May. 12th, 2016

lonespark: (Default)
aka "Insert Darmok reference here."

I am thrilled to bits with the Tumblrization of our wider culture in some respects. Specifically, meme use, which of course is way older than Tumblr. (Lol DW doesn't think Tumblr is a word...)

Older than written language.

Maybe, in some respects, more basic than spoken language for humans? Or not; I don't know much about linguistics and brains... Paleopsycholinguistics? (Also apparently not a word? Just you wait...)

Anyhow, I love memes and communicating thru movie quotes, song lyrics, etc., because it helps a ton with connotations. Text leaves a lot out, tho we can put it back in with emojis, which also go along with what I'm cheering for...

Phone is the worst because there's no body language. Some would say phone is better than text because you can get stuff from tone, but I guess that doesn't work for me? Either that or any phone pluses are overridden by the horrible experience of using the damn thing and trying not to combust from anxiety.

Even in person body language is hella difficult. I know I don't send the signals right. I am one of the many people in my wider network of friends and family and erstwhile classmates and colleagues who is delighted to talk without making eye contact. Sometimes it works to do it while playing a game, perusing the internet, driving, etc., but usually something pulls the focus too hard and something important loses out. And I have a hard time receiving signals that are in any way subtle or open to interpretation.

Is body language ever not subject to interpretation? I'm thinking not, except in very stylized interactions. Like, a puppet show. Puppetry boils body language down to some broad basics, but that doesn't help too much for interaction with people. It might help with robots? IDK...

But anyway memes. You can communicate a complex set of circumstances and feelings without having to try to make words for all or most of it. The words are much more signifiers than pieces of some exact thing you're communicating. I love it so! And I love advertising and all kinds of art and graphics where we combine text with other, more rich and varied ways of communicating.

I'm not saying text isn't a rich and varied method of communication. It totally is and I love it. Text is my jam and the early internet was therefore my favorite playground, to the extent that I could interact with other people who thought similarly and had similar relationships to text. Most people don't. And they shouldn't have to.

I guess that's part of what I love about the new, image-rich internet: It lets me have complex and meaningful communication with people who don't relate to text the same way I do. Including many brilliant people, like my son, who for whatever reasons are not comfortable with text as a medium. Some interaction between natural inclination and unfortunate circumstances around being trained to read and write explains it, I guess.

And image literacy is vital. There is so much that can never be expressed using words at all, and so much more where an image or a graphical representation of the data is worth reams of sentences in 12 pt. font. This is crucially important for STEM subjects. And the arts. And religion. That just about covers all of human experience, doesn't it? Everything relates to design, to communicating in 3 and 4 dimensions...

Politics OMG. Expert use of memes/imagery/music/pop culture can make or break a campaign for any candidate or issue. Many successful assholes for good or evil have had the best of grips on this. Kennedy and Johnson, and Nixon Strikes Back, and Reagan and Clinton and Obama...

I can't do video, and that separates me from a lot of the internet-using young whippersnappers these days, as it also separated me from the TV-consuming mainstream culture I grew up in... And I can't do videogame type stuff well. It's a deficit. Those spatial skills are distinct and learnable, tho of course we vary widely in how adept we are, as well as how able.

I think part of why I hate phone is related to similar issues about processing speed and concentrating on a certain sense without being distracted by information received thru others, or from my bored brain itself.

(Random point, putting "Tumblr" in my search bar got me this post, about Starfleet officer Vilix'pran which is always worth revisiting: )


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