“The tools we use have a profound (and devious) influence on our thinking habits, and therefore, on our thinking abilities.”
– Edsger W. Dijkstra
Improving technology for imaging, for archiving and for sharing images, doesn’t automatically improves our memory. It just changes the concept of what we describe and understand *as* memory.
I’m a little bit scared of that.
Please, Antje, don’t hide behind a laptop, too… then I would be the last one who just got his face, his hands and some old-fashioned analog writing utensils to hide behind… 😉
There was some meta-communication going on behind the walls of the LCD-displays, as Owen hinted, but as far as I’ve noticed, only a short amount of typing was directly linked to the actual RL discussion (or monologues) going on in front of the respective participants. Behind the white walls, there were mails to be sent to loved ones, flickr-photos to be tagged, days and evenings ahead to be planned…
I admit that I, too, was scribbling and sketching and sometimes dreaming away, but I think it’s important to notice from time to time that someone is *looking* into your direction, that at least you are in temporary visual focus of your audience when you say something – The mourned loss of the central perspective, you could say.
An offline-seminar should be used to soothe this online-loss somehow, I think.
Everybody had his own little universe in front of him or her. It’s difficult enough to ‘extract meaning’ out of the speeches of the non-native english speakers, even without some dozen tiny voices whispering out of the LCD-monitor…
Unfortunately, since this study is digitally dependent both in content and in communication/archiving on computers, I don’t see a feasible solution (yet).
I’ll think about it.
Life as a Photoblog…
Well, I admit that I, too, use photos as memory-enhancers, but the obsession with photographing was something I usually would have associated with japanese tourists 😉
Nothing wrong with that, though it would make a great meta-reflective topic: What is it you want to conserve by freezing everything into photos? Is there something which eludes you – à la Heisenberg – when you increasingly filter your presence and your memory with an objective? How about Jaron Lanier’s postsymbolic communication? Or the US-Security approach to ‘The Matrix’ (Multistate AntiTerrorism Infomation Xchange)?
Anyone searching for an MA-topic yet? Would be a great one…
PS.: Antje, I haven’t seen a single picture of you yet where you didn’t look beautiful. But then, feeling that snapshots of oneself are mostly ‘awful’, this is a common subjective notion if one sees oneself a) *frozen* in random moments of *life* and b) from a pretendedly objective *outside* which usually highly contrast with the subjective *inside* image one has.
A double paradox hitting hard…
I think the answer is “capable of multiple action”, although I think some of the time some people were actually discussing what was going on in the presentation with each other while it was going on. So in a sense they were only doing one thing – but in two ways.
Some of the time when people were talking, for example, I would get a skype message saying something like “that’s a good idea – we should use that in our project too”.
And I have some photographs of you in which you look wonderful 🙂 I will post them onto Flickr in a few minutes.]]>