Saturday, October 09, 2010


am finally reading some John Seely Brown...I have a working premise that useful connections will hit on me at least twice.
Its probably not the most reliable premise for incidental learning, but in being slightly more discerning than 'read everything', its working for me as i continue to be overwhelmed by the too much to read, too little time, of being a phd student who wants to complete.

so when i tripped over this person's name twice...i googled it up...and found some pleasant writing :)

Here's a snippet

Clues provided by context

Consider, for instance, something as simple as a telephone-answering machine. Its use is not quite self-explanatory. A moment's thought reveals that the common message "I'm not here now" is, in the abstract, nonsense.
Whomever "I" refers to should be "here", wherever here is, "now", whenever the phrase is uttered. Yet in practice, despite its formal incoherence, the phrase turns out to be much more efficient than attempts at formal coherence, such as "If you're hearing this message, then I will not be at home at the time at which you will be calling."

What gives the more pithy phrase its effectiveness? Clearly, the words alone do not clinch the matter. To be understood, they rely on peripheral clues for interpretation. Background clicks and whirs, hisses from the tape, and the recorded quality of the voice itself all help callers realize that they are hearing a recorded message, and thus prepare them for a message's particular - if in the abstract peculiar - logic. These peripheral resources are not usually regarded as part of the information with which information technology is concerned. Yet, appearing unproblematically in the hiss of a recorded message, peripheral contributions can nevertheless be quite informative, allowing someone leaving a message and someone hearing it to communicate with a simple efficiency.

Important though they may be for design, these peripheral resources are not necessarily designed themselves. More usually, they evolve, as people - often quite unreflectively - enlist the support of contingent properties of a technology to keep things simple.

He writes directly, and he writes how the detective novel clues are missing in this webpage of subtitles and headings. There's playfulness; enjoyment and enticement in the multilayered approach.
And it reminds me of bits of my thesis writing.

He argues for the use of materiality, or performativity, though these words are not found on this page. He argues for simplification, yet what is here validates the complex.
and here he writes what i feel...and clever is that?
"the new information generated in one year is more than a thousand times larger than the size of the entire print collection in the Library of Congress. It is hard to grasp the consequences of this much new information being generated each year, year after year. But people have invented their own strategies to navigate through this immense sea of information."

And here another i am ...unable to sleep...and turn to my computer for a useful way to while away my time...i might as well be doing something useful....a phd...and that requires engaging with thinking- my own and im blogging up my thoughts...
Communication technologies have become our central tools to socialize, exchange, build knowledge, they have become part of our private and domestic lives.

I'm entering into ... media as an environment (see macluhan or melkowitz) a context not as imaginary world or of distant world with me as voyeur...but of connection.

Im in it...and if you are reading this, you are too.

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