Soft knowledge anyone?


I am more convinced than ever that synaesthesia is the way into a whole range of affordances that we would previously have discarded, and that the age of the (rehabilitated) nerd is about to be followed by the age of the (rehabilitated) polymath, a la Csikszentmihalyi, including a large dose of creativity. It conjures up a JFK-type image of someone standing at the doors of the sanitarium, announcing to the patients and to the media that "We are all synaesthetes now".

And this must include not only left brain / right brain, but also top brain / bottom brain (see below). The world of knowledge, which was continuously boiled down (reduced) to a hard, unforgiving, skeletal alphanumeric 'text' is becoming soft (as in software). Or to put it another way, the post-McLuhan world offers a new dialectical synthesis that is neither hot nor cold, but soft, so it can be 'cool' as well as 'hot'.

This doesnt mean you throw out the black-&-white texts, but it does means you can add colour, sound, pics - things that your body and your cerebellum respond to, not only things that the top 10mm of your brain responds to. So the written text becomes a side-show, a back-channel, to interactivity - a kind of 'stock-repository' if you continue the cooking metaphor of 'reducing' sources and skeletons of knowledge.

The strategy in Nested Narratives of building it all around the rich audio text, and setting aside the transcripts makes more and more sense.

The skeleton as text, or the text as skeleton?

[ Also cross posted to http://roys-discourse-typologies.blogspot.com/search?q=soft+knowledge ]