On Other Pages

In her forthcoming book Television As Radio, interactivist Brenda Laurel argues that the only way fully to understand a medium is to "reorder its affordances." Thus, for instance, Laurel argues that we can gain a much more useful understanding of television by disconnecting the picture tube and receiving only the audio program. (Similar effects can be achieved, Laurel notes, by turning your set to face the wall.)

"Stripped of its images, television is a much more engaging, intellectually stimulating medium," Laurel writes. "We are able to set ourselves apart from ordinary viewers. By listening, we learn to see in a new way."

In a controversial final chapter, Laurel speculates on how her method might be applied to other media, including the World Wide Web. "Forget content, think links," Laurel writes. "And check out this whacky thing 'Hegirascope.'"