A Linear View

In my mind, linearity is perfectly described by the standard novel. An index is included to help organize the author’s writing, but it is mostly a single stream of information. Everything is presented in a single way; there is no other way to interact with the text. It is there for the user to read. You would not read a story out of order, and the same goes for linearity. It has to be in order. Lupton mentions Microsoft Power Point as an example. While each slide offers room to present information in an attractive and creative way, ultimately everything must happen in the order that the presenter set things up. That is what linearity is. It is a control over media and writing that commands the user or reader to experience something in a certain way. It is in that regard that the internet and typography has freed humans from the reigns of linearity. Not everyone has to experience something the same way as someone else. When browsing through a webpage, the user has the choice to view exactly what they want to. Their experience will be different from the next person, and it makes creative works far more flexible. I do not think that blogs are completely free of linearity. It is a stepping stone to non-linearity, but it still has several key characteristics that roots it in the common written work. For one, a blog is written in a way that is usually organized by date. It is a stream of information coming from the writer, and in that sense, the user can experience everything in a linear way. However, a blog also has options that allow users to read only the posts that they find interesting. These options create a new experience each time someone views the blog, whereas a book never changes. You read a book, and the experience will always be the same. I think that is essentially what Lupton is getting at with typography; it changes how we look at things.

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