Notes on Walter Benjamin's Archive: Images, Texts, Signs. Ed. by Ursula Marx, Gudrun Schwarz, Micheal Schwarz, and Erdmut Wizisla. Trans. by Esther Leslie. London: Verso, 2007.

Notes on Rayward, Boyd W.."Visions of Xanadu: Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and Hypertext". Journal of the American Society of Information Science, May 1994.

Notes on Bush, Vannevar. "As We May Think". Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.

late 80s - early 90s:

Notes on J. Conklin, Hypertext: An Introduction and Survey, IEEE Computer 20 (9), 1987. <>.

Notes on Moulthrop, Stuart. "You Say You Want a Revolution? Hypertext and the Laws of Media". Postmodern Culture 1(3), May 1991.

late 90s:

Notes on Steven Johnson — Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the way we Create and Communicate (YRL: T58.5 .J64 1997)

paperless office:

Notes on Malcolm Gladwell "Social Life of Paper: Looking for Method in the Mess." The New Yorker. 25 March 2002. Accessed 5 October 2008 <>.


from Taylor, Arlene G. The Organization of Information. 2nd Ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004. :

"In 1945 Vannevar Bush opened the way for a new era in documentation and information science with his article "As We May Think." Bush developed the idea of memex, a "device in which an individual stores all…books, records and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility." Using the medium of microfilm (in 1945, remember), Bush described in detail the hypertext-based scholar's workstation of today. Memex was based on the concept of associative indexing, similar to human thought process, where items are linked together and any item can immediately lead to the access of other related information. Bush even predicted new forms of encyclopedias where information could be coded and connected to pertinent articles. A man of vision, Bush believed that science should implement the ways in which we produce, store, and consult the record of the human race"(64).

I'm drawn not so much to Bush's actual 'invention' but his focus on the individual("in which an individual stores…"). While Well's 'World Brain' and Otlet's documentalists focus on join the world's knowledge/information/documents, therefore ideas(?), Bush's thoughts are about the "scholar's workstation." Rather than the large, collective library of information packages, we are talking about a focus on an personal library(physical) a work pane, the desktop metaphor loosely applies.

Further study of the idea of associative indexing is in order. Going to also go add semantic web to keywords list.

In 1791, following the French Revolution, the new French government sent out instructions for cataloging the collections of the libraries that have been confiscated throughout the country…Libraries were directed to make card catalogs - apparently the first appearance in history of the card catalog"(55). When were cards first used as holders of ideas and organizers of thought? If it is to be argued that books are the ultimate physical representation of ideas, than a card catalog(in a collective, not individual sense), or indexes are the first instances. I reject that books are the only physical representation of ideas. How ere ideas organized in 1791?

"For centuries philosophers worked on classifying knowledge; Callimachus, Plato, Aristotle, and Bacon are among the famous. Librarians tried to adapt these classifications for books by assigning letters and/or numbers to the concepts classified by the philosophers"(59).

from: Moulthrop, Stewart. "What the Geeks Know: Hypertext and the Problem of Literacy". ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, Salzburg, Austria (2005). :

"The analog experience of digital culture is just Zeno's paradox in modern dress, and what do we gain by this rehearsal? Unless we are careful, perhaps not much. Portraying the archive simply as the oceanic limit to any continent of totalizing discourse risks the sort of facile relativism that makes much postmodern thinking odious. Perhaps in some sense hypertext operationalizes the deconstruction of writing, but as Landow crucially observed, we must now test this innovation not as theory, but as practical implementation [16]. Whether we can describe it or not, semantic space is regularly traversed, or opened for access, by a sizeable portion of humanity. "The archive" may be an abstract term, but it proceeds from actual structures such as HTTP, XML, and so forth."

from: Moulthrop, Stewart. "Pushing Back: Living and Writing in Broken Space." Modern Fiction Studies 43(3): Fall, 1997

"Birkerts has many interesting things to say about the "metaphysics" of print: the relationship of writer to language, of reader to an imaginary world, and of medium and material to the process of signification. Yet when it comes to the corresponding features of cybertext, he resorts mainly to negation. Printed texts are fixed and autonomous; electronic texts are not. Traditional writers at their best are deliberate and careful; those who work with computers, he fears, may be merely prolix. Print demands perfect expression; a hypertext consists of "versions," or to borrow from Borges, "an indeterminate heap of contradictory drafts" (24). It is regrettable that Birkerts chooses not to consider cybertextual work more closely in its own right, especially since some of his claims might not hold up to testing. He asserts, for instance, that because they lack a single, determined ending, hypertexts say nothing of value about the consequences of human action. Yet many such texts are deeply concerned with causal logic and if read with reasonable engagement can convey very clear messages about choices and outcomes (see Douglas 1993). "

"In traversing a semantic space, the link by implication spans or contains that space, if not in its infinite totality then with a kind of cognitive blank check for which there can never be sufficient discursive funds."

from Manovich, Lev. "Five Principles of New Media(part 1):

"Word processing, page layout, presentation and Web creation programs come with agents which can automatically create the layout of a document. Writing software helps the user to create literary narratives using formalized highly conventions genre convention." - this helps the cyberscholar with routine tasks. Something the computer is good at.

"The switch to computers as means to store and access enormous amount of media material, exemplified by the by media assets stored in the databases of stock agencies and global entertainment conglomerates, as well as by the public media assets distributed across numerous Web sites, created the need to find more efficient ways to classify and search media objects. Word processors and other text management software for a long time provided the abilities to search for specific strings of text and automatically index documents." - another thing that computers do well.

from Manovich, Lev. "Five Principles of New Media(part 2):

"A new media object is not something fixed once and for all but can exist in different, potentially infinite, versions. This is another consequence of numerical coding of media (principle 1) and modular structure of a media object (principle 2). Other terms which are often used in relation to new media and which would be appropriate instead of variable is mutable and liquid." — translatibilty

"A hyperlink creates a connection between two elements, for example between two words in two different pages or a sentence on one page and an image in another, or two different places within the same page. The elements connected through hyperlinks can exist on the same computer or on different computers connected on a network, as in the case of World Wide Web."

"Since new media is created on computers, distributed via computers, stored and archived on computers, the logic of a computer can be expected to significant influence on the traditional cultural logic of media."

"Of course what I called a computer layer is not itself fixed but is changing in time. As hardware and software keep evolving and as the computer is used for new tasks and in new ways, this layer is undergoing continuos transformation. The new use of computer as a media machine is the case in point. This use is having an effect on computer's hardware and software, especially on the level of the human-computer interface which looks more and more like the interfaces of older media machines and cultural technologies: VCR, tape player, photo camera."

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