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Re: Internet

May 20, 1997 12:45 PM
by Wildefire

In a message dated 97-05-20 07:51:44 EDT, Thoa wrote:

> No imitation can take the place of a real thing.  Something that requires
>  the usage of all your senses is ultimately more rewarding than something
>  that is limiting your senses.  For example, as much as technology have
>  tried to imitate painting (and doing a darn good job!), it could never
>  replace the feel of a brush in the hand, the smell of paint, the texture,
>  and the usage of the rest of the body in painting.

Hmmm. I couldn't resist responding to this. ;-D I used to draw in charcoals
until I discovered the freeware program Fauve Matisse in Gray. Instead of
having a blending stub or charcoal in my hand, I have a trackball (which I
use as a mouse) and I no longer have newspapers spread out on the floor.
Learning the software and how to draw by using a trackball was, of course,
quite different from using traditional media, and pretty demanding. But, I
personally found that I'm freer to experiment because drawing using software
is a thousand times more forgiving (there's always Undo and it's far easier
to change something that was jet black to white, which is practically
impossible using real charcoals). So, while it is quite a different medium
(though I can produce drawings with the same "look"), I don't consider it a
"lesser" medium. However, I do feel that computers in general have provided
us with yet another way to express human creativity (in many different ways)
and perhaps allow the expression of what we sense inwardly to be outwardly
manifested more truly. (I'm sure all of us write more clearly and accurately
because it is so much easier to edit and refine what we say using word
processors, for example.)

> Same goes for meeting
>  people.  You get more information meeting a person face to face rather
>  in a virtual atmosphere.

But, I wonder how much of that information one gets in F2F encounters is
necessary information or even downright distracting information. This one of
the things that has intrigued me in virtual communication. (It apparently
intrigued AT&T or some other Internet provider as well because they made a
commercial on this very subject.) When reading something via email, on a
UseNet group, or in a chat room, you're judging the words on their own merits
without gender, race, whether they're picking their nose while talking to
you, or other superficialities entering into it (unless you read the email
header first and can determine the writer's gender from their name). IOW,
it's almost a physical plane analog of telepathic communication. In a way, I
think it's a part of human evolution to train us to interact without
superficialities intervening and for training us to work in groups to serve
humanity by first conceiving the plan of action in the realm of ideas before
concretizing it on the physical plane. (I'm just saying this as only one
method of working together, not that it is or should be the *only* method.)

There are drawbacks to virtual communication, I agree. It's a "cold" medium
and we've had to develop emoticons, etc. to compensate for the inability to
see the smile on the other's face, etc. (part of the information you referred
to, Thoa, exchanged in F2F meetings). However, I do believe that the
development of the Internet has a profound significance in terms of bringing
humanity together and in accustomizing us to viewing each other as more than
physical plane personalities, that it is an externalization of esoteric
events and processes.

I'm not really disagreeing with you, Thoa. You simply inspired me this
morning. ;-D


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