zaterdag 21 juni 2008

Lost in translation

The web is discriminating. The victim is: ME! In all seriousness, I have noticed the last couple of weeks that somehow I do not translate well on to the www. Whether it is via this blog, comments elsewhere or skype talks, important elements of the person I am are getting lost when I digitze myself.

2.0 is funny that way. In many ways it strips people down to the core of their being; their inner personality. And that's where I run into trouble. Not that I don't have one ( I actually think quite highly of myself, hah), but it's just words (in my case) that are used to convey who I am and what I believe. The physicality of human interaction is left out.

I feel I am being robbed of instinct. The web stripped me of the ambiguity I thrive on in real life. A certain look you give, a pause you take while speaking, how you walk in to a room, the fact that I am 6"7 or left handed. Gone.

Recently I played some poker online. And I went down in flames. It was clinical, without context and safe. Yet when seated at a table in a real life cash game, I hold my own, being able to fully explore the one element 2.0 is advocating, but I am missing; the human element. Does this expose me lacking fundamental math skills required for this game or exposes me to be a good soft skill player? How do you make such a judgement about a person? Do we start keeping tabs about online and off line feelings towards one another?

Would a nice template, some more pics, tweets, tags, clouds and streams enhance me on the web? Perhaps.. and yes the offline versions of tags and pics etc, are clothing and haircuts, make up etc, so If I do not translate well I should use the tools at hand better (get a make over of sorts), but there is still the loss of that ambiguity of flesh.

So what's my point: Will the web, like a great poetry translation, ever capture the nunaces of the meaning of people and convey them to full effect, or will it stay what it is now: a part of the picture that is editable to make you more or less than you really are. And if it stays this ways, but keeps gaining importance, where do I, we go from here?

4 opmerkingen:

Charles Frith zei

I could respond for ages and no doubt bore you to tears on this post but there is one line I've been using which is that real life is the richest media. Other than that the other point is the end conclusion of 2.0 is something akin to ESP. I'd better write a post on it than a half baked comment. Its well down the line/future but in principle I think humans are less adapted to sophisticated and objective communications then we think we are. Naturally we think otherwise. Even the greats. But most of it is just verbal acrobatics.

Niko H (nom du guerre) zei

Charles, please do write that post, because it can only help my thinking.

As for the ESP, I can see that happening, but my main concern is now. the current lack in proper tools, makes me feel quite analog when going online.

Plus the fact I linkthink (using links to make a point) and linkwrite when online, does not sit well with me.

Can't put my finger on why, but it makes me feel like a fraud when communicating. research wise the web is great and a tremendous help.
Can't wait for this data driven phase to stop being the main use of the net.

Rupert James zei

Great post, Niko. Very honest and authentic stuff.

The lack of distractions, complete focus on meaning and real-time pace make instant messaging (of all the digital platforms available) a platform I value. In fact some of the most fruitful creative conversations I've had, I’ve had on Skype/iChat/Messenger.

I’m loving this blogging lark too, but there is always the fear (as Charles mentioned) of slipping into wordy, gratuitous abstractions and other convoluted obfuscation (when trying to 'express' yourself) with all the time in the world to post/reply and when that’s all the world get to see. But I guess that's a problem of self and not of technology.

niko zei

Rupert, thanks for stopping by.

Interesting point of view.

will have to think about that and come back to you ;)

the point you make about abstractions is a great one, but I don not think that that is a problem of self. you adapt to the thecnology at hand, so datat driven, word focused tools is what we have, so that's the results we get.

That is why I sometimes feel, it's better for me to go back off line and wait till something better comes along. But seeing as I am loving this blogging thing myself, perhaps not.