1000 Words into The Future of Text

"1000 Words into The Future of Text" is a "substitution grammar project" written as an entry in Frode Alexander Hegland's 2020 book, The Future of Text, which asked its contributors to submit about 1000 words.

Stuart Moulthrop explains that the project "began at ELOrlando in 2020 when Frode Hegland, developer of the Liquid platform for 'self-aware' documents, invited me to write a thousand words for a book on The Future of Text. Scanning the contributor list, which contains many names I know and many more I admire, it became clear that anything I could say by ordinary means would at best swell the chorus, which my Welsh grandmother would approve, but not this time, Nana.

How can a document be self-aware? Mr. Hegland has his own ideas, as do the other learned contributors. I am still trying to work it out, approaching the problem characteristically backwards or by negation. Which is to say, I grasp more clearly how a document can embody the opposite of awareness. All it takes is a little knowledge of web scripting and a fundamentally disordered relationship to language. Et voila.

You can consume this folly either in a single dose or an all-you-can-stand stream. The static version is the default. Select the scrolling version if you dare." -- From the work's description


The Stuart Moulthrop Collection

An unpublished copy.

Stuart Moulthrop gave the files for this copy to Dene Grigar in 2022.