4.0131 Direct Manipulation: A Query (1/40)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Fri, 25 May 90 17:21:17 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0131. Friday, 25 May 1990.

Date: Fri, 25 May 90 12:29:44 -0500
From: Alan D Corre <corre@csd4.csd.uwm.edu>
Subject: Direct Manipulation

I have tried hard to follow Sheizaf's contribution, because it seems
important for my work with computers and also for my understanding of the
world. I majored in Linguistics for my Ph.D but have little knowledge of
communication, which is perhaps a comment on how compartmentalized we get
these days, and how this group can help to broaden horizons painlessly.

Let me comment first on the religious comparison to see if I have it
right. Does this mean that Catholicism by its priests and ritual
interposes something between God and man which Protestantism abolished?
In that case it would seem to me that a similar thing happened in
Judaism by historical circumstance rather than by the intervention of a
Luther. The destruction of the Temple in the year 70 caused prayer to
replace the Temple service and personal confession and repentance to
replace the sacrifice of bulls. The Rabbis understood Hosea 14.3 "take
with you words..and we shall pay our lips as bulls" to mean that prayer
can replace the sacrificial service. The traditional daily Jewish
service contains descriptions of the sacrifices which claim to replace
the actual Temple service. Might one say then (and I am not trying to
be flippant) that pre-70 Judaism and Catholicism are IBM and post-70
Judaism and Protestantism are Mac--but not according to Halio?

Now something from my own computer experience. For the past half year I
have been constantly involved with the Mac computer, using ProIcon and
HyperCard, not because I was dissatisfied with my Zenith PC, which is a
good friend, but because I have the impression that students prefer the
Mac, and since what I am doing is for their benefit, I felt I should
cater to their desires. I remain unreconciled to the Mac. I don't care
for its icons, I dont care for its pull-down menus. When I have the
option of "keyboard shortcuts" I find myself wasting time wondering
which to go with. The result is that in preparing data files for
programs I have written for the Mac, I prepare them on the Zenith where
I feel comfortable, and carry them over to the Mac. Thank God for
ASCII. My feeling is though that this is because I am essentially a
words person. I prefer poetry to paintings, cheap novels to soap operas
and classics to Public TV. I enjoy rock and roll (sorry) but many
people are surprised to find that I actually listen to the lyrics.
(Some of them are not bad, yeah, yeah, yeah.) I feel that the majority
of people like pictures more than words, hence they like the Mac more
than IBM. Or in other words it's visual v. verbal.

I think I should find it helpful if Sheizaf would give us just a few
samples from his experiments, so that I could grasp better just what the
subjects were doing.