cf., george boole's laws of thought)

    • what is selection? (pages 43, 44)


Questions about as we may think3

questions about “as we may think”

  • what is the "essential feature of the memex"? (page 45)

  • is the www of today the same thing as what bush dreamed of? (see, for example, how bush envisions books being read in the future, p. 45)


From thinking to writing

from thinking to writing

  • what’s the difference between a text and a hypertext?

  • is it possible to do “creative thought” or creative writing using a methods of hypertext?

  • on selection and combination as the two operations of writing


Syntagmatic paradigmatic

syntagmatic + paradigmatic

  • de saussure: syntagmatic + associative

  • roman jakobson: syntagmatic + paradigmatic


Tristan tzara s recipe for composing a poem

Tristan Tzara's recipe for composing a poem

  • To make a dadaist poem:

  • Take a newspaper.

  • Take a pair of scissors.

  • Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem.

  • Cut out the article.

  • Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag.

  • Shake it gently.

  • Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag.

  • Copy conscientiously.


Example cut ups

example “cut-ups”

  • William Burroughs, excerpt from Naked Lunchhttp://ubu.wfmu.org/sound/dial_a_poem_poets/big_ego/Big_Ego_12-burroughs.mp3

  • William Burroughs,“Origin and Theory of the Tape Cut-Ups” (3:43) http://www.ubu.com/sound/burroughs.html

  • William Burroughs, longer lecture by Burroughs. An example of cutting together newspaper stories starts at 7 minutes 20 seconds (1:16:13): note that Burrough’s doesn’t start his talk until the 4 minute mark http://www.archive.org/audio/audio-details-db.php? collection=naropa&collectionid=naropa_william_s_burroughs2

  • David Bowie, e.g., “Changes” (a cut-up or not?) http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/david-bowie/36790.html

  • Sawad Brooks, Global City http://artport.whitney.org/commissions/codedoc/Brooks/globalcity.html


Conclusion for today

conclusion for today

  • Hypertext: One way that digital media has been understood is as new forms of writing, reading and thinking.


Next time programming

next time: programming


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