Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
• Techno Noir
The author mentions in the beginning the movie Blade Runner having an influence on Macintosh's GUI, popularizing the idea of the future which is still prominent today. "techno-noir"; a strong theme here at the art school and also manifests itself in trendy modular design similar to a Pac-Man typeface aesthetic.
• An observation I made about the whole Chapter
This chapter expressed ideas and questions that all the past great thinkers (Aristotle, Epicurus, Hobbes, Spinoza etc.) have already coined only that she explains these ideas and questions in terms of communication technology (cinema, print, etc.) and the more recent Human Computer Interface.
She tries to convince us that HCI is original when in fact it is not, everything is rooted from mankind, as she said even the idea of the "desktop" referring a traditional old fashioned desktop.
She also kept stressing the idea that code "provides it's own model of the world" (pg 64) which I believe is an exaggeration. The entire world and history determines the model therefore the model being a reflection of one method of viewing the world.
• Impact on everyday life
I did come to realize in this chapter that with HCI, the culture of work and leisure are now integrated and makes room for more time the more multi-tasking is possible (with the internet!!) and demonstrates efficiency which is tied to compression and room or more bandwidth, more information and action. She says "our society is engaged in more activities during a typical day" and made me realize that all the paradoxes or maybe oxymoron’s created by the internet. I remember Hal Wert saying (something like this) "in the history of all mankind we have never been more connected with each other yet so isolated, alone in a room on the computer". And that made me ponder—all this socializing I do online, I'm doing it while working, online surfing, watching shows, chatting with friends, and listening to music, like the author mentions.
• New Media Art versus New Media Design
I learned the difference between New Media Art, versus New Media Design, where in New Media Art, the content and the interface are one. Just as the paint used in an abstract painting portraying itself- is one in the same. With New Media Design, the content; pre-existing and then the designer organizes that information in terms of HCI.
• The Author on HCI being a collaborator and Co- creator & Editor of our Culture.
The author expresses two opposite ideas, that the Human computer interface is something that people collaborate with rather than as a tool, but later in the reading she mentions that the interface is a tool rooting from the Egyptian papyrus scroll, being determined from all history (which is something commonly known if you believe in determinism, and evolution).
I personally viewed the interface as a tool, equal to a paintbrush. I do not collaborate with a paintbrush or give the paintbrush credit for my work (even though there are certain limits my paintbrushes do give me contributing to the look in some way- for example I cannot make a perfect hairline brush stroke with a one inch wide brush.) I don't see these tools as individual thinking beings that make conceptual decisions in my work. This is just my opinion because I know there are some people in places all over the world that see tools as thinking contributors.
She does mention something similar to the idea of limits in technology on pg 67 "these behaviors can only be obtained in the course of running the computer program, they cannot be predicted beforehand" >>> but isn't predicting and not allowing the fact that certain technologies don't exist or that we do not know about it to get in the way of conceptual development? (referring to our online community project).
While I have this^ as my personal opinion, her believing that this interface is the creator and filter of our culture annoyed me. Collective individuals create culture, which creates individuals that come together to be collective individuals and it goes in a circular equation. She's declaring a statement (in terms of technology) that the chicken came before the egg. (something along those lines)
She mentions in the section Cultural Interfaces that this interface is universal when in fact it is not. There are plenty places left in this world that haven't touched it yet but we do know that there are projects to fix that problem. I Believe it has the capability of being universal and access is the only thing preventing people from using it where there isn't (maybe some religious aspects too) but the main reason I believe that people are interested in the internet (mostly web 2.0) is because it is democratic. Everyone has a voice (except for Chinese citizens who have a very limited government controlled internet) and if the computer didn't have connection ability, if it were just for work and games, it would not be as popular as it is today. The main reason why I myself began to spend more time on the computer wasn't to organize my files or play solitaire, but I spent more time with computers/internet for exposure to the rest of the world.
The author States in the reading contrasting to some of her previous descriptions of the interface in saying that "given that computer media is simply a set of characters and numbers stored in a computer (obvious mechanical materialism), there are numerous ways in which it could be presented to a user"
This statement (which also represents a mechanical materialist's point of view) could be said in shorter words -
The Art of Presentation,
The Science of information organization
which are both tied to anthropology and ethnography work with users.
