Friday, March 18, 2005

Journal 4 for Comp & Comp - Bolter's Meaning

Please excuse this if it's not coherant. . .The flu medicine is making my system do loops. - Ashli =^.^=

I think Bolter’s book attempts to offer up the idea of an ever changing genre of writing. The writing space he attempts to define is not only the place where you postulate your ideas, but the mind where you form and shape the ideas you put out. In this way, the writing space of the mind is constantly being remediated by the changes our mind makes to the way we think and the way we perceive ideas and information. He outlines that not only is the field in which we write ever changing, but also the words, ideas, and the way we perceive them. As we saw in Chapter four, pictures and graphics are being remediated with text and vice versus. In this way, pictures are used on the web to enhance or even replace text such as a mailbox being used instead of the word Email. There are also places to get talking graphics instead of typing out instructions. Therefore, we remediate text with visual and sound art in order to catch the attention of the audience more readily and remove the need to read from our sites. However, Bolter makes it clear that those opposed to the remediation of print into hypertext often do so because the hypertext form could alter the argument by delineating the logical order of their idea. They also resist the loss of the authorial voice in hypertext that no longer lets the author denote the next step in the process or secquence in the story, but rather lets the reader decide how the story unfolds – in this manner, it is harder to distinguish who the real author is because the plot is no longer formulated by the writer but rather the audience. But, as Bolter makes it clear, there will always be a remediation of what is present because it is within human nature to always try to change things, whether it is for the better or not.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Journal 3 for Computers and Composition: The Problem with Bolter's Logic

Perhaps one of the major problems in Bolter’s explanation of hypertext is that instead of defining what it is, he defines what it does. In this manner, it makes it harder to separate what he considers hypertext from preexisting definitions of hypertext, such as those used in a hypertext markup language (HTML). He also uses the Cartesian method of explaining hypertext by what it is not. For example, hypertext, to Bolter, is non-linear, unlike a book, which follows a linear plot order. He also attempts to argue that the book is becoming less popular as a means of publication because of the accesability of internet publishing, but contradicts himself in stating that “Both as authors and as readers, we still regard books and journals as the place to locate our most prestigious texts” (Bolter 3). However, as we see with the library at this university, it is becoming simplier to find a full print journal as a pdf file or e-book, affectively cutting out the need to host years of printed paper journals on the shelves. Are these e-books hypertext as Bolter means the word? I find it hard to dissemilate what he means from what he says. Perhaps with this seperation of printed word and thought Bolter attempting to redefine what he means by hypertext, but I’m still not quite sure of his meaning. I know what the HTML coding does for building, but is this hypertext of links and pages what he means when he talks about hypertext media? If he means the hypertext language of the internet as a means of remediating the language of the printed book, can’t he just say that? Does he have to bury it in literary metaphors and theory of what it should be? Not everything is a metaphor or theory. I think it’s this abstraction that helps to distract readers from an accurate definition of his point.