I'm looking for a post with a non-linear dissertation March 25, 2014 4:15 AM   Subscribe

Some years ago (2007-10, I'd guess) there was a post to the Blue which linked to a dissertation. The dissertation was non-linear and the reader would choose the next part of the dissertation to read, and while that was happening, the dissertation wrote itself. Each part of the dissertation was in a little box, and the reader would choose which part to read by clicking on a box next to an already read box. I remember a black background with yellow boxes.
posted by Kattullus to MetaFilter-Related at 4:15 AM (17 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

But it's not ringing a bell.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:42 AM on March 25, 2014

This sounds like it would be really interesting to read.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:42 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I hope you share this, if you find it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:48 AM on March 25, 2014

Yeah, I tried searching my favorites but couldn't find it. I might not have favorited it because I meant to read it and then never got around to it. I generally don't favorite until I'm done reading/watching my way through the links.

I forgot to mention, the dissertation was about non-linear works of writing. I seem to remember there was something about bible concordances in there, but that's about all I can remember because I never read it.
posted by Kattullus at 6:11 AM on March 25, 2014

Probably not what you're looking for, but it almost sounds like The Disappearance of N from 2013.
posted by exogenous at 6:19 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

This sounds similar to a few of my most memorable dreams.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:26 AM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also came here to suggest Disappearance of N.
posted by bfranklin at 8:01 AM on March 25, 2014

All I could dig up is "The Chaos World Caper" (PDF) - I can't find an FPP for it and it doesn't seem to be "choose your own adventure" story itself, so I initially dismissed it. But it does appear to have a yellow-on-black theme going, and given that we're stumped otherwise I thought I'd throw it out there. The relevant site is dead though, and the Internet Archive seems to have forgotten about it as well.

So, scraping-the-barrel levels of tenuousness, but thought I'd mention it on the off chance it triggers someone's memory.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 8:18 AM on March 25, 2014

Ooh, this sounds great - I hope someone remembers.

If you like non-linear, unconventionally arranged 'reader as author' type stuff in general: Tristano by Nanni Balestrini, Un Coup de Dés by Stéphane Mallarmé, A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems by Raymond Queneau and - best of all! - The Unfortunates by B.S. Johnson.
posted by jack_mo at 8:48 AM on March 25, 2014 [5 favorites]

Maybe there were more colors for the boxes... I think it may have been a dissertation at MIT but I went through all the mit.edu posts from 2007-10 and didn't find it.
posted by Kattullus at 11:06 AM on March 25, 2014

It wasn't this PhD in comic book form I don't suppose.
posted by Rumple at 12:57 PM on March 25, 2014


But I can't find the post. I'm sure I found it through MetaFilter... otherwise I'd have posted it :)
posted by Kattullus at 1:41 PM on March 25, 2014 [16 favorites]

I found a comment by honest knave linking to Whitney Trettien's thesis. That must be where I saw it, though I could've sworn I was looking at this well before 2011.
posted by Kattullus at 1:54 PM on March 25, 2014

You beat me to it - as soon as you mentioned yellow boxes I knew it was Whitney's site then scrolled down to see you'd already found it. The prototype went online at the end of 2008 so if it did make it onto the front page I am guessing it would have been around 2009 or so. I remember it getting lots of attention from other blogs with an interest in book history around that time.
posted by greycap at 3:26 PM on March 25, 2014

Yeah, 2009 seems right. I just found a comment I made on Languagehat's blog in February 2010 where I say I'd been thinking of posting the dissertation to MetaFilter. Somehow this must've mutated in my head into the belief that I found the link through MetaFilter.
posted by Kattullus at 4:25 PM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Damn you shoulda posted that.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:51 AM on March 26, 2014

Damn maybe I should.
posted by Kattullus at 12:14 PM on March 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

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