Escape from the Pipeline

How to Read Tree3 Rules

part of: Entirely At Random

by Teresa Dunyati-Long , Jeff Beardwood

So, you’ve logged into this huge place called The Oracular Tree. You notice there are Stories, Idea Trees, and Author pages, but they consist of long random lists of stories and ideas. Where do you start? How do you approach this vast network of words and images?

Pretend you just walked into an auditorium full of people you’ve never met, people who all know each other, and are enmeshed in a dense web of interlocking histories. You’re going to be here among them for awhile, so you pick someone out and start interacting. They tell you something about themselves, maybe make reference to someone else in the room. You follow their lead, hop from story, to essay, to poem, learn one thing about this person, something else about another, take in a lecture from a featured speaker who tells you something about the predilections of the group as a whole…eventually, you get to know a great deal about these people, who they are, what they believe, what they’ve done, what they mean to each other, discover what they now mean to you!

So, wade on in. Pick something out at random—a title that appeals to you, a subject you find interesting, an author you may know! We’re a friendly bunch, even though several of us do have a wicked wit, most of us don’t bite often. TDHawkes

Part the Two, A Tree History by Jeff Beardwood

The Oracular Tree has evolved over the years. That seems appropriate…Change is one of the continuing themes of our pages. We have made the transition from a homepage, to an enormous archive, to something a little more streamlined, but there have been 3 distinct periods in our evolution where we have undergone a nearly complete rebirth. Our original set up allowed a stream of consciousness approach to reading. Eventually it became clear we needed a way to harness the vast number of pages, much the same way humans have to organize vast amounts of knowledge in order to make it useful. So we created a much more streamlined Tree 2. It was a fresh blank page where we made visible only the current month’s features. Links were still available to previous posts after the change, but the years of work we had shared was no longer posted.

We started to miss that wealth and richness. We have found the last revamp, while slick and streamlined, may have lost some of the flavor on our previous pages. Part of the solution has been to repost favorites of old. But there is an additional step. We are launching Tree 3, a hybrid between the vast stream of consciousness approach from our earlier days and the more clearly navigated but less intuitive approach we’ve been using. We hope you will agree, this helps create an experience which transcends an ordinary literary website but still allows user friendly access to all of our pages. Enjoy your exploration!


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