Ask any Web user to recall what first lured him into cyberspace; you're not likely to hear rhapsodic descriptions of a twirling animated graphic or a thin, distorted sound clip. No, the eureka moment for most of us came when we first clicked on a link, and found ourselves jettisoned across the planet. The freedom and immediacy of that movement ... was genuinely unlike anything before it....

What we glimpsed in that first encounter was something profound happening at the level of language. The link is the first significant new form of punctuation to emerge in centuries, but it is only a hint of things to come. Hypertext, in fact, suggests a whole new grammar of possibilities, a new way of writing and telling stories.

Steven Johnson,
Interface Culture (HarperEdge, 1997)


Previous passage | Next passage

Back to "God, Man, and the Interface." | Back to Atlantic Unbound