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robertogreco : precision   13

What's the Point of Handwriting? | Hazlitt Magazine
"Maybe handwriting is neither a lost art nor an anachronism; perhaps new technology will show there is some useful alchemy left in the way language, the body, and our sense of identity intertwine."



"Maybe the limitations of the body carry some hidden benefit: that in marking out ideas at a pace slower than typing, there is some link between neural and muscle memory."



"Unlike digital’s precision, writing is blurry individuality under a general system. But in addition to this, we all have our own personalized understanding of arrows, squiggles, double-underlines and so on—little personal codes we develop over time to “talk to ourselves.” To write by hand is to always foreground an inevitable uniqueness, visually marking out an identity in opposition to, say, this font you’re reading right now.'



"If one can draw over and annotate a web page and then send it to a friend, the web at least feels less hegemonic, recalling the kind of interactivity and freedom of expression once found in the now-broken dream of blog comment sections."



"For all that, though, what pens do offer is both practical and symbolic resistance to the pre-programmed nature of the modern web—its tendency to ask you to express yourself, however creatively and generatively, within the literal and figurative constraints of a small, pre-defined box. There is a charming potential in the pen for activity that works against the grain of those things: to mark out in one’s own hand the absurdities of some top ten list, or underlining some particularly poignant paragraph in a way that a highlight or newly popular screenshotting tool doesn’t quite capture. Perhaps it’s the visual nature of the transgression—the mark of a hand slashed across a page—that produces emblematically the desire for self-expression: not the witty tweet or status update, nor just the handwritten annotation, but the doubled, layered version of both, the very overlap put to one’s own, subjective ends. And then there is more simple pleasure: that you are, in both an actual and metaphorical sense, drawing outside the lines. If one can draw over and annotate a web page and then send it to a friend, for example, the web at least feels less hegemonic, recalling the kind of interactivity and freedom of expression once found in the now-broken dream of blog comment sections."



"Identity online is fraught. You could make the argument that our collected personas—the affected shots of Instagram; the too-earnest Facebook status updates; the sarcastic, bitter tweets—are all an attempt to form some approximation of who we believe ourselves to be: we perform ourselves to become more authentic versions of ourselves. I know I at least do something like this, and have made winding, verbose arguments that documenting ourselves into being is how we use social media to become more human.

Yet I have also, in the writings of those such as Rob Horning, found reason to be deeply skeptical of the economic and ideological motives behind that push. Now that the web is a place of data collection, of surveillance, and of that strange urge to perform one’s personal brand in the right way, such naive notions of performance are no longer tenable. And yet … we still do it: inscribing shards of the self upon screens, despite the fact that, in a variety of ways, we must see and build our identities through the prisms that are handed to us, shaping ourselves to the nature of the newly corporatized web."



"Have you ever seen hand-drawn ink on a page, magnified? It is jagged and rough, full of an impossible number of imperfections. Zoom in far enough and even the most sophisticated digital algorithms would find it difficult to track the cartography of just one letter. There are simply too many undulations, too many indecipherable points to make sense of it. And perhaps this is what appeals with digital ink, too, as symbol, as metaphor—as just a fool’s hope: that in that discomfiting glide of a nib atop glass, there is still the human yearning to say, “I know who I am—here, let me show you.”"
navneetalang  handwriting  writing  2015  technology  slow  bodies  body  typing  memory  musclememory  digital  precision  annotation  uniqueness  individuality  microsoft  tablets  identity  robhorning 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Clocks Are Too Precise (and People Don't Know What to Do About It) - The Atlantic
"No big deal, but abolishing leap seconds could unmoor us from the sun forever."



"But wouldn’t abandoning the sometimes-second eventually divorce the Earth from the sun? This is one of the reasons why Canada, China, and Britain all cling to the leap second, or, at least, did at the last global meeting.

Matsakis thinks such a link has already been lost.

“​We don’t have a connection,” he told me. “We lose the connection twice a year when we go on daylight saving time.”

By the end of this century, the accumulated gap between UTC and what-should-be-the-solar-time would only be about one minute.

“What will happen is that in about 1,000 years, instead of the sun being overhead at noon, it will be overhead at 1 p.m. But by then society will have shifted.”

Hence the Chaucer. “Almost no one can read Chaucer,” Matsakis says, but we don’t freak out about it. Instead, we understand language to be one of those systems that has shifted imperceptibly over the centuries. In 600 years, when scholars translate texts from before the 21st century, they will just know that—in addition to translating or annotating monetary values so they make sense for contemporaneous readers—“noon” needs to become “1 p.m.”

Such a slow shift over time would be worth it, Matsakis said, for all the network failures it would prevent.

“You would [think it was worth it] too if you were one of the people stranded in Australia when Qantas Airlines went down,” he told me.

He recalled how American railroad companies only invented timezones after crashes forced them to. (Between 1831 and 1853, there were 97 railroad crashes—often because two trains, scheduled at close intervals on the same length of crowded track, disagreed about the time.) And perhaps it would be the same for the leap second."
time  clocks  robinsonmeyer  leapseconds  2015  precision  demetriosmatsakis  science  astronomy  physics  history 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Leonard Cohen, "How to Speak Poetry" - Acephalous
"The poem is nothing but information. It is the Constitution of the inner country. If you declaim it and blow it up with noble intentions then you are no better than the politicians whom you despise. You are just someone waving a flag and making the cheapest kind of appeal to a kind of emotional patriotism. Think of the words as science, not as art. They are a report. You are speaking before a meeting of the Explorers' Club of the National Geographic Society. These people know all the risks of mountain climbing. They honour you by taking this for granted. If you rub their faces in it that is an insult to their hospitality. Tell them about the height of the mountain, the equipment you used, be specific about the surfaces and the time it took to scale it…

Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you're tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beauty."
simplicity  modesty  expression  via:charlieloyd  language  information  science  accuracy  precision  truth  art  writing  process  leonardcohen  poetry 
may 2012 by robertogreco
In Praise Of Vagueness | Wired Science | Wired.com
"Vagueness is hard to defend. To be vague is to be imprecise, unclear, ambiguous. In an age that worships precise information, vagueness feels like willfull laziness.

