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Bandwidth

Last updated April 7, 2022

When we talk together, we flatten our N-dimensional thoughts into 1D linear narratives, in order to fit them through the 1D bottleneck of words. When we draw or sketch, we flatten our N-dimensional thoughts into 2D images in order to fit them through the 2D bottleneck of sight.

# Hypertext

Source: Hypertext Montage by Gordon Brander

What is the shape of networked-thought?

# Interpretation

Does moving closer to real-time mean less interpretation? Less expressive mediums like text mean that a lot of the emotion and meaning is left up to the reader to interpret and guess at. As we move to higher bandwidth mediums (e.g. calls and video), is there less room to interpret?

What does this mean for art which inherently requires interpretation? Will we ever get to a communication medium so direct (e.g. mind-to-mind) that it doesn’t require interpretation? What about qualia and the subjective human experience?

# Lossiness as Mutation

Source: Self-Organizing Ideas by Gordon Brander

Maybe chaos is necessary for emergent behaviour. Thus, lossy communication in low bandwidth communication helps seed for selection/mutation of new ideas. Examples of this include writing.

When we write, we flatten the cloud of associated ideas in our head into a linearized subset (lossy). The reader then unflattens this linearized subset into their own cloud of associated ideas (lossy). Each lossy step is an opportunity for mutations in understanding to emerge.

# Resources

“I have a theory, which has not let me down so far, that there is an inverse relationship between imagination and money. Because the more money and technology that is available to [create] a work, the less imagination there will be in it.” Alan Moore


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