Questions without Answers
I’m tired. Actually, physically tired, quite often. I’m heading to a doctor soon to address that – but anyway, when I think about writing something for this blog, I get tired. I love having this as an archive and a resource, but I do stress about what to write about sometimes. Or, I’ll get a brilliant idea and just run out of time, or steam, to explore it fully. It feels like a cop-out, which is strange, considering it’s entirely voluntary, but the fact that I know that *you* are out there somewhere definitely colors my thinking.
So instead of a nice, fully formed essay, today I am going to just post some of the note fragments I keep about things I’d like to talk more about. It’s always in the form of questions. Today I am not ready to answer them. Let’s make this a group activity, okay? Please do chime in, in the comments. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
How do we develop taste, and how do we communicate it to others? Why must some things in my home be sleek and others rough? At this second, I’m thinking of my craggy collection of handmade ceramic mugs and bowls, and my minimalist slab-device known as iPhone. I can’t do without either, at this point, and each seems to be the pinnacle of design. How do we decide to optimize for certain products and un-optimize for others?
It’s much easier to describe and compare the mass-produced multiple, which also makes it easier to promote and sell. This vacuum has the best suction, the smallest footprint, the lowest energy cost – employing simple, blunt comparable adjectives that create a ranking order purely by choosing to use them. Good, better, best.
The makers of the unique and handmade have a harder time getting their point across because the language must change to suit the circumstance. There are gorgeous descriptive adjectives that can be used, a much larger pool to draw from, but they are also slipperier in meaning.
Is the problem that we are trying to use words to describe touch? Are we giving enough weight to feelings and sensations, or not enough? By this, I mean both emotional states via haptics, nostalgia, and a sort of filling-in-the-gaps that the brain sometimes does when it is searching for something?