“I like to think when something disturbs me that it is important” — Steve J. Bernstein

Three things came to mind as I read the Murch article.

Firstly — In Jaron Lanier’s book “You Are Not A Gadget” he writes of lock-in and the notion of the file. “Once upon a time, not too long ago, plenty of computer scientists thought the idea of the file was not so great.” Lanier observes moments in the last 30 or so years of computer history when the notion of the file was questioned or ignored. He mentions Ted Nelson’s Xanadu, a precursor to the world-wide-web, in which Nelson conceived of the system as “one giant, global file.” Lanier further references the first iteration of the Macintosh computer which did not have files (this version never shipped). We are now so “locked-in” to the notion of the file that it shapes everything we do. Is the file a blink in the designed digital space? What would be the consequences of a digital system where the design never blinks? Do we really live our lives as broken segments that are separated by blinks? Some part of me would like to think so.

Secondly — Gilles Deluze and Félix Guattari wrote of the concept of rhyzomes, comparing literature to these root systems which are continuous with no real breaks or joints. Is this what a digital system like Xanadu would feel like — smooth, continuos, everything connected by what lies before or after, a space where our point of entry is determined in a more peaceful and un-broken sort of way? No blinks?

Lastly — the concept presented in the website www.dontclick.it
Here I believe is an example of a digital space that questions the need for blinks. Are clicks a digital equivalent to a blink?

In the end I wonder — do we really need to “blink”? There are a few examples of films that have attempted to minimize the blink. Hitchcock’s “Rope” comes immediately to mind. What experiments can we conduct with our interactions that might question the “blink”?

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