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Chapter 3. What Will the Web Do to My Text? > Your Words Are Virtually There

Your Words Are Virtually There

As a medium, the Web is a storm of electrons generating light and sound, moving through circuits, networks, and servers, guided by machine code, operating systems, and applications, and displaying our text along with images, animation, video, and audio on a brilliant screen. Electrons are mobile, uncertain, erratic, and fast—quite different from ink on paper. But many of our ideas of text still derive from our experience with paper documents. (In fact, our names for many documents assume that they will appear in that medium, i.e., term papers, newspapers, or corporate white papers.) And even though many of us grew up with all media blaring—the radio on, the TV going, the CD playing in our headset, and the video games live in the next room—many of our ideas of text come out of the older culture and the tradition of print.

They call TV a medium because it is so rarely well done.

Goodman Ace, TV writer


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