a new way of writing?
the advent of decentralized, computer aided communication over networks has changed the way we talk to each other. it's changed the way we collect and process information. and it's done this very quickly (relative to known history).
it's a tough concept to disagree with.
but just how pervasive is this networking idea. how far will it go? how far has it gone already?
i've been hearing a lot of talk lately about the so-called 'semantic web' and network society and bruce sterling's concept of spimes and it's all seeming to point to the same direction.
as we make computers more able to sift through piles of data and sift through it in more productive ways, and scan more content into machine-readable formats, the more content gets interwoven into this web or network.
simultaneously, we (as humans) are adapting to new ways of dealing with all this info (with the help of our newly bolstered computer-powered data crunchers and vast info warehouses) as well as new types of human to human relationships.
physical borders and boundaries don't mean quite the same thing as they used to. the interactions and connections between humans don't always have to work the same as they used to. we can be connected instantly to multiple people (on multiple levels of interaction) in any location (so long as it's attached to the grid) and then pool our resources.
we don't have to come together in the traditional sense to come together in the virtual, networked sense.
and along with this new networked way of looking at the world, with the aid of computers to crunch all the numbers we don't want to crunch, and remember where all the data is that won't fit in our heads anymore, we are getting the side effect of multimedia content presented in a relational way.
take a web page for instance.
a web page is sent to your browser and rendered according to a set of rules and then you get to utilize (or interact) with it.
it's comprised of words, images, audio and video, all of which are independant media types in their own right. but what makes it different than the traditional incarnations these formats took is the metadata and the relationships which are represented.
you get (along with the text/pics/audio/video) to see other sources and the different directions they go, the different things that this content is _related_ to. you also get to see other metadata such as timestamps, location indicators, categories the media falls into, language indicators, the type of platform it was designed to work with. all kinds of extra data which help enrich our understanding of where and how a particular idea (or set of ideas) fits and integrates into the rest of what we know.
by maintaining these relationships and including this metadata in our understanding of what it is we are digesting, we can achieve a new level of depth in our understanding of the actual ideas that we're processing.
'cause let's get right down to brass tacks--that's what communication is about in any form. transferring an idea from one human's brain into some other media type so it can be picked up and ingested by the mind of another.
transferring ideas. that's what communication is.
there are other side effects to this new networked, indexed, computer enhanced way of looking at the world and exchanging ideas, but i'm gonna have to revisit this topic. i'm running out of time....
0wn your ideas
a new way of writing?