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robertogreco : zefrank   10

Hypertext for all | A Working Library
"These rococo days of the web have been sadly lost to capricious corporate owners, and newer platforms almost seem to have recoiled from them. (I could write a whole other letter about the neutered minimalism common on a lot of platforms today, but I digress.) But I think that history is telling: in that, given a canvas on which to play, many people opted to express themselves with color and image, often spending much more effort there then on the words, and often in surprising ways.

So, I’ll ask again, is hypertext just the text? Are images, styles, video, fonts, and the like always subsidiary?

There’s an old saw about the web that says that when the web democratized publishing, everyone should have become a writer, but instead most of us became consumers. (Nevermind that email and SMS have most people writing more in a day than their Victorian ancestors wrote in their entire lives.) There’s more than a hint of disparagement and elitism in that saying: everyone should have taken up writing, which is obviously superior to reading or watching or (gasp!) consuming. And I worry that that same sentiment creeps in when we argue the supremacy of text over image on the web. Writing is an important and valuable skill, but so are many other things.

Here’s another way to think about it: over the past year, video after video has emerged showing cops shooting unarmed black people. Those videos have been shared on the web, and while they haven’t yet led to anything resembling justice for the victims, they have contributed to profound discussions around race, militarized police forces, guns, and more. They are not sufficient to bring about desperately needed social change—and there’s an argument to be made about whether they are at risk of becoming mere spectacle—but I think it would be hard to deny that they are an important element in the movement, that they have had a major impact.

You can describe what happens in each of those videos in words, but those words will never equal watching them. The words “Tamir Rice was shot two seconds after the police car pulled up” are wrenching, but not nearly as much as watching him fall to the ground as the car continues to roll. The words “Tamir Rice was twelve years old” are not as heart stoppable as seeing a photo of him. I am saying this as someone who believes in words, who spends more time with words than with pictures, who is more often moved by words than by images. But sometimes the power of an image dwarfs that of words. Even I have to admit that.

I worry that the push to keep the web defined to words, while pragmatic and reasonable in many ways, may also be used to decide what stories get told, and what stories are heard. Many more people are using their tiny computers to record video and audio and take pictures than are writing; as much as I may love writing, and as much as I know that transmitting writing via cables and air is a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than transmitting video, I’m not sure I can really stand here and say that the writing is—or should be—primary.

One of the design principles of the web is to pave the cowpaths: it looks to me like there are some new paths opening up, ones we may not have expected, ones that aren’t going to make many of our jobs easier. Maybe instead of putting up signs saying there are better paths elsewhere, it’s time we see where these ones take us."

[Noted here: https://twitter.com/rogre/status/683849479385001984 ]
mandybrown  2016  web  hypertext  maciejceglowski  geocities  myspace  webrococo  waybackmachine  pinboard  javascript  webdesign  webdev  images  multiliteracies  video  flash  zefrank  design  writing  text  words  language  listening  elitism  typography  tools  onlinetoolkit  democacy  activism  maciejcegłowski 
january 2016 by robertogreco
The Paper Town Academy: John Green at TEDxIndianapolis - YouTube
"John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green's books have been published in more than a dozen languages.

In 2007, Green and his brother Hank ceased textual communication and began to talk primarily through videoblogs posted to YouTube. The videos spawned a community of people called nerdfighters who fight for intellectualism and to decrease the overall worldwide level of suck. (Decreasing suck takes many forms: Nerdfighters have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight poverty in the developing world; they also planted thousands of trees around the world in May of 2010 to celebrate Hank's 30th birthday.)

Although they have long since resumed textual communication, the brothers continue to upload two videos a week to their YouTube channel, Vlogbrothers. Their videos have been viewed more than 200 million times, and their channel is one of the most popular in the history of online video. Green has more than 1.2 million followers.

Big Idea: "The Paper Town Phenomenon"

When we think of education as a school-based phenomenon, we do a disservice both to students and to the rest of us. Green argues that we should imagine education as a kind of cartography, and discuss how online communities are helping to build learning maps that will encourage students. From YouTube to tumblr to the Khan Academy, the line between education and entertainment is blurring, and as these tools reach more and more people. The youth of today are quietly becoming the best-informed, most intellectually engaged generation in world history."
via:lukeneff  johngreen  papertowns  trapstreets  learning  zefrank  youtube  curiosty  education  opportunitycost  howwelearn  communities  online  web  internet  community  conversation  passion  enthusiasm  schools  schooliness  maps  mapping  cartography  exploration  learningspaces  vlogbrothers  2012  lifelonglearning  unschooling  deschooling  learningnetworks  nerdfighters 
february 2014 by robertogreco
tuesday :: 7-11-06 – The Show :: Replay [A favorite episode revisited]
"I think the genesis of the concept of brain crack came from the synthesis of a couple of things that I was thinking about for a while. There is a wonderful excerpt from Anne Lamott’s “Bird By Bird” which warns against fantasizing about accolades that might come with writing…

For about a year, from 2002 to 2003, I was in the practice of realeasing a new project every day. I began to notice that there was a list of projects that began to build up that I never executed, but considered my favorite nonetheless. When I would actually start to tackle these projects a serious disappointment would set in as the work came out rough and without the sparkle that it had in my mind. I wound up overworking them…trying to save them when they shouldn’t have been saved, all because I had given them so much value in their soft & nebulous idea stage."

