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global attention, as did a 1988 bombing of Pan
Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed
in New York by Islamist terrorists linked to
Osama bin Laden, providing a preview of the
more spectacular September 11 aggression. An
American born terrorist, Timothy McVeigh,
bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building
in Oklahoma City, killing 168 and wounding
more than 500. Further, the bin Laden group
assaulted US embassies in Africa in 1998 and
a US destroyer harbored in Yemen in 2000.
Periodic IRA attacks in Britain continued,
including a 1998 car bomb attack in Omagh,
Northern Ireland that killed 29 and injured
hundreds, creating great outrage. On Septem
ber 11, 2001, terror attacks against the World
Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in
Washington, DC became a global media spec
tacle (Kellner 2003). The September 11 terror
spectacle was the most extravagant strike on
US targets in its history and the first foreign
attack on its territory since the war of 1812.
The 9/11 attacks inaugurated a war on terror
by the Bush administration and was the pre
lude to highly publicized terrorist bombings in
London, Pakistan, Bali, and elsewhere, and
Bush administration military interventions in
Afghanistan and Iraq as preemptive actions
in the war on terror. Many critics accused
the Bush administration of state technology in
its invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Terrorism and terror war have thus become
defining features of the twenty first century.
Governments throughout the world have
attempted to more precisely define and crimi
nalize terrorism, while terrorist activities multi
ply. As weapons of destruction become more
deadly and widespread, social divisions between
haves and have nots multiply, and conflict rages
throughout the world, terrorism will likely con
tinue to be a major issue and problem of the
present era.

SEE ALSO: Violence; War; World Conflict


Chomsky, N. (1988) The Culture of Terrorism. South
End Press, Boston.
Herman, E. (1982) The Real Terror Network. South
End Press, Boston.
Kellner, D. (2003) From September 11 to Terror War:
The Dangers of the Bush Legacy. Rowman & Lit-
tlefield, Lanham, MD.
Laquer, W. (1998) Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies,
Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind. Woodrow
Wilson Center Press, Washington.


Gregory L. Ulmer

Hypertext refers to a network of nodes or lexias
(units of content) connected non sequentially
by links, forming a docuverse that includes
users in a feedback loop, usually in a computer
medium. The first description of hypertext as a
concept was by Vannevar Bush, in an article
entitled As We May Think, published in the
Atlantic Monthly in 1945. Bush imagined a
machine desk called memex that could solve
the problem of storage and retrieval created
by the modern information explosion. Merging
the functions of a library and a personal filing
system, memex proposed to support and aug
ment an associative indexing corresponding to
the actual processes of human thought, mem
ory, and imagination. Individuals researching
the branching paths of information related to
an inquiry would build trails of connections
through the collective archive of recorded
information, and these trails would be pre
served, shared, and cross referenced, establish
ing possibly a new profession of knowledge
Inspired by memex, Theodor Holm Nelson
coined the term hypertext (and also hyperme
dia, to include multimedia) in 1965. Such a
system as the ELF (Evolutionary List File)
actually ties in better than anything previously
used with the actual processes by which thought
is progressively organized, whether into stories
or hypertext or library categories. Thus it may
help integrate for human understanding bodies
of material so diversely connected that they
could not be untangled by the unaided mind
(Nelson 1989: 145). Nelsons vision, called the