Friday, June 28, 2002

link = promise

. . . a link is a promise . . .

At 09:12 AM 6/19/2002 +1000, Adrian wrote:

> ok, i think of hypertext links as like performative speech acts (they're promises). i think of hypertext links as being the *same as* film edits. film edits are also promises. as performative speech acts they have force (they're like order words) and so inside their promise that they make sense there is also this excess of force that means they will make sense. this force leaks out each side of the edit/link which is why the meaning of the before and after can change, without changing what the before and after is. ie the kuleshov effect. same content different meanings yet the thing (the image in that case) that effects the meaning (the edit) in no way changes the image itself. same thing happens in link node hypertext particularly where complex structures are invovled. so, this is what i mean by performative. links/edits are promises.

Adrian, I like this notion of links as promises quite a lot, partly because it jives so much with recent discourse about links as the currency of the web, especially in blogging communities. For what is currency but a promise of value? But I also find it intriguing that the moments of the message that are these promises--film edits, hypertext links, etc--are the exact moments that the technology of the medium is most noticable: when we KNOW we are experiencing a construct.

Best, Brandon Barr University of Rochester

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