20.299 digital instincts

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2006 07:50:03 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 20, No. 299.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2006 07:35:13 +0000
         From: lachance_at_chass.utoronto.ca
         Subject: digital instincts: youth springs eternal

Dear Willard,

The recent thread about the health of the field or discipline was weaving
a tendril in my mind and that drifting thread snagged a button. The shiny
button is in this case a snippet of discourse on the pros and cons of the
results of packaging information using presentation software.

See mom set the stage:
Liz Lawley, Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, devotes a blog
entry on mamamusings to the joyful antics of her young son.


Friday, 6 October 2006

preteen rebellion in the digital age

It's one thing to know that your kids are likely to reject your basic
ideas about what's good and what isn't. It's another to watch it unfold in
front of your eyes.

Lane scored a home run in the rejection of parental values category with
his Powerpoint paean to bullet points. (The link is to his blog entry,
which in turn links to the Quicktime version of the actual presentation.)


See son set the stage:

And then see the slide deck done as movie:

Lane's presentation "Why Power Point Bullets Are Good" produces three
linked arguments:

          Neatness (praise for parsing and anchoring)
          Coolness (celebration of nominalism)
          Customization (ode to the joys of form morphing)

Lane's presentation illustrates what it argues for =AD there is a
perceptible change in size in the bullets it uses which provides (to me) a
pleasing aesthetic effect in the rolling of the movie. The argument is
sophisticated in its appeal to experience and then build upon that
experience. The bullet becomes a synecdoche for technology in general:
once you know what it does (provide anchor points to control parsing) and
you have a name for it (common names make concepts sharable) you then have
a path to potential future applications and innovation

Lane has some solid design principles at work/play in the presentation.
These principles also characterize many a humanities computing project:

Observe. Name. Vary.

As Lane says: "Cool!"
Received on Sat Nov 04 2006 - 03:19:16 EST

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