Tags: manual

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Manual

I wrote a thing. I wrote it for The Manual, Andy’s rather lovely tertial dead-tree publication.

The thing I wrote is punnily titled As We May Link (and if you get the reference to what I’m punning on, I think you’re going to like it). It’s quite different to most of the other articles I’ve written. My usual medium is hypertext, but I knew that The Manual was going to be published by pressing solutions of pigments onto thinly-sliced pieces of vegetation.

There’s a lot of fetishisation around that particular means of production, often involving the emotional benefit of consuming the final product in the bathtub, something I’ve never understood—surely water is as unsuitable an environment for paper-based analogue systems as it is for silicon-based digital devices?

In any case, I wanted to highlight the bound—in both senses of the word—nature of The Manual’s medium. So I wrote about hypertext …but without being able to use any hyperlinks; an exercise in dancing about architecture, as whoever the hell it was so eloquently put it.

I’m pleased with how it turned out, though I suspect that’s entirely down to Carolyn’s editing skills combined with a lovely illustration by Rob Bailey.

If you’d like to read what I wrote (and what Tiffani wrote and what Ethan wrote and what all the other contributors wrote), then you can order The Manual online …but you’ll have to wait until it is delivered to you over a network of roads and other meatspace transportation routes. The latency is terrible, but the bandwidth is excellent: when you finally have the book in your hands, you’ll find that it contains an astonishing number of atoms.

That’s assuming there’s no packet loss.