Notebook of Sand

• Recent Publications
• Recent Projects
• Conferences & Speaking
"Comparing Spatial Hypertext Collections"
  ACM Hypertext '09
"Archiving and Sharing Your Tinderbox"
  Tinderbox Weekend London '09
"The Electronic Nature of Future Literatures"
  Literary Studies Now, Apr '09
"The World University Project"
  St. John's Col. Cambridge, Feb '09
"Ethical Explanations,"
  The New Knowledge Forge, Jun '08
Lecture, Cambridge University
  Tragedy in E-Lit, Nov '07
Hypertext '07: Tragedy in E-Lit
Host for Tinderbox Cambridge '07
Keynote: Dickinson State Uni Conf
Upper Midwest NCHC'07: Speaker
eNarrative 6: Creative Nonfiction
HT'05: "Philadelphia Fullerine"
  Nelson award winning paper
NCHC '05:
 Nurturing Independent Scholarship
Riddick Practicum:
  Building Meeting Good Will
NCHC '04:
  Philadelphia Fullerine
  Lecture on American Studies
WWW@10: Nonfiction on the Web
NCHC '03: Parliamentary Procedure
ELL '03 -- Gawain Superstar
• (a)Musing (ad)Dictions:

Ideas. Tools. Art. Build --not buy. What works, what doesn't. Enjoy new media and software aesthetics at Tekka.

Theodore Gray (The Magic Black Box)

Faith, Life, Art, Academics. Sermons from my family away from home: Eden Chapel!

My other home: The Cambridge Union Society (in 2007, I designed our [Fresher's Guide])

The Economist daily news analysis

Global Higher Ed blog

• Hypertext/Writing

Writing the Living Web

Chief Scientist of Eastgate Systems, hypertext expert Mark Bernstein. (Electronic) Literature, cooking, art, etc.

Fabulous game reviews at playthisthing.

• Stats

Chapter I: Born. Lived. Died.

There is a Chapter II.

Locale: Lancaster County Pa, USA

Lineage: Guatemala

Religion: My faith is the primary focus of my life, influencing each part of me. I have been forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by Jesus Christ. Without him, I am a very thoughtful, competent idiot. With him, I am all I need to be, all I could ever hope for. I oppose institutional religious stagnation, but getting together with others is a good idea. God is real. Jesus Christ is his Son, and the Bible is true. Faith is not human effort. It's human choice. I try to be the most listening, understanding, and generous person I can.

Interests: Anything I can learn. Training and experience in new media, computer science, anglophone literature, education, parliamentary debate, democratic procedure, sculpture, and trumpet performance. Next: applied & computational linguistics, probably.

Education: Private school K-3. Home educated 4-12. Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Elizabethtown College in Jan 2006. As the 2006 Davies-Jackson Scholar, I studied English at St. John's College, Cambridge University from 2006 - 2008.

Memberships: Eden Baptist, Cambridge Union Society, ACM, AIP, GPA.

Alum of the Elizabethtown College Honors Program, sponsored by the Hershey Company.

Hypertext as Postmodern
Monday, 6 Sep 2004 :-:

As I read over a bit more of Landow's Hypertext 2.0 again, I remembered what makes hypertext fit particularly well with postmodern thought:

Hypertext values source information at least as highly as the research that uses it.

So if I write a piece of research, it's useless until people start linking to me. But my writing isn't valuable because it's true or right (as someone might have asserted in the past), but because people like, hate, and reference me. Nothing has to be true; it's just talk, just more to read. And one can never read it all.

Hypertext assumes that an issue is never settled. No single person can come to a crushingly-correct idea. The tempting opportunity to revise, to disagree, to undermine is always there, and is encouraged by the medium.

Hypertext assumes that we are all Oedipa Maas, and not much more. This would be a surprise for Vannevar Bush, who conceived his Memex to be a device that would encourage people to build on each other's ideas. While this can happen, it is by no means the default setting of people who use the Web.

** * **

Humanity has in the past assumed that forcing ideas into a logical structure is the best way to test their veracity. If hypertext truly decenters heirarchy (I'm not sure it does), then it decenters logic.

Not that this matters. People seem to have abandoned logic and causality without hypertext. The Link has become the most common rhetorical tool I have recently heard, whether it's the link between Al-Queda and Saddam Hussein, the link between Cheney and Haliburton, etc etc etc, blah blah blah.

Trust, if there is any, seems to come from the structure of information these days (which is why I'm not sure hierarchy has been truly decentered).

Note: the existence of a tool does not carry with it any truth at all. While it seems to encourage/enable certain ways of thinking, the existence of hypertext cannot validate interconnected modes of thinking or disprove others (for there are other natural ways of the mind. Hypertext is very much a product of Western thought). Hypertext is nice because it can contain nearly any defined type of discourse. If you think that the old ways are the best ways, then you can continue to keep the old ways. Just know, you would not be able to escape the prefix "if you think that the old ways are the best ways..."

As nice as Landow's (Marxist? Populist?) hypothesizing sounds in the book, I will say this: the signal to noise ratio in human communications has really plummeted since the Web came round. True, we hear more thoughtful voices, but we have to slog through a more flamewars and greater residue of human depravity to get to those voices.