Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Hypertext systems offer electronic links that can instantly join related documents with the click of a mouse. Some observers predict that in the next few years hypertext will become the predominate technology of communication. Such a revolutionary transformation of our culture's basic system for sharing information is bound to have a profound and wide-ranging impact. At this early stage in hypertext's evolutionary development, no empirical study can be expected to capture the long-term implications of this new technology. An exploratory survey was distributed to 100 large corporations to gather their initial assessment of the revolutionary implications of hypertext. The results suggest that hypertext will lead to dramatic changes in users' experience of text. At this point, the nature of these changes can only be explored philosophically. This thesis examines the potential consequences of moving from a printed text to a hypertext environment in light of the literary theory known as 'deconstructionism'. This theoretical approach to the interpretation of text emphasizes the breakdown of the boundaries that seem to separate documents from one another. The illusion of isolated, self-contained, authoritative meaning gives way to an all-inclusive intertextual conversation. Hypertext provides the physical connections necessary to implement the interactive dialogue central to the deconstructionists' vision. These issues directly concern the Air Force because it is developing a plan to disseminate its operating directives on-line in a system with hypertext features. This study concludes that the Air Force should implement this plan without delay.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology

Included in

Communication Commons