Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Paradigms and Eeyore: Why we can’t change; DARK is a privative

“It isn’t going to work,” Says Eeyore; the quintessential pessimist, implying that “we never did it that way before, so it can't be right to change it”.  

How about the things that we have always done this way that aren’t working, never will, and ensure, that we will have to deal with the same old problems forever?  I guess that if we’re lucky, we’ll get new intractable problems compounded on the unresolved problems that we just ignored because “We’ve always done it this way.”  Ah!   New!  That’s progress!  Then there's band-ades: computer code is super long and complicated because it just uses old stuff that works and relies on processor progress speed to "fix" the inefficiency.

No, that’s unaddressed issues.  Eventually, the problem of the "inefficient" buggy whip factory becomes moot…  But is that anyway to run a planet?

Nobody likes big surprises to what they expect to happen next.  Human nature (which I have so often said, "ain’t all it’s cracked up to be", defines our comfort level with new things.   Young people are better at this (they have way less invested in the status quo) than older people.  I’ve come to the conclusion that corporate management, and designers who have taken a long route to positions where they get to make decisions, are mentally old people; in other words; cowards, afraid of change.  

Having said that; I've seen plenty of new things designed by people (probably some young, some old) that illustrate that the designer never actually used the product.  They never got within ten feet or a half hour of actually using it (that's a different problem).  I've got a dust buster that is round so you can't set it down without it rolling off onto the floor.

About 190 years ago, some really clever people invented photography.  They captured images of the real world in a way that had never been done before; they made permanent accurate photographs.  The apparatus that they used required the exclusion of any and all stray light from impinging on their light sensitive “film”.  Therefore, everything was black because it absorbs stray light.  Black cameras, black clothes they wore and black tents they could duck under behind the lens in order to see and capture the image.  Black everything (for good reason) was associated with photography.

 Later we put the film inside a light impervious camera…   But the cameras stayed black.  Later, our photography moved into a movie camera and a VCR, something to show images (pictures/photos on a screen or your TV).  The "film" is digital, no light; all the equipment still stayed black. Then we got DVD players (guess what?) they were black.  Furthermore, the controls are black buttons.  The remote controls are black, even the letters on the keys are dark gray.   Have you ever seen a camouflaged flash light?  DUH.

Wow!  I guess we’re still terrified of stray light!  How often have you had to turn on a light to operate your DVD or the damn remote?    I’m sitting at a computer that shows images, pictures on it’s screen; the key board is black, the letters on the buttons are dark gray, requiring that I turn on a light to see them. 

Ever wondered why you bicycle seat is so awful?  Can't get the ketchup out of the bottle?

By the way, "privative" is the absence of something, like a hole in the ground or a vacuum, or debt.  I guess stupidity is one too.

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