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# Re: Non-linear / full-2d writing systems?

From: H. S. Teoh Wednesday, May 11, 2005, 22:23
```On Wed, May 11, 2005 at 12:13:14AM -0700, Sai Emrys wrote:
> On Wed, May 11, 2005 at 06:56:21AM +0100, Ray Brown wrote:[...]
> > Carving in relief around the cylinder - not strictly 2d, but certainly not
> > 3d in the sense Teoh was using it. We don't use the full cross section of
> > the pole.
>
> Why not? Except for the fact that there's the limit of each side not
> being allowed to be (diameter) depth simultaneously, I don't see it as
> any different from a wrapped bas-relief carving. And that I would
> consider to be a pretty straightforward example of a (potentially)
> full-3d medium. (Of course one can still impose limits on the bounds
> of allowable depth, etc.)
There is a difference between "full 3D" in the sense I'm using it, and
in the sense you're using it. What you're describing is essentially 3D
in the sense of a scalar field over a 2D region, whereas what I have
in mind is 3D in the sense that every (x,y,z) coordinate has the
potential to carry information simultaneously with every other
coordinate in the 3D volume.

Carving around a cylinder is isomorphic to a contour map on 2D paper
(think: cut the cylinder's round surface along a vertical and unfold
it into a flat piece of rectangular paper). Each point on the paper
can only represent a single height at a time. Since the surface is
only 2D, I consider this as 2D writing. The depth component is just
information encoded on the 2D surface, much like you can superimpose
two writings on top of each other and have them still be individually

What I have in mind, however, involves "ink" that is drawn into a 3D
grid of voxels, in a way that every 3D point can be inked or not. Each
voxel can potentially have a different color, and regions of the same
color can intertwine in a fully 3D manner that is impossible to
represent in 2D alone. In order to fully "see" such a writing, one
would need to look at it from a 4D perspective.

[...]
> *nod* I think the crux of it is that our paradigm of stories depend on
> information control. With a situation where you can see the punchline
> from the beginning (if such a term could apply), you'd need a very
> very different way of maintaining tension, rather than just
> withholding information until later on in the story. Or you'd need to
> cast aside the desire for tension in your stories. :-P[...]

I think, in 2D writing, storytelling would not so much be a matter of
tension-and-release, but instead a matter of visual and aesthetic
beauty in the resulting layout and in the manner in which the various
elements are presented. Tension and release is essentially a temporal
(i.e. linear) phenomenon: when there is no temporal direction, there
cannot be tension before release, simply because there is no unique
"before" or "after".

However, I can imagine a case where one might still have the analogue
of tension and release, by organizing the 2D writing such that it
presents the story piecemeal like a jigsaw puzzle, that gives the
reader the exhilaration of finally piecing it together and seeing the
completed "big picture". This is metaphoric speaking, of course, the
idea being that rather than using sequence of presentation to produce
tension, which is dependent on temporal sequence of reading, one uses
the paradigm of challenge and solution: "here are the pieces to the
puzzle (story), can you put them together? can you see what the result
would be?"

T

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### Replies

 Patrick Littell Sai Emrys Ray Brown