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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन 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