Claims of many enthusiastic hypertextualists notwithstanding (and I am second to none in making extravagant claims for that which I support), many of the most radical features of hypertext are technologies made available by the invention of alphabetic writing and greatly facilitated by the development of printing and bookmaking. Such formats as page and line numbering, indexes, tables of contents, concordances, and cross-referencing for encyclopedias and card catalogs, are, in effect, hypertextual. Much of the innovative poetry of the past 100 years relies on the concept of hypertextuality as a counter to the predominance of linear reading and writing methods. While hypertext may seem like a particular innovation of computer processing, since data on a computer does not have to be accessed sequentially (which is to say it is "randomly" accessible), it becomes a compensatory access tool partly because you can't flip though a data base the way you can flip through pages or index cards. (I'm thinking, for example, of Robert Grenier's great poem, Sentences, which is printed on 500 index cards in a Chinese foldup box.)