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A few recycled thoughts on writing
I don’t think one needs to know where you are going to start writing. You don’t need an endgame, thesis, or goal. All you need is something to explore. Writing isn’t necessarily about the conveyance of specific information. Writing can be a design practice, or a way to learn something new.
A print isn’t a static thing—it isn’t a dead document, or just inked lines on paper—a print is an interface for connection. With technological innovation the immediacy and mode of that connection has changed, but I think at its heart had remained more or less the same.
I write because I don’t know. In writing I won’t necessarily come to knowing, but I’ll begin to move towards it. I write as an explorer seeking some understanding, and wanting to communicate. I write as a beginner…someone who is new to something, but eager to learn more and explore further.
In reply to: Libraries that speak loudly - Shelf awareness
In “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1831), Victor Hugo noted that, in the late Middle Ages, printing threatened architecture as the dominant mode for the church to convey cultural meaning. “The book of stone, so solid and so enduring, was to give way to the book of paper, more solid and more enduring still.” Put the book and the building together, and you have the potential for structures of almost overwhelming significance.
…as so often happens in subjects that are taught in school, the template designed as a means toward attaining some important end turns into an end in itself. As a consequence, form trumps meaning.
The form becomes the product. Teachers teach the format as a tool; students use the tool to create five paragraphs that reflect the tool; teachers grade the papers on their degree of alignment with the tool. The form helps students to reproduce the form and get graded on this form. Content, meaning, style, originality and other such values are extraneous — nice but not necessary.
The medium is the message, and the tooling shapes the product — but sometimes the tooling becomes the product, too.
On a similar note, i wonder if many applications (especially desktop applications) are laid out in a similar manner to IDEs because developers working on these applications spend the majority of their time in IDEs so know how to think within their boundaries and patterns?
Navigator -> Workspace -> Modifiers/Detail