- Gordon Mohr, 2009-06-06
Up in the future, the end will be the beginning...is the message.
Paper fades to a distant memory. The medium
Forever resisting this mounting impetus to invert, as
In the long run, I wouldn't bet on any written forms
The past collects ever downward, as pixelized sediment.
Forming a 'now' horizon. The future drops in from above;
In this new text world, the 'top' of your window
Can predict changes soon.
While neither Google Wave nor iPhone TXTs do yet, I
Text on top. Twitter-centric tools do already, and
This new orientation, always placing the very latest
In time, forums, chats, and even essays may all embrace
Work now to shift the expected direction of time-flow in
News websites, blogs, friend feeds, Twitter -- they all
Dig down to find the steps that led to this moment.
Latest news, current state -- and, if time allows, we
Completely supercede older material. We crave the
Information decays, also, and new info often rises to
Horizon -- from nearer, previous places.
Further into the future stretch upward -- towards the
Time', too. In a directed journey, the places reached
There are logical reasons to view 'up' as 'forward in
Convention, rather than captive necessity.
Oh, downward still it ran, but now only by habit and
Writing (and time) to travel only top to bottom.
No longer a *physical* reason for the progress of
Arriving on screen, though, was epochal -- There was
The terminal screen.
That could be further traced to line printers, and next
Up from under the inky apparatus.
Text still flowing down because paper had to slide
Again into the era of the typewriter... with the
Habits of handwriting continued into printing, and
The relative positioning of our hands and eyes.
Physical writing tools (especially smudgy ones) and
In writing was a technical and biological artifact of
Mapping the forward march of time from top to bottom
Does this usual direction still make the most sense?
| A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
| Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?
| A: Top-posting.
| Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in email?
A traditional lament of online discussion goes: