Reading Response to: “What Nothing Says”

Weinberger, David. 2008. Everything is miscellaneous: The power of the new digital disorder. New York: Holt. (Amazon)
His Twitter account:

A very easy to read chapter, unlike the previous, perhaps because it talks about the ones and zeros of our basic mentality.  We read signs and if they are not simple enough we don’t understand them, therefore those signs are useless…  The understanding of the signs comes from the implicit cues become explicit.  We can understand the signs and visuals before we learn how to read.

The implicit is made very explicit when we use mental paths to understand a communication, once we know the direction where to go and how to get there, we create a path, the more path is used the wider it becomes, the implicit becomes explicit.  When the text is written on the sign it is creating a path to that destination, which is ultimately going to become a symbol.  A good example with the tsunami sign.  Before I moved here, I lived in a middle of the continent and there was no tsunami signage, as there was no water to hide from, in case of a large earthquake.  The word “tsunami” although harder to get because you have to read the word first, it would be easier to understand.  Once we are able to associate the word with the symbol, we are done, the path from implicit to explicit is complete, although we probably had to rub a whole or two in trying to understand the communication.

as we map implicit in the chapter the author talks about the Friendster list and how he paints a virtual portrait of himself through explicitly describing his profile of implicit details about himself that he wants the people to know of himself.  “Making something explicit is often a social act with consequence.”

further we read on about maps and how they “lie on purpose in order to tell the truth.” This phrase made me stumble for a second, how do the maps lie?  well, I understand it that the maps don’t tell as exactly everything, they only give us a certain direction or a certain clue to something that is too dynamic.  And perhaps it would be too irrelevant to put everything on the map (for example, the location of all the automobiles in the city) We don’t need to know that, but, what we do wan to know is the congestion on which arterial and how can we get from point a to b without getting stuck in traffic.  Maps work, because what “gets included and excluded is driven by a purpose…”  “the line is between the implicit and explicit isn’t drawn by the intellect.  It is drawn by purpose, and… what matters to us.”

What matters to us is the implicit understanding before we can make any conclusions.  If Jefferson wouldn’t have studied the Koran he wouldn’t have concluded that the Islam is a decay and it lies between Christianity and peganism.  Isn’t Islam a religion, just like Christianity?  Even further, I don’t like the word paganism, because it is a Christian way of defining every other religion, so Jefferson’s quote shows its bias.

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