Interactive Excellence: Defining and Developing New Standards for the Twenty-First Century

Interactive Excellence: Defining and Developing New Standards for the Twenty-First Century

by Edwin Schlossberg
     
 
THE LIBRARY OF CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT
"The audience for everything has grown in size, and the number of experiences to watch has grown even more rapidly. These two factors mean that the nature of the audience must change. When that occurs, our current standards of excellence need to be rethought and redefined. New standards our grandparents could not have imagined

Overview

THE LIBRARY OF CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT
"The audience for everything has grown in size, and the number of experiences to watch has grown even more rapidly. These two factors mean that the nature of the audience must change. When that occurs, our current standards of excellence need to be rethought and redefined. New standards our grandparents could not have imagined need to be developed. . . ."
—from Interactive Excellence        

INTERACTIVE EXCELLENCE
Defining and Developing New Standards for the Twenty-first Century

"Gertrude Stein said that 'great art is irritation.' Mosquitoes irritate us, as do certain sounds and images. But does that make fingernails dragging across a blackboard art? Hardly. If something awakens us, moves us, transforms us, makes us feel and think in a new way, makes itself a part of us, that is a measure of greatness. Great art is what challenges us to see ourselves and each other more clearly. Great art makes us understand our relationship to the world we are in. Sometimes to change how we think we must look from a new perspective. Irritation makes us move away from our comfortable way of looking—and our comfortable way of creating art. A movie like The Graduate or a book like The Grapes of Wrath stimulates us—irritates us, in a way—to become part of a conversation, with others and within ourselves, about who, how, why, where, and when we are. . . ."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345423719
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/07/1998
Series:
Library of Contemporary Thought
Pages:
102
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

In 1900, there were approximately 75 million people in the United States.
Seven thousand or so books were published that year. Now there are about
275 million people in the United States, and more than fifty thousand new
books are published every year. Almost every home in America has a
television set; most have videocassette players; and about a third have
computers. That means the vast majority of Americans have access in their
homes to cultural events that once could occur only in a hall or theater.

The audience for everything has grown in size, and the number of
experiences to watch has grown even more rapidly. These two factors mean
that the nature of the audience must change. When that occurs, our
current standards of excellence must be rethought and redefined. New
standards our grandparents could not have imagined need to be developed.
Without a method to properly evaluate excellence, our huge and growing
population cannot learn or develop effectively, because learning occurs
only when conversations, ideals, and goals have a shared and
understandable
framework.

For example, people often evaluate the conversations in chat rooms on the
Internet from the perspective of whether they are informative and accurate
or even if they are good debate. The fact is, chat rooms are just like
talk on the front stoop or over the backyard fence and should be seen as
such. But because they are in a technological medium, the evaluation of
what is carried is measured from a more sophisticated perspective.

The good news is that these new, nonhierarchical tools of the Internet and
theinteractive tools available in public places can provide a framework
for creating new evaluative tools. But for that framework to succeed, our
society, government, and corporations must support it. More important,
perhaps, the audience itself must understand the power it has to shape,
develop, and share in our society's creations.

Meet the Author

Edwin Schlossberg has a Ph.D. in science and literature from Columbia University. He is the author of several books, including WORDSWORDSWORDS, a collection of poetry. He is coauthor of The Philosopher's Game, The Home Computer Handbook, and The Pocket Calculator Game Book. He founded Edwin Schlossberg Incorporated in 1978, a multi-disciplinary design firm that specializes in interactive design for public places. He lives in New York City with his family.

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