|Reggie James||Dec 23, 2020|
Yesterday I had this tweet that I was decently proud of the quality of thought.
Then, what came over me was this visualization of the classroom as an analogous interface. How we could think of the framing of a blackboard/whiteboard as screen. The teacher moving within the screen to create a sense of legibility for the students.
The students as keys, raising their hand or double clicking in order to address the teacher in frame. Have it change directions, work it back.
Sherry Turkle states in “Life On Screen” that we take things at interface truth.
I think about this constantly as so much of our interactions and information distribution is mediated by the screen, audio flows in our ears, and we look to push into new form factors.
Since I was a kid, I had issues with authority and respect. My parents spanked a good amount out of me, at least as it pertained to how I addressed them. Parents are a sort of interface as well… the ability to interact with historical and genetic code past. How it flows through everything always and forever. Who’s really ever scolding you…. in a way it’s your future self.
Our teachers, an interface into greater sources of information. Instructed us day-in-day-out. They’re also a daily extension of the state. Executing programming.
Junior year of high school, our AP US History teacher gave us the book “Lies My Teacher Told Me”. The interface in that moment broke. He unraveled the myth, and handed the codes in our lap. The book has plenty of faults of its own. But at least, those that were the historical distributors of truth and thought, up to that moment, said it wasn’t all as clean as we served it to you.
Over the weekend, I was musing with friends about how we believe everything that we hear. If I get into a little spat with my girlfriend. We might say something we both know isn’t true, but it hurts and internalizes all the same.
Then we have to do the extra cognitive work to undo that careless mistake of an argument. In order to remove the brain worm, we have to perform full surgery.
This presents a wild conundrum for platforms like Clubhouse. Where anyone can get on stage and say some craziness in the middle of a wide ranging conversation. How do you “moderate” that. The brain worm has been spoken. Manifesting across an audience, reaching new conversations… a virus. SNOWCRASH!
It’s also why I think fact checking is too much of a rearview mirror exercise. If I’ve consumed a tweet without the tag, and then I come back and see the tag. I don’t think that effects as much as we’d like it to. Sure, we are catching something midflow… but half the crowd is already sick.
To bring this back to Zoom school being more representative of school interface than we’d like.
Not only do we take things at interface truth, but I’d add that interface is less distorting than we think it is. The interfaces that stay, tend to simply reflect. Maybe it’s because, by making machine we must then interact machine like with it (feel like this is a James P. Carse worm that I’ve fully internalized now).
What happens when two people are behaving machine like… what becomes our goals?
Well, it’s to see ourselves a bit clearer. Interface is reflection, it’s our own ability and control, whenever we don’t like what we are seeing… perhaps we have to change the interface. Change the extension of us we are interacting within, in this heightened sense space.
We aren’t happy with Zoom school, probably because we aren’t happy with how school school is operating…
I would assume, it’s time to change both. And we can thank Zoom for showing us.
I don’t do edits really, so excuse typos and things that don’t make sense.
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