RE: Flash?

Subject: RE: Flash?
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 08:53:02 -0600

My previous remarks about Flash apparently left some thinking I thought it
was always a terrible thing. That was not correct. It's the difference
between entertainment and information, and in the spirit of that, let me
share a link to what is probably the best "flashed" site on the 'net:

I understand only a little bit of what's going on with this site. It's not
informational. But it *is* a Work Of Art (and it deserves the capitals). If
I were looking for the answer to "how many spaces should I put after a
period?" I'd find the site disappointing. But when I want a lift, when I
want to see what humans are capable of, sites like this are where I go.

In a larger sense, it's the difference between technical communication and
fiction writing. Art, with the initial capital, is *not* the primary
consideration when evaluating a manual -- I mean, who turns to a Framemaker
manual for an uplifting experience? When it doesn't get in the way of the
information, it's a pleasant bonus, but that's all it is. The main thing is
the information; anything else is gravy.

Technical Communication is a utilitarian field; it requires precision. Art
says as much about the viewer as it does about the thing viewed. This
vaguesness, this ambiguity, this imprecision often means Art gets in the
way of Technical Communication. And anything which does that is to be
avoided. That's the point I was trying to make, and no other.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.


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October 24-27, 2001 at historic La Fonda in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

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