More than what is visible

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Suburban sprawl spreading in Virginia

Seemingly isolated but actually linked

The parallel between suburbs and hypertexts can be generalized to a parallel between linkage and connection in any place and any text. Places, of whatever kind, and texts, hyper or not, get their unity through sets of meaning connections, some of which are made normative. Both places and texts have their normative grammar(s) making selections within fields of possibilities that exceed that grammar and which that grammar cannot control. Both places and texts exist as structures embedded within an ongoing process of re-creation and re-interpretation.

The point of the specific comparison of suburbs and hypertexts is to emphasize that the being of a suburb is not exhausted by its immediate visible vicinity. There are so many pictures of ghastly uniform suburbs stretching off to the horizon, and I don't mean to deny such spiritless repetition and uniformity. But I do mean to say that that ghastly aspect is not the whole reality of the suburbs being viewed, that the motions of people's lives and the networks that intersect the visible array make the suburb a more complex place. We need to learn how to mitigate the ghastly aspects by making those complexities and connections and networks more salient in everyday experience.