And yet, as William James pointed out, vagueness is not without virtues. Sometimes, precision is dangerous, a closed door keeping us from imagining new possibilities. Vagueness is that door flung wide open, a reminder that we don’t yet know the answer, that we might still get better, that we have yet to fail."
jonahlehrer  2011  uncertainty  vagueness  problemsolving  precision  goals  goal-setting  performance  motivation  divergentthinking 
july 2011 by robertogreco
How not to do it | The Compass Point
"So once we are over the shock horror of the faux fears that this means the end of literature, let’s remember the distinction between the leisurely novel and the haiku. Both have their place. And with the time saving from precise non-literary and meditative communication there is time for both.

Maybe Jane Austen who wrote of “… the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush” is the model. She certainly knew how to skewer  human absurdity with the tightly constructed sentence."

[Related: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/opinion/20selsberg.html ]
josieholford  writing  brevity  twitter  literature  humor  precision  classideas  communication  history  summary 
april 2011 by robertogreco
20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World
[via: http://caterina.net/wp-archives/39 ]

"1. Toska [Russian]: At deepest & most painful…sensation of great spiritual anguish, often w/out any specific cause. At less morbid levels…dull ache of soul, longing w/ nothing to long for…

2. Mamihlapinatapei [Yagan (indigenous to Tierra del Fuego]: wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start

3. Jayus

4. Iktsuarpok [Inuit]: “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

5. Litost 6. Kyoikumama 7. Tartle 8. Ilunga 9. Prozvonit 10. Cafuné 11. Schadenfreude

12. Torschlusspanik [German]: means “gate-closing panic,” but…refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages."

13. Wabi-Sabi 14. Dépaysement

15. Tingo [Pasquense]: “act of taking objects one desires from house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.”

16. Hyggelig 17. L'appel du vide 18. Ya'aburnee

19. Duende: “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.”

20. Saudade"
language  translation  culture  linguistics  words  hyggelig  duende  saudade  tingo  wabi-sabi  schadenfreude  Mamihlapinatapei  toska  litost  tartle  cafuné  portugués  portuguese  español  spanish  russian  german  french  danish  arabic  time  age  precision  art  glvo  scottish  japanese  czech  inuit  yagan  milankundera  vladmirnavakov 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) - The Nature of Education, Educational Development and the Rhythm of Growth, Universities and Professional Training [via: http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/cognition-without-control-adhd-gifted.html]
"3 stages...[1] Romance...rich educational experiences begin w/ immediate emotional involvement on part of learner. primary acquisition of knowledge involves freshness, enthusiasm & enjoyment of learning...curriculum ought to include appeals to spirit of inquiry w/ which all children are natively endowed...[2] precision concerns "exactness of formulation"...discipline in various languages & grammars of discrete subject matters, particularly science & technical subjects, including logic & spoken languages...most students & teachers are familiar in organized schools & curricula. In isolation...barren, cold, unfulfilling & useless in personal development of children. edu system excessively dominated by...precision reverses myth of Genesis: "In Garden of Eden Adam saw animals before he named them: in traditional system, children named animals before they saw them"...[3] Generalization...incorporation of romance & precision into some general context of serviceable ideas & classifications."
alfrednorthwhitehead  education  progressive  inquiry  stages  learning  tcsnmy  unschooling  schools  schooling  traditional  knowledge  enthusiasm  engagement  loveoflearning  precision  romance  generalization 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Exporting the past into the future, or, “The Possibility Jelly lives on the hypersurface of the present” « Magical Nihilism
"I’m still convinced that hereish-and-soonish/thereish-and-thenish are the grain we need to be exploring rather than just connecting a network of the pulsing ‘blue-dot’."
location  locative  location-based  geolocation  dopplr  serendipity  spacetime  precision  gps  design  space  socialsoftware  interaction  mattjones  fireeagle  place  time  latitude  herish  nowish  future  past  present  hereandnow 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: A memo to the sticklers
"Please understand that I have no problem at all with precision. Precision is great, it's essential to engineering and to the function of many elements of society. It's almost impossible to be on time without precision, and quality depends on it. But when we reward people for senseless precision (and punish them randomly for not guessing what we actually meant when we asked a question) then all we're doing is muddying the waters about what matters and what doesn't. Is there a difference between the Dow falling 107.4 points and it falling nearly 1%? If not, don't try to wow me with needless precision please.
business  marketing  precision  teaching  writing  communication  tickytack  sticklers  sethgodin 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Mamihlapinatapai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word"
"describes a look shared by 2 people with each wishing the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start...more succinctly "eye-contact implying 'after you...'... "ending up mutually at a loss as to what to do about e
via:kottke  language  words  definitions  precision  emotion  translation  linguistics  vocabulary  communication 
july 2008 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » Can We Dial The Hype Machine Down A Little Bit?
"the next educational paradigm? Really? Ustream ...choppy, low-res medium,...pushes unedited, free-associative thought onto the careless vodcaster...streamcasts circling for 13 minutes the same point one could make in a coupla body paragraphs."
ustream  video  hype  edubloggers  education  learning  precision  productivity  online  internet  web  efficiency  toolabuse  beacusewecan  danmeyer 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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