Speeding up Text

Move the code, not the physical object.

Move the virtual, not the physical, text.

Before networked computing, scholarly communication relied chiefly upon moving physical marks on a surface from one place to another with whatever cost in time that movement required. Networked electronic communication so drastically reduces the time scale of moving textual information that it produces new forms of textuality. Just as transforming print text to electronic coding radically changed the temporal scale involved in manipulating texts, so too has it changed the temporal scale of communication. Networked electronic communication has both dramatically speeded up scholarly communication and created new forms of it.

[To this we may add that this result of the virtual electronic text creates new forms of community]

[From George P. Landow, "Electronic Conferences and Samiszdat Textuality: The Example of Technoculture," in The Digital Word: Text-Based Computing in the Humanities, ed George P. Landow and Paul Delany (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993), 350.]

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Last modified 27 January 2005