Jan 17

Human Desires

The basic human desires for information and entertainment aren’t new of course. Looking at how these desires were satisfied long before computers, even before electricity, can give us a number of insights. I find it can even spark an idea or two that’s quite useful in my work.

Andrew Otwell’s musings on immersive experiences is a joy to read. Drawing on that art history background of his, he nicely illustrates the human desire for such experiential environments back when travel was more difficult and vacation slide shows rare.

I’m vaguely reminded of a session at ASIS&T 2002. I believe it was on the final day — perhaps even a last minute replacement for someone who didn’t show? I seem to have photos but no notes. The project involved giving regular sized photos to subjects and having them note the details. Then different subjects were shown the same photos but greatly enlarged. The details that stood out to them then were noted. Of course, as you would imagine, the details were different. I don’t remember his saying where they were going with all this, but for some reason we were all fascinated by it. Everybody likes big pictures, I guess.

a big picturea big picture of the researchers office

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