This last month I found myself busy chasing “all things digital”, and having forgotten that not all things are meant to be digital. Cyberspaces, as beautiful as their potential is, are only but a layer in a larger tapestry. A layer – rich, intriguing and increasingly machine-readable, a fragment (and a fractal) of our live’s patchwork, yet not meant to be the totality of our communications and interactions.
These thoughts came out in the beginning of February, when I failed badly during the first episode of the video series I have created: The Intertextual Animal [Video Series].
It was on February 8th that I tried really hard, for more than 2 hours to get an encoder working within Youtube and finally, 30 minutes after the event was supposed to start, I was saved by Scott Scowcroft and the always amazing David Amerland – they both stood strong in the face of a digital disorder. A disorder which, on a second thought I realized was not digital. It was just not the order I have been used to. After the announcement of the Google+ shutting down it looked like nothing is the same for me. Everything felt scattered and even dismembered. Youtube included.
On the bright side, this feeling of disconnect helped me learn (and relearned) so much. It helped me realize the value of connections on a human level. At the end of the day all that appeared to be my “Beautiful mistake”, an article Gina Fiedel shared with me in the comments under my attempts to get things right.
That experiences, I got some takeaways. Things that I am sure you don’t need me to tell you, but allow me to share the list in case we someday need a reminder:
- Technology is not about technology
- Human connection is one of those beautiful things that the Web can amplify
- Digital “really comes down to what you are comfortable with as an individual and a business and ultimately a brand” [that last one I got from David Amerland’s interview ]
With these in mind, the broken narrative I as experiencing on the Web, straddling tons of media, tech and paradigms began to reassemble again, as if it had never been broken. It was then that the title of this month’s newsletter changed from Digital Dire Straits into Per aspera ad astra (“through digital hardships to the stars”)
Speaking of the digital, the stars and the Web, I talked to Ruben Verborgh this month about Web Layer of Things, Technology and Thoughts and a rising Youtube star. In the day that I have saved for wrapping up my first newsletter (well, second technically speaking, as in March 2015 I also wrote one), I found out that I a semantic chatbot was born! Not only that but a special text, written back in the 90s, surfaced in my stream. All these brought back the enthusiasm and the thrill by this amazing socio-technical phenomenon that we all live and write in – the Web. The text is by Tim Berners-Lee and you can indulge in it here.
And before I leave you to yet another “digital” task, I don’t want to miss sharing this wonderful project: Stitching worlds together with the super cool, vintage browser, the very first WorldWideWeb browser “an exercise in global information availability”.
The Embroidered Computer (2018), Ebru Kurbak, Irene Posch (Photograph by Elodie Grethen ©Stitching Worlds) Aren’t these amazing?
With them, I am saying thanks for letting me in your inbox! I will visit again next month. By then, stay cool, connected and true.
Especially with my upcoming interview with Aaron Bradley which I have planned for March 8th. It will be about semantic connections, poststructuralism and 42! As you might have already guessed I will not be doing it live. I will be recording it and then uploading on my Youtube channel. Until I devise a not so “asper” way to digital stars.