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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

To and Fro

Hillman and Ventura (1992) engage in a dialog about the very book that they are writing. In their back and forth repartee, they discuss the notions of writing and thinking as dialogue, and community as interruption. Interruption has a value, taking you out of yourself, letting in fresh air, and enabling sudden turns (p. 186). Hillman and Ventura also spend the entire book going back and forth, walking and talking in California, writing letters to each other, talking in New York, and even traveling by car near Santa Barbara. On the Internet, writing in hypertext (text that links directly to other text), allows a back and forth movement that mirrors conversation or dialog along with the ability to wander off on tangents, which are qualities that play shares with the hermeneutic method.

Also, the Internet and hypertext gives one the freedom to say more about things without having to refer to a note or an appendix. If a person chooses to, he or she can just click back and forth instead of being bothered with shuffling papers. This way, by linking to interesting tidbits, but keeping them hidden from view, continuity can be maintained, while allowing for discontinuity at the same time. Although this is similar to a the purpose of a footnote in a text, hypertext is much more versatile, and as Engelbart envisioned, you can link directly to different sections that you are referring to, or link directly to other web based resources.

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