Hypermedia as Objectified Thought

From Lev Manovich's On Totalitarian Interactivity:
Interactive computer media perfectly fits in this trend. Mental processes of reflection, problem solving, memory and association are externalized, equated with following a link, moving to a new image, choosing a new scene or a text. In fact, the very principle of new media – links – objectifies the process of human thinking which involves connecting ideas, images, memories. Now, with interactive media, instead of looking at a painting and mentally following our own private associations to other images, memories, ideas, we are asked to click on the image on the screen in order to go to another image on the screen, and so on. Thus we are asked to follow pre-programmed, objectively existing associations. In short, in what can be read as a new updated version of Althusser's "interpolation," we are asked to mistake the structure of somebody's else mind for our own.

This is a new kind of identification appropriate for the information age of cognitive labor. The cultural technologies of an industrial society – cinema and fashion – asked us to identify with somebody's bodily image. The interactive media asks us to identify with somebody else's mental structure.

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