Pictures Under Glass

And that’s great! I think hands are fantastic!

Hands do two things. They are two utterly amazing things, and you rely on them every moment of the day, and most Future Interaction Concepts completely ignore both of them.

Hands feel things, and hands manipulate things.

The link to Bret Victor’s post was sent around by Roseanne Somerson and forwarded to me by Frank Wilson.   (Initially I collapsed all of that, unfortunately, and didn’t get the attribution correct.)   Bret’s “rant on interaction design” says most technology ignores the hands, limiting us to interacting with “pictures under glass”. We “dump the tactile for the visual.”

3 thoughts on “Pictures Under Glass

  1. Amen. Couldn’t agree with you more (especially when I was at Adobe, managing the engineering team responsible for making PDF files accessible to blind people, and couldn’t get a research effort started).And I bet Dr. Frank Wilson, author of “The Hand”, would agree, too.  Check out his excellent web site: http://www.handoc.com/Mike WirthSent from my iPhone

  2. Rosanne’s recognition of the power of the “pictures under glass” problem has brought a number of other people into this discussion. For example, Ed Tenner at Princeton: he wrote Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (Knopf, 1997) and Our Own Devices: The Past and Future of Body Technology (Knopf, 2003). He has just published his blog on this subject in the Washington Post: http://wapo.st/rVhvXU. Another old friend, Kevin Borg at George Mason University is a history professor who has documented the impact of automation (instrumentation and control) on car repair: Auto Mechanics: Technology and Expertise in Twentieth-Century America (Johns Hopkins Press, 2007). He just wrote to tell me he’s teaching a new course planning a summer session honors program course entitled “Making Things: A Seminar in Skills and Society.” People are definitely thinking about this.

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