I keep planning on and/or intending to try writing posts for Iterations of Zero here on my memo function on my smartphone, as a way to work the writing into the passage of a usual day without having to haul out my little laptop. It’s little, but it’s not that little, and though no one might fault me for working on such a thing, I would feel bad enough myself. It’s one of the side-effects if having a tenuous self-esteem, I suppose.
Anyway, this is going to be my first attempt to do that. As such, I’m not going to hold myself to terrifically high standards with respect to content and quality, though I will try to avoid making it just absolute crap. Goodness knows there’s enough badness out there as it is. Not to say that it’s all bad. Far from it. Though attention spans for written matter might on average be diminishing, that’s by no means certain. The market for very long novels might be feared to shrink as people turn to other formats, it’s clear that people continue to have the patience for long stories in the form of series produced by people such as Amazon, Netflix, and the like. And I’m quite an avid user of YouTube for watching science and math videos, as well as British comedy panel shows.
Still, all those things are extremely data-intensive compared to written, symbolic language. A picture, especially a “moving” one, is surely equivalent to, and uses much more data than, a thousand typed words (if someone out there could do the literal, computer data numbers on that, I’d find it interesting). Also, videos of all kinds are, though irrefutably creative and effortful in the making, they are passive in their “use”. It’s been said that writing is more or less synonymous with the process of thinking, but this is nearly as true of reading…which is, in a sense, thinking another person’s thoughts. That’s pretty cool, when you think about it. It may be one way, but you can get telepathic messages and stories and ideas even from people who’ve been dead for thousands of years. That’s badass. We have no true videos of Marcus Aurelius, but we have the very fine words he wrote, translated into modern languages, centuries after the man himself died.
So I’m obviously a fan of the written and, of course, the read word. It can do so much. And after all, the programs that produce all the videos and other matter on the internet and Web are all written in words…words with precise and specific meanings, logically put together to create instructions that can tell an appropriate computer to do everything from run a YouTube video to beat any human alive at chess, and so many, many things beside. That, too, is extremely badass.
Oh, yeah, I also like the YouTube channel Computerphile. I regret not having learned and done more with computer programming. I taught myself basis when I was in junior high, and I learned Pascal as an undergrad, but I’ve not kept up with programming at all. It’s a shame, because I truly LOOOOOVE the logic and rigor of computer programming. I’m less rigorous about English, but I do tend toward pedantry just a bit.
With that latter point in mind, feel free to criticize any noted sloppiness in my writing. I aspire to, but would never likely claim, perfection.
I think that’s about enough for the moment for this first attempt. I don’t know how long this post is, in word count. I’m sure it feels much longer than it is. Certainly, my thumb joints think it’s long! But they should toughen up. Or perhaps they’ll develop some form of repetitive stress injury. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, huh?
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Feel free to leave comments. In fact, I both invite and encourage you to do so. And, hopefully, this will be the first of many such posts. Until then, be well!