[Original post: http://www.zefrank.com/theshow/archives/2006/07/071106.html ]
zefrank  ideas  procrastination  excuses  execution  doing  making  creativity  sharing  trying  braincrack  via:robinsloan  classideas  perfectionism  failure 
july 2011 by robertogreco
digital natives (draft) (the explicit)
"I can understand why the thought of spending four years at a university could raise a native eyebrow. universities are emblematic of a different, much older understanding of power. they are meant to be an oasis of access to knowledge and influence in contrast to a world where access is withheld. they provide libraries full of information, and allow students to rub elbows with professors who don't return emails. but as access to knowledge and influence flattens, universities seem less like oases and more like training camps."
zefrank  technology  digitalnatives  germany  society  culture  education  universities  colleges  experience  power  laws  youth 
november 2009 by robertogreco
the show: 07-14-06 - zefrank
"Over the last 20 years...cost of tools related to the authorship of media has plummeted. For very little money, anyone can create & distribute things like newsletters, videos, or bad-ass tunes about "ugly." Suddenly consumers are learning the language of these authorship tools. The fact that tons of people know names of fonts like Helvetica is weird! & when people start learning something new, they perceive the world around them differently. If you start learning how to play the guitar, suddenly the guitar stands out in all the music you listen to...throughout most of the history of movies, the audience didn't really understand what a craft editing was. Now, as more & more people have access to things like iMovie, they begin to understand the manipulative power of editing. Watching reality TV almost becomes like a game as you try to second-guess how the editor is trying to manipulate you."

[via: http://schulzeandwebb.com/2009/scope/slides/?p=41 ]

[Updating with lengthier quote and with a new link to the video since Mandy Brown referenced it here: http://aworkinglibrary.com/writing/hypertext-for-all/

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xSW_NlrVBY

"For a very long time, taste and artistic training have been things that only a small number of people have been able to develop. Only a few people could afford to participate in the production of many types of media. Raw materials like pigments were expensive; same with tools like printing presses; even as late as 1963 it cost Charles Peignot over $600,000 to create and cut a single font family.

The small number of people who had access to these tools and resources created rules about what was good taste or bad taste. These designers started giving each other awards and the rules they followed became even more specific. All sorts of stuff about grids and sizes and color combinations—lots of stuff that the consumers of this media never consciously noticed. Over the last 20 years, however, the cost of tools related to the authorship of media has plummeted. For very little money, anyone can create and distribute things like newsletters, or videos, or bad-ass tunes about “ugly.”

Suddenly consumers are learning the language of these authorship tools. The fact that tons of people know names of fonts like Helvetica is weird! And when people start learning something new, they perceive the world around them differently. If you start learning how to play the guitar, suddenly the guitar stands out in all the music you listen to. For example, throughout most of the history of movies, the audience didn't really understand what a craft editing was. Now, as more and more people have access to things like iMovie, they begin to understand the manipulative power of editing. Watching reality TV almost becomes like a game as you try to second-guess how the editor is trying to manipulate you.

As people start learning and experimenting with these languages of authorship, they don't necessarily follow the rules of good taste. This scares the shit out of designers.
In Myspace, millions of people have opted out of pre-made templates that “work” in exchange for ugly. Ugly when compared to pre-existing notions of taste is a bummer. But ugly as a representation of mass experimentation and learning is pretty damn cool.

Regardless of what you might think, the actions you take to make your Myspace page ugly are pretty sophisticated. Over time as consumer-created media engulfs the other kind, it's possible that completely new norms develop around the notions of talent and artistic ability." ]
zefrank  design  learning  participatory  authorship  editing  understanding  culture  society  change  democratization  music  video  film  myspace  graphics  fonts  ugly  medialiteracy  tools  webrococo 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Scope (Schulze & Webb) [Slide 43 is his "100 hours challenge"]
"Design, culture, scale, space, superpowers. Key concepts: design and contributing to culture; ourselves as individuals and the big picture; taking action." From slide 43: "put aside 100 hours over this summer...Now for the next two days, go to talks and start conversations with people you don’t know, and choose what to spend your 100 hours on. I guarantee that everyone in this room can produce something or has some special skill, and maybe they’re not even aware of it. Ask them what theirs is, find out, because you’ll get ideas about what to learn yourself, and decide what to spend your 100 hours on. Do that for me. Because when you contribute, when you participate in culture, when you’re no longer solving problems, but inventing culture itself, that is when life starts getting interesting."

[video here: http://video.reboot.dk/video/486775/matt-webb-scope ]
mattwebb  design  culture  glvo  cv  schulzeandwebb  superpowers  imagination  creativity  tcsnmy  make  do  diy  definitions  books  wholeearthcatalog  stewartbrand  brunomunari  macro  bigpicture  generalists  risk  macroscope  ideas  thinking  designthinking  jackschulze  change  gamechanging  invention  futurism  reinvention  perspective  johnthackara  iterative  victorpapanek  informallearning  learning  zefrank  cognitivesurplus  plp  berg  berglondon 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Ze Frank on creativity and “morphological synthesis” | 43 Folders
"I make something every day — I think that’s really the only habit that I’ve fallen into over the last few years. No matter what, I make something….That aside, there’s this thing I try to do that I call “brain surfing.” Do you know the techn
zefrank  creative  creativity  ideas  inspiration  productivity  howwework  interviews  imagination  art 
may 2007 by robertogreco

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