preludes & summaries

  • a discussion of preludes and summaries
  • complexity often more easily understood in reverse
  • importance of metaphor, problems with binary 'is/not'
  • using 'is' to mean a metaphor → rewording the 'is' of perception
  • technology is Promethian → invokation of Epimetheus, brother of prometheus (hindsight, afterthought, foolishness)


  • computers are performance machines built out of metaphor
  • metaphors direct our creative practice, (eg. git tree, file system, copy/paste, pipes)
  • document or application centric views may be problematic. suggestions; more metaphors, assemblages, components, autopoetic pseudo-objects
  • we can see the tools we use as extensions of ourselves (literally) as collaborators, contrarians, etc.
  • complexity emerges out of interaction and assumptions
  • importance of looking backward as well as forward
  • from mute systems → conversational systems
  • find ways to make context more apparent. material, ephemera and objects.

3 stage exercise

  1. image selection. “what tool is this?” and “how can this tool work with other tools?”
  2. groups ~5. explain each tool in circle, explain how they can work together, single shared metaphor
  3. group of representatives of each group. repeat with shared metaphors and feedback/iteration questions




  • embodied tools
  • tools as mechanisms for thought > process
  • tools as collaborator rather than instrument
  • reflexive use of tools
  • requirement / necesity for 'friction'


  • design as problems of collision (rather than problem solving or 'conflict resolution)
  • collision of source materials → versioning & conflict resolution
  • collisoin “resolve” or “make interesting”
  • heterogeneous systems → unix pipes metaphor
  • role of metaphor adoption from print → computing, computing → computing, etc
  • 'forgotten' or mistranslated metaphors
  • representation of 'the page' in software → where else
  • ideology vs. pragmatism → FLOSS positioning/purity/debate

questions / problems

  • context → how to make more apparent/accesible
  • metaphors in use - print/design → computing / unix → design
  • what new mataphors? 'forgotten' or lost in translation?
  • tangible systems → (qfwfq/metaphor)
  • connecting incompatible or partially compatible parts → friction
  • toola as collaborators → conversational interaction models
  • how to 'sketch' tools → prototyping / accupuncture / pollination
  • document formats → programmes → VB Macro virus in Word → 'generative' documents


  • e.g. pipes → API → ORB
  • historic examples / other paths → e.g. symbolics concordia, metafont, etc

refs and misdirdections

  • lgru_notes.txt
  • Last modified: 2012-02-25 14:17
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