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Remembering the future of reading

“The Commonwealth of the Future”: a new episode coming up in the slowLiterature web series

illustrations by Albert Robida (The End of Books by Octave Uzanne, 1894) | photo by José Tomé & tangiblemode | design by tangiblemode

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The 3Dness of words

Photo: Gerardo Garcia for tangiblemode

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Who has ever really listened to a word?

When it comes to listening to words, ears commonly tend to focus on a limited range of decoding processes. From meaning to subliminal tone and intensity clues, most of the cognitive effort goes into ‘understanding’ the speaker. From a broader aural point of view, that’s quite a poor listening, even for a single spoken word. Spoken words are not just symbols –such as those flat, typed words on a screen or on paper– but real things, physical objects, living events in our 3-dimensional world.

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Don’t Trust the Title

welcome to Augmented Reading

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Just a starting point. You shouldn’t fully trust the title. Not what it seems. You know it well: titles tend to be unfair, unfair to the overall content and misleading to people. Deceptive in both ways, whether enticements or turn-offs. Let’s just keep going.

Welcome to slowLiterature, an iterative trip from scattered atom-words to -somewhat- realised meaning.

Again, don’t think of ‘slow’ as necessarily slow and forget about the commonplaces ethically and aesthetically linked to it – just a title, a potentially misleading label like any other.

. . .

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“In a time of building simple things, building something sophisticated is a revolutionary act.”

Marc Andreessen



© paha_l / 123RF Stock Photo

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Beyond simply reinforcing temporal and spatial cues in the audio and/or visual realms of digital experience, haptics or touch feedback is approaching the point of being a field of content in its own right. As the sense of touch is integrated more and more into mainstream digital interfacing, new possibilities emerge for multimodal complexity and subtlety in design. With careful attention paid to proprioception –or the perception of body-in-space– so as not to disrupt the integrity or ‘believability’ of the experience, degrees of immersion can be crafted.

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