Ed Leahy asked me:
“If the medium is the message…. What is the message of Author? In short, what are the new effects it will create?”
Good question. I will look at this from the Augmented Text Suite of Author, Reader and Liquid though, including Visual-Meta, rather than simply Author.
According to Laws of Media† by Marshall and Eric McLuhan, the media Tetrad shows what any media ENHANCES, REVERSES INTO, RETRIEVES & OBSOLESCES.
I spent some time going though the examples and got stuck on how digital text is not just one thing. However, I feel fairly safe in stating that augmented text REVERSES INTO the fluidity of thought, from the rigidity of written text, while still retains the fixity of text on a substrate.
It is precisely this fluidity and fixity which I think is what it ENHANCES; augmented text can be easily interacted with to follow or create connections but it will stay fixed longer than our short term memory can support.
It RETRIEVES an extended thinking space once only possible in sand, and then only at a lot less functionality.
The last one is nice. It OBSOLESCES clerical work of formatting and creating paratexts.
In short, the effect augmented text creates is an environment where fluid thought can be connected to fixed-moveable text, all the while removing barriers to a more liquid workflow.
Thanks for asking Ed!
What does the future hold? That depends on what we bring to it. I bring increasingly richly interactive text to augment our thinking.