Rendered Fat Content


Mary Cassatt: Under the Lamp (c. 1882)

" … this series remains UnderConstruction and strenuously avoiding completion."

This series remains under construction. It might appear that I'm getting closer to finishing this series of stories with each installment, but each piece might be better considered preliminary. I've not yet decided where this series will end, for instance, so each fresh chapter probes in the hope of discovering where and how to finish it. Each story might stand on its own, but I intend that they be connected. I know my fifth-grade teacher also insisted that I should outline a work before beginning to avoid precisely this unsettling eventuality, except that I was never able to successfully know all I would have needed to know to outline anything before I started writing. The act of writing finds the way, not the other way around.

Consequently, I'm challenged to learn many things on the fly.
I'm trying to understand the map I created yesterday, the one I suggested I might have created upside down and backward. I'm more convinced this morning that I really didn't know what I was doing yesterday morning, which should be no news to anybody, especially me. This morning, I'm more aware of what I didn't know, though I might be no more aware of what I do not know this morning. I could take the tiny shred I did learn from yesterday's exercise and proceed as if I'd managed to learn enough from my initial misconception, but I'm wary.

I've been trying to watch tutorials that are supposed to outline how to use features apparently designed to be just as hostile as possible to any user. They employ conventions that must have seemed like brilliant inventions to somebody in the past. There apparently never were any standard conventions, just ones that challenge a new user's attention, the explanations sure to induce more coma than understanding. I extinguish most details as soon as the explanation fades into the following exposition. I catch gists but cannot remember where they'd hidden the pull-down menu controlling logging into the function. I watch the explanation ten times before I catch on to what I presume was supposed to have been immediately apparent.

Almost every technological innovation was designed by someone who seems incapable of perceiving how any naive user might interact with it. Consequently, they employ the rough equivalent of inside jokes, presumptions that might hold in a population similar to the designer's but could never work for those without a lifelong full emersion orientation. They might employ standard notations for abbreviations, but the notations are only standard for those drenched in advanced mathematics, for instance. The results prove endlessly disappointing. Application users quickly split into instant experts and hopeless losers. I gravitate toward the hopeless loser end of each scale. I've been using this blog software for eighteen years, and tech support still considers me a naive user, although I've probably used it more than any other user. They ask me questions to which I cannot respond. I ask questions they cannot understand. This has always been how technology works.

I might have something more substantial about my Fambly by tomorrow. For now, this series remains UnderConstruction and strenuously avoiding completion.

©2024 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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