Visualization re-visited

Anchor for this item  posted Wednesday, August 02, 2006 at 12:59 pm MST

tecznotes 25JULY06 from's Michal Migurski.

"Digg kicked Labs live 20 minutes ago. It's slow and intermittent, because it's being pounded right now."
Geeez, I lose connectivity for a few days and look what I miss! is the point ... pretty spiffy. But more importantly: this demonstrates my point, that IT and cognitive ergonomics is being pressed into service to produce the substantive equivalent of Pringles. Oh, no, I'm not saying it's just noise ... there's definitely signal in there ... but by increasing the velocity in this way we really don't increase the light/heat ratio, however we might succeed in making the light more entertaining. And I'm not saying there's no value there ... when we make information more entertaining we might make it more interesting ... and that might have public value. Might. Maybe. Could. Should. Which is my point. I spent hundreds (thousands?) of hours watching my C=64 tracing the partial products that would eventually create a Mandelbrot or Julia set ... endless fascination. (Since the machine was so slow I decided to make the process visually interesting: for each spot on the graph I would map the momentary values of the iteration, rather than just the end count when that iteration broke the limits. The result looked sorta like the heart of a distorted comet with swirls and thickenings and whisps ... awe inspiring.) Yaa, that's my point: we become entralled by 3D colour graphics that re-present the flow of gastric juices or sewage. Signifying what? (Don't get sophistic. That was a question. I didn't write "Signifying nothing". I'm not a cynic.)


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