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Re: %WU3gGJ0sU

These threads on the like button and the dislike/mute functionality make me happy, and for this reason:

I often think about the creation of the GUI at Xerox PARC, and what happens when you design for a specific audience. We had this awesome and confusing new tool of the computer, but you operated it through terse, arcane commands. But there was a demand from businesses for the computers' power. And large businesses were the ones who could afford computers. And so you translate this tremendous, new, expanding power into metaphors understandable to business and office work. Thus we get desktops, and files that belong in folders, and documents that look and act as paper that can later be thrown into the trash bin.

But what if computers weren't needed by businesses first, and instead there was a tremendous need from the forestry and ecological services? And so instead of a desk, the initial metaphor for personal use was a tree: you have various branches and leaves of the branch that you tend or graft onto other branches. And if a leaf wasn't needed anymore you could drop it on the forest floor to be turned into mulch.

If that was the story we started with, where would computers be today, how would they have expanded and mutated the metaphor? Because now we have an innate understanding of desktops and files, even though we live in an increasingly nomadic and paperless world. The metaphor has detached from its origin, and now only describes itself. But this means there is a common feeling that computers couldn't exist any other way, that a file and folder structure was the natural, inevitable approach.

I fell in love with the scuttleverse because of the people who are inhabiting it. Regardless of UX/UI, I continually come back because here I found people discussing practical ways of building their own airships, and what life is like doing guerilla gardening in Berlin or living in a self-reliant shack on top of a lava flow. There's a distinct social anarchist bent to the discussion, and folks are not only discussing alternate societies at length, but also have the skills to realize them.

We are the audience of the scuttleverse, since we build these interfaces and protocols around us. So I am intently interested in the metaphors we use. How do we translate the ideal, expansive power of SSB into words and metaphors we understand? And can do this using new metaphors, ones that do not originate from a social media need or a capitalist office space?

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