Re: graphics considered harmful (was Re: NYT on Rick Adams and Microsoft)

Gary Nelson (
Wed, 15 Feb 1995 11:27:20 -0500

On 13 Feb 1995, Daniel Yee wrote:

> Please narrow followups if appropriate.
> In article <>,
> Barry Shein <> wrote:
> [ why command line interfaces are so powerful ]
> >These are powerful concepts, they both allow and encourage the
> >formation of new "sentences" to describe new tasks not originally
> >specified by the designers, just as makes a human language powerful.
> [ comparison with alphabetic vs pictographic languages ]
> Think about it like this: many primates are just as good visually
> as H sapiens, but even the best-trained chimpanzees can't approach
> our language competency. Cable TV is not just a silly idea, it's
> *evolutionarily regressive*; GUIs are for the monkeys. (+)

I have difficulty translating the Universal Symbol Road signs,too. :)

Obviously people process information differently. I found Windows to be
a picture-laden swamp to work in compared to a few DOS commands(though
learning Unix is a different story)and I don't like mice. On the other
hand, I get beat in video games by *any* 6 year old.

<Info Superhighway discussed>
..... > And as far as conveying information
> goes, there's only a few things which can be covered better on TV
> than in text: natural history, art, architecture, geography,...
I don't know, Darwin did a pretty good job .

> Far too many documentaries spend all their time with fancy pictures
> and mood-creating soundtracks, while conveying almost no information.
> And no, I'm not eating sour grapes while sending this from a slow
> serial connection to a Unix shell account -- I've got 4+ Mbps all
> the way from my desk to the NSFnet (=), and there's a Macintosh and
