Last week we had a very rare critically misrepresentative review of our “Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross” app. In the article “How Interactive Ebooks Engage Readers and Enhance Learning”, the writer attempts to characterize “The Pedlar Lady” as not offering “any real value through interactivity”. Not only does this statement ignore the substantive interactivity in our apps, the authour chooses to ignore any educational merits in the app. (Just one example: as in all of our apps, with “The Pedlar Lady” app, a user can record their own voice to be heard alongside the provided music, sound effects and animation.) Needless to say, I find this kind of unsubstantiated journalistic “criticism” frustrating. But we can’t win – if we let the misrepresentation slip by unchallenged, it may compromise our critical presence in the digi-sphere. Yet if we respond to point out the error, we can come across as defensive and thin skinned.
With so many of the available “interactive ebooks”, the interactivity jarringly interrupts the user’s immersion in the story. Sometimes less is more. Just because one can add a gratuitous interactive moment in an app, doesn’t mean one should. We are not interested in prioritizing mindless interactive stimuli over the potential immersive qualities of the exciting new kind of storytelling experience offered by devices like the iPad. From our point of view, it’s about intention, about having the technology serve the narrative opportunity, not overwhelm it. It’s about balance, selection, editing. It’s about substance and presence. It’s about presenting a rich and resonant experience for those who give it time. … Read More »
As lovers and advocates of well considered words, traditional culture, and playful slow media, we asked ourselves how should we engage with Twitter which, on the face of it, given its impulse-driven fast moving nature, seemingly stands in contrast to much of what we aspire to. At the same time as these ruminations, we rediscovered this wise twitter guide initially published in an edition of Tricycle last year by @TinyBuddha.
This much I know is true:
What a blog is NOT
waves, at South Beach Co. Wicklow
a stiff creak in the hip
a velvet curtained stage
a dog chasing a passing cyclist
dirt under my finger nails after transplanting raspberry canes
salty sea wind on my face
the half hour ahead of us
What a blog IS
the world as it looks through a series of broken mirrors
a dark undulating plain, in which certain moments are spotlit
part of the story I put down, that cannot fade
a digital loom, for words and images
a way to describe loose ends of thought
like a sound, just for the sake of it, in a public stairwell
a white sky full of zeros and ones
holding a pose, in text
‘ memory’s furious land ‘
What a blog COULD be
up for consideration
a new way to think about your dog
bewildering cubist constructions and biomorphic shapes
a way to shake up internal composure
something to read at an airport
We often lose the power of the moment, because we are so rarely in it. Yet the most meaningful and rewarding aspects of living require time, and presence.
The invention of the printing press in the middle of the 15th century gave rise to a period of
information proliferation which scholars of the time bemoaned for a variety of reasons.
They lamented that, as mass production increased, the quality of printed texts diminished, but they also expressed concern that the supply of new information was ‘distracting and difficult to manage’.
Does this sound a little like 15th century information overload?
Fast forward to the age of the internet, to a world where, thanks to rapid advances in computer technology, distracting and unmanageable information overload has become a blessed curse, and is now a way of life for most of us.
I feel a keen sense of metaphysical vertigo when I try to imagine the world in another fifty or even twenty five years as information and access to information continues to grow exponentially. This is not unlike the feeling I get when I gaze up at the sky on a cloudless night – a visceral sense of seductive and paralyzing wonder as I feebly attempt to measure the significance of my life against the profusion of possibilities inherent in an ever expanding universe. Looking out from my half lit 21st century cave, the milky way of information and social networking looks and feels similarly overwhelming.
The challenge for me, fortunate enough to have been born into this fascinating and frustrating time, is to learn to live in ways that are outwardly simple, but inwardly rich.
As I aspire to live more mindfully in a complex world driven increasingly by technology,
what I am learning from the age of information overload is that breadth of knowledge is not the same as depth of knowledge, and that being good at multitasking is not the same as being able to engage meaningfully with complexity.
Although I can be as inclined as the next curious person to enjoy falling down the virtual rabbit hole of the internet, I am also learning that setting priorities and simplifying my life helps a great deal when it comes to determining what constitutes personal, meaningful engagement.