I like the way she organizes the three main channels/ interfaces. This categorization were not new to me however she organized it so that it is easier to remember. She also assumes that the reader didn't see the printed word, or cinema as interfaces...so to me her several paragraph explanation for this was redundant.
• Reading today
I did think it was ironic, that she explains that the page is now organized and designed to be viewed in a certain order, she says "the user was given the ability to go back and forth, scroll etc...virtual page...the user is invited to skip away from blocks of text to any direction" and I know that I do not like reading books when sparknotes or wikipedia organizes summaries and are available online. teachers have accused our generation as the one that doesn't really read. I agree (people still read, but much less than before) which is why I think it is ironic that this wordy reading about interfaces isn't interactive material on the web to make taking in this information more interesting and more efficient.
Later in this reading she contradicts the statement that all HCI is is numbers and characters, she goes on to sat that RAM's core methodology is unfair because; all content is equal and are accessed all with equal speed. Why is she surprised that RAM sees all numbers and characters as equal concepts?
• Solipsism and Otherness
The author begins to discuss onscreen space, stating "Even though the onscreen space is the only visible part, this larger scenographic part is nonetheless considered to exist around it"
This statement is solipsism (awareness that everything you know is incomplete, being that we only experience little bits and pieces of a whole world), a very old discovery rooting back to aristotle when he asked "How do we know that anything exists outside of our peripheral view?" Which led to him declaring and believing objects surely exist independent of the mind. She thinks that this "frame" only applies to the three interfaces when it applies to human biology as well. We live within a round frame with blurry edges.
What she talks about after this really interested me. She goes on to talk about Virtual Reality and this interactive frame in computer interface that makes the vision aligned with your own. This reflects human fascination, or this recent century's fascination with "the other". It reminded me of the movie BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. But of course that's impossible. For example, only a bat would know what its like to be a bat no matter how much information we attain about the bat. Virtual reality is a reflection of the interest to be or exist something outside of self. It could also reflect other interest such as omnipotence and power of intervening in other worlds, hence some computer game geeks. But my personal interest with computer games is the idea of existing outside of me, just out of curiosity.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Degree Project Idea
The field I am interested in pursuing is children’s education, and solving issues with communication in the teaching process. Many children at an early age learn numbers through memorization rather than through concept. It is understandable that teaching philosophical concepts to children is deemed as impossible, but it is essential to their future education in mathematics, the foundation must be solid. Most children at an early age do not understand that numbers are simply the name for an amount, they are simply taught to quickly memorize numbers in counting, as if it were a song. From my own experience, as a child, I was handed a book of multiplication tables to memorize quickly and was then told I had a quiz in the next few days, which put me and several other children behind in school because it wasn’t an effective way of learning math. I didn’t learn the concept of a number until I was…until three weeks ago. I know that If I learned the concept from a young age, my grades in math through grade school would’ve been a bit better (I think).
Not learning the concept of a number from an early age, one will grow to believe that numbers are solely sequential rather than logical, negatively affecting their future grades in future math classes. I want to figure out a program for young students to understand the essence of what numbers actually are (simply names for amounts) on a visual level, to provide a tool for math teachers. The age demographic would be kindergarten to 2nd grade. I have spoken with two teachers; one elementary school teacher, the other, a middle school teacher and both agree that the problem I have pinpointed is definitely there. The tools that would be used to fix this problem would range from print to motion and/or interactive media similar to Rosetta Stone. It could possibly include fun teaching animations like Donald Duck in Mathe-magics Land, something I remember from middle school that I found was effective and interesting, the only interesting thing I ever learned in a math class throughout grade school. I want to make math learning clear, accurate, and fun for children to ensure their success in the field in the future.
The project would require me to visit elementary schools and possibly the school board to look at their curriculum and agenda that teachers have very little control over, and look through this problem I hope to solve within the mathematics curriculum. It would also require me to interact and teach the idea to young children themselves.
(this is just an idea I have so far)