The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #1231777
Posted By: Amos
22-Jul-04 - 08:05 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
9. Not all these steps are actual abstraction, but note that we have abstracted experience into memory ,and memory into words, The other steps have to do with symbolizing, which is similar but different.
The use of switches has added another and subtler layer of abstraction or at least derivation. Electronic mail, for example, represents the act of one person communicating to another, but it provides a far more abstract experience because there is no contact between the effort at source and the experience at receipt. It is more of a semaphore than a hello. Even in an old-fashioned hand-written letter you could see the personality of the individual revealed through visual cues in the formation of the characters, the sweep of the connectors or the spikes of the risers, etc. The new medium not only removes the visual cues, it also abstracts the experience of reconstructing the senderís view one more level by removing even the fingerprints and sweat one once knew were present in a hand-written letter. Given that e-mail does this, why does it seem so rapid and intimate and yet easy to understand when it does? Ah ñ thereís the mystery.