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The Power of the Image

Emotion, Expression, Explanation


András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri

We think primarily in images, and only secondarily in words, while both the image and the word are preceded by the bodily, the visceral, the muscular. This holds even for mathematical thinking. It is the entire motor system, including facial expressions and bodily gestures, that underlies not just emotions but also abstract thought. Communication, too, is a primordially visual task, spoken and written language only gradually supplementing and even supplanting the pictorial. Writing liberates, but also enslaves; after centuries of a dominantly verbal culture, today the ease of producing and accessing digital images amounts to a homecoming of the visual, with the almost limitless online availability of our textual heritage completing the educational revolution of the 21st century.
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An Eye towards the Future: A Binational Survey of Attitudes toward Google Glass


James E. Katz – Daniel Halpern

Google Glass is a lightweight wearable computer situated as a head-mounted optical display interface that appears to the user to be hovering just above the direct line of sight. Information and images appear to float near the eye’s focal point, and seemingly shift as the head moves about. Its affordances are similar to those of a rudimentary smart-phone: the ability to use natural language to take photos, record video and audio, handle e-mail and text messaging, orient via real-time, location-based navigation and make and receive phone calls. The device is voice and touch-control sensitive, allowing the user to enjoy a variety of modes of interaction. Due to its open architecture, developers at Google and elsewhere are able to create a wide variety of additional applications that go far beyond simple displays of information; these have ranged from friend searches in a vicinity to facial recognition of passersby (though this capability is unauthorized by Google). Beyond these, developers are constantly adding more applications of varying degrees of imaginativeness to its palette of offerings.

The Google Glass device is but the latest in a long line of head-mounted computers, which in the past have included wearable TV screens and sensors.1 Nor will Google Glass be the last word as developers continue experimenting with various display technology, including within contact lenses. But unlike some earlier forms of telecommunication, such as television or the mobile phone, enthusiasm among the general public for head-mounted display technology...

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