I see the scenes in Washington and I immediately spring to action writing yet another document of how text matters and how interacting with text will help us interact with knowledge and with our own brains and then friends tell me, correctly, that this was not about knowledge or eduction but about world view, about morality and ethics. And of course they are right, and I get down in the dumps about how useless and trivial the work I do–it’s just about letting people learn things they would normally learn anyway.
I can just hold on to this one thing though, the idea of a spark point: That point of where a reader’s or author’s curiosity is activated. Can their tools allow them to instantly follow their curiosity? This is where ‘changing minds’ happen. This is the avenue we have to allow lightness through and expand, not theirs, but our minds.
This is in the form of making a quick search when reading or authoring (through something like Liquid) or when choosing to view the text in a different way (such as though Find, Dynamic View etc.). It is also about following citations/references/links easily and trusting their relationship with sources.
What I cannot do is change people’s morals, but I can work to provide people with the means through which they can see deeper and wider when they read and better communicate (through authoring which involves thinking) when they author.
If I were to think otherwise then the work would simply be a generic software project and I should not have spent my own and my family’s money in large sums on this and I should simply stop. But I do believe this is what is possible and that is what I have aligned my ‘values’ (rich text interactivity development to augment thinking) with what I ‘value’ (solid code available for users). And I’ll persevere. I have to.