The rush of RSVP reminds me of nothing so much as a poor implementation of perhaps the greatest piece of contemporary digital design for handling mind-numbingly vast quantities of information: the slippy map. Slippy maps are the digital maps you use every day, allowing you to pan across the world’s surface, and zoom deep into and far out of it, an elegant interface to a near-infinite landscape. But RSVP’s a poor implementation because text, however we may imagine it, is not linear, and it never has been. Just as the tiles of the slippy map are near-instantly rendered as we move over them, slotting into place before we are even aware of them, creating the illusion of a continuous plane seen through the narrow gap of the browser window, so the mind continually enacts understanding, rather than passively receiving it. That understanding is composed of many multi-layered understandings which go far beyond the text itself, into memory and association, into anticipation and extrapolation. The text has depth, it has verticality, it lives in its own expanding light cone; a true hypertext, of which the world wide web is our best, but still incomplete, approximation. The great gift of electronic text, like most networked experiences, is not what it makes newly possible, but what it reveals, often from new and previously unseen angles.