There has been a great deal of discussion regarding hypertext as a new form of writing that empowers the reader and calls into question authorship. In this essay, I examine new computer mediated forms of communication and their impact on reading and writing. Socrates’ age old complaint that writing is inferior to speech because it cannot adapt itself to the readers is loosing its hold. Businesses have learned to track and to query users, building individual profiles that are then used to assemble personalized pages and email messages, and new face interfaces are learning to write faces, to map rhetorical forms to the character of their interlocutors in ways Socrates could not have imagined.

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