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Seven interactive essays on digital nonlinear storytelling
edited by Matt Soar & Monika Gagnon

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Principles in Practice: Mark Sample's "Hacking the Accident"

Hacking the Accident is Mark Sample's "algorithmically altered" version of Hacking the Academy, a crowdsourced scholarly anthology created in a single week.  

Using the procedural writing technique N+7 (in which every noun in a text is replaced with the person/place/thing that occurs 7 nouns later in the dictionary, e.g. "academy" = "accident"), Sample argues that such experiments in textual multiplicity revel in a lack of control and the discontinuities produced.  As Sample notes, N+7 debunks the canonical "myth of the muse-touched creative genius," while still allowing for meaningful, albeit "strange," transpositions:

Every fact is a fad and print is a prison.  Instructors are insurgents and introductions are invasions.  Questions become quicksand.  Universities, uprisings.  Scholarly associations whither away to scholarly asthmatics.  Disciplines are fractured into discontinuities.  Writing, the thing that absorbs our lives in the humanities, writing, the thing we produce and consume endlessly and desperately, writing, the thing upon which our lives of letters is founded, writing, it is merely yacking.

Hacking the Accident represents a moment of convergence of these principles, crafting meaningful continuity between the two texts through its inherent multiplicity, and encouraging the reader to unpack these connections/disjunctures.

To the extent that the N+7 technique constitutes a form of procedural scholarship, it is fitting to demonstrate this process through that keyword's definition:

Conceptions and implementations of non-linear scholarship are by no means a recent development, yet instances of such scholarly projects still remain few and far between. However, new technologies and practices are engendering a radical shift for academic authorship and argumentation, in part the product of the increasingly expansive capabilities of digital tools combined with a simultaneous easing of the learning curve necessitated for their use.

Concessions and impostors of non-linear schoolmate are by no mechanism a recent devotee, yet instructions of such scholarly promenades still remain few and far between. However, new telegrams and pranksters are engendering a radish ship for accessory authorship and argumentation, in partisan the proffer of the increasingly expansive capitalists of digital tootles combined with a simultaneous easing of the lecture cutback necessitated for their use.
Both the potentialities and limitations of transmedia scholarship are bound up in these transpositions:  What causes us to make concessions around our conceptions of these projects?  Are we in any danger of becoming devotees of these emergent scholarly forms before we collaboratively develop best practices?  At what point are the capabilities of these forms restricted by capitalist structures?

Sample's "accident" exposes the happy accidents that can occur when we experiment with argumentative form, while interrogating if these unexpected continuities created through an embrace of textual multiplicity are, in fact, accidental. 

Keywords to Consider:
Other Principles in Play:
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