G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Friday, January 12, 2007

On the edge of intolerable frustration

Artist : Richard Decker Publication: The New Yorker 4 Jul 1936

Technology could be frustrating. We all experince it all the time. Frustrating for all - seller, buyer, user.

Andrew Odlyzko says : "We were frustrated with computers a decade ago, we are frustrated with them now, and will continue to be frustrated in the future. As long as technology offers enticing new products and services, we will continue to live on the edge of intolerable frustration...

If the level of frustration is not going to decrease, is there any point in developing new technologies, and in paying any attention to ease of use? There certainly is. We will still be frustrated, but at a higher level of functionality, and there will be more of us willing to be frustrated....

Building complicated systems that work is hard. Building ones that work and are user-friendly is much harder.
"

Edward Tenner points out: "Microsoft has triumphed because it has given us what we asked for: constant novelty coupled with acceptable stability, rather than the other way around. ... People talk simplicity but buy features and pay the consequences. Complex features multiply hidden costs and erode both efficiency and simplicity."

Artist : Robert J. Day Published : The New Yorker 29 Feb 1936