Interesting tensions I found so far:

  • Bret's idea is that we use the same representations of thought both for communicating with others, and for thinking with internally (tensions with Workshop vs Library), so by improving ways to communicate with others we'll improve our thinking
    • humans can interact with things on multiple levels:
      • symbolic (mathematic equations)
      • visual (data visualizations, Solving Things Visually)
      • tangible (working with physical things, direct manipulation)
      • spatial (moving in a space)
        • relevant to this is what Alan Kay said in "Doing With Images Makes Symbols" - Einstein used to "feel" math in his hands, and would move around the room when thinking (spatially) - most of the mathematicians and physicist do this - use tangible/spatial "modes" for thinking, and symbolic representation for communicating
    • we can (and should) use Dynamic Medium to improve on each of these!
  • tensions with computationalism
    • connectionism models at "low-level" (neurons), where computationalism models at "symbolic level"
    • connectionism focused on learning from stimuli (back-propagation in neural networks), where computationalism focuses on learning as "elaborating possibilities through symbolic processing"
  • McLuhan says that all media are extensions of human faculty, and that every extensions also heavily modifies or amputates some other extension

text messaging extends the voice, but amputates our ability to write a letter


  • lower level controls muscle tensions
Szymon Kaliski © 2021