BUT IT CAN BE DONE
Critics who have read little hypertext and written none write that hypertext is claptrap, a technotoy for MTV-addled idiots and pedantic professors. They're wrong, obviously.
But to PROVE it, we need to tell those stories.
We need to tell the story of synthetic organic chemistry, of how we make molecules do what we want -- what they never have done before.
We need to tell the story of algorithms. Of bridge design. Of pattern languages and urban plans. Of schlemiels and schlemazels. Of accidental judgements, casual slaughters, murders put on by cunning and forced cause.
And we need to tell the old stories of people we care about, people we know, people for whom we want things to turn out well. We need stories that make us turn the page, come back next year, that haunt us late at night.
Those aren't the stories that get you tenure this week. They don't get on the best seller list (and won't, until they do). But we've got to find a way to write them anyway. Because we know we can do better.