Alan Kay’s definition of literacy

20 December 2007

Adam Greenfield recently mentioned this:

“The ability to ‘read’ a medium means you can access materials and tools created by others. The ability to ‘write’ in a medium means you can generate materials and tools for others. You must have both to be literate.”

That neatly taps into a lot of what I’m thinking about (and failing to write about here) at the moment. Things like this, and mixing your own paint, and programming-as-act-in-its-own-right versus programming-as-necessary-evil, and a whole host of other questions (such as what it is I actually do).

Things are slowly coalescing. This quotation coalesced a great deal, and deserved more than a mere del.icio.us link…

  • “I’ve been thinking about a number of new product ideas lately. In doing so, I’ve been trying to come up with a way more structured way of evaluating them. Here’s a first attempt at defining that.” Evan Williams on product.
  • “We started when we were children – we met at school. We started writing enjoy eternal bliss when we were around 17 years old, and finished it when we had just turned 20.” Yndi Halda’s “Enjoy Eternal Bliss” is, frankly, stunning.
  • Nice looking site for perhaps the more grown-up gamer looking to connect and share with others; the focus on sharing the spaces you play in is a really interesting touch. Can’t wait to try this.

Links & notes for this month