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August 08, 2008


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That's great, except they got the timeline backwards.

Ed Webb

Tanya is correct, of course. It seems pre-web narrative convention of reading from top to bottom is too deeply embedded to be overcome by mere technological artefact.


They got it wrong because they stole it from Sarah Schmelling on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.


Bryan Alexander

Right you are, Bill. They added formatting.

Ouch, Tanya and Ed. Exactly.
I wonder if we should think of it as being read live, as a series of updates.

Ed Webb

It would be great to rearrange it in proper order, beginning with "Denmark is now Norwegian." One could then follow the history backwards, an archaeology of that outcome, reversing narrative convention in a useful way. Twitter can work like that - you see the odd tweet responding to something, and trace back the genealogy of that comment in a different tweet that itself might be responding to an earlier tweet and so on. What other well-know stories would benefit from this treatment? "Russia has annexed Abkhazia and South Ossetia"? "Rome has fallen" (Gibbon backwards!)...

Bryan Alexander

Cool idea, Ed.
One could do that with a wiki, too.
Reminds me of some classic cybertext work, where the text grows as you read it. check out "The Jew's Daughter," for instance.

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