Friday, January 4



Digimos Are Cruel Mothers
Merry New Year Andreas... I'm totally grateful for you response to my last post, and for the thinking it triggered.  I've told you my "Mogul" theory of digital education... Let me reiterate for others..

Moguls are fiendish cuts or bumps that nature or diabolic groomers lace onto a ski slope to challenge downhillers. Fields may often have many hundreds of them. Of course the greater the slope the greater the challenge they present to athletes. Now anyone who can stand up on skis can navigate, say, one of these things. But as the slope increases, well they seem to come faster and faster - goosing up the challenge. 

App developers produce their products much like mogul crafters. Most consumer apps are like any one mogul, meaning they present little challenge to folks with average intelligence... like me, or like a 7, 8 or 10 year-old. The thing is, I have a life and consequently not a lot of time to spend on the mogul fields of application development... the digital moguls or digimos. So I commit those scarce moments I have for learning toward mastering the most essential digimos and no time to understanding the architecture of an entire field of related bumps. Which is why youth (or dedicated specialists) seems so much smarter since digimo surfing is their passion.

Once There Were Dinosaurs 

I first entered the digimo fields in college, BACK IN THE EARLY 1960s, when my undergrad school got an IBM 1620 that was fed instructions (and data) through a combo of wired boards and cardboard cards. Economic education understood the importance of cyber tools but there was so much else to study that residual time for computer mastery was already rationed and there were few spontaneous moments to invest in the computer room (which was an eye-squinting white and sterile environment). And even getting access was time consuming. 

For the next 15 years computers were like Bibles in medieval churches... chained to their sanctuaries and available only by permission to the priesthood. Actually my field of economic study allowed me a LOT MORE access than to others but only for the use of rapidly appearing econometric apps... so I studied and mastered essential digimos - that my field's increasingly mathematical emphasis permitted me to enter. 

Revolution came in the mid 70s with Tandy and Apple personal computers. Any kid with keyboard facility could leap onto the digimo field and careen along even the steepest slopes. Neither scarcity of time, nor a mathematical facility hampered access for kids as developers built an increasing array of new mogul-like bumps. With so much time available to them, great hunks of the 70s youth warp-sped along. Even slightly older folks with computer knowledge were left behind as life crowded out the mastery-time which kids had. 

Let me be clear, kids were no brighter, shrewder, nor more analytical than us... but a hell of a lot more proficient. Plus app developers dumbed down their offerings. computer friendly times had arrived. Instead of apps demanding computer literacy, apps had become people literate. Had to since frankly the bulk of kids weren't all that bright (no population as a whole is). So while I carefully picked out the apps I had to master, youth scampered, skipped, careened, and flashed across whole fields of digimos seeing both the value of each to them AND the relation of each new app to the field as a whole. They mastered deep and wide application knowledge. Fascinating. BTW... application knowledge does not equal development mastery.

Slipping & Sliding 

Given the decades since, the divide between users and masters has grown dramatically. And whole generations of people are routinely falling off of the digimo fields much the same as glaciers calve away icebergs to float off  then dissolve in warmer waters. Digimo mastery, like athletics, is a place where youth are best equipped to play. 

So, when this Blogger challenge (which I grumbled about in my 12/17 posting) occurred a month or so ago, I was lost in this digimo field. The glitch it turned out was tiny, yet not intuitive. I finally carved out a piece of time (once again, my most scarce commodity) and fixed it. Meantime a dozen other glitches have developed in my desired use of other apps, and each will demand similar hunks of time to diagnose and repair. The warm waters of maturity are melting away my aging computer expertise. Grumble. 

Sooner or later as we bob away from the mother glacier we will all sink as we watch kids cavort all over its surface. Sigh...

Commvergence: Andreas Channels The Tide

Do I envy them? Well hell yes. The website you designed for yourself answers so many of the needs which blog sites do not. And in particular it carves into the most vexing irritant of creators of fine art. Blogs are linear. But they deal with the evolution of an idea in precisely the wrong direction... at least for the visitor. What that visitor sees at the beginning - is an end. S/he finds that the conclusions to a stream of thought are the first thing that they see and have to somehow wend their way back to its inception in the thread to follow the intricacies of a concepts evolution. Which is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of the way that video, audio, print, and minds have worked for millennia. 

So now you've allowed your visitor... audience... class... acolytes, fans... friends... students... whoever... to more easily start at the beginning and to sense relationships between different aspects of your art (visit Andreas Mannesinger's blog with the link on the right column). This is an important start. Do I envy that... HELL YES! The structure of blogs is inconsistent with the spontaneous evolving  intermix of graphic and alpha conceptual discussion in a usefully accessible way. I cannot easily grab an image I may have posted from ten years ago to expand a current concept. Worse yet, a visitor can not in any casual way sink her/his own drill into the ImageFiction vein of stuff (don't get me started on the primitive nature of tags for navigation). 

Which is why I gave up daily posting a LONG time ago. I consider images and words  to be married... it's a form called illios where both the writing and graphics form a total concept. Graphics are not illustrations. They are not illumination of written thoughts in another form, but instead are irreplaceable components of an illios' concept. They are not worth a 1,000 words, but rather worth no words, nor are any number of words worth a graphic. Each is essential to the illio or concept which is being communicated.... The is communications convergence or COMMVERGENCE. You've begun the task of creating a truly commverged site. There is no vanilla app (like Blogger) that will do that. At least none of which I am aware. And those which may allow me to approximate it are expensive and will involve time to master their internal logic.

In reaction to my problem with Blgger you commented, "Oh my! Infrastructure. Don't get me started. Currently my blog works and it should, as I have nobody to blame any more. Problems like that originally made me leave Blogger. At that time I couldn't add more tags to my posts. Anyway. Glad it works again for you :)"

But your mastery of development allowed you to roam around atop the iceberg, well behind the cracks that calved me away decades ago. So, I continue to make a blog site work to produce comprehensible illios on a blog-device that's like a Conestoga wagon to your starship. Grumble... Oh the wagon generally gets me to a destination, but slowly and with a lot of compromises re. the power of commvergence. I've yet to see a photographer or artist's home site that will allow a true marriage of words and graphics, nor an ability to squoosh visitor-comments into the individual illios. Right now, the business of posting is a complexity that sucks away the artist's time... which is, as I've whined above, the scarcest of all commodities to anyone much older than say... twenty two.

Did I write "grumble" before? 

1 comment:

Andreas Manessinger said...

Hmm ... lots of honor you pour over my poor head - and totally undeservedly so :)

Take, for instance, yesterday. Not only did I get a comment, no, I got it twice. Same comment. No difference. Funny, I thought, and then I posted my answer. The result was a popup, telling me posting the comment had failed.

Only that it had not. Within a second I got an email with my reply, so obviously it had worked. Seemingly the original commenter got the same error message, assumed it had not worked and posted again.

The reason? I have no idea. Maybe Amazon has changed something about how its systems report errors. I'll have to find it out - some day.

You see, no reason for envy. If your system is broken, it will be fixed by the bright, young minds at Google. If mine fails, I have to toil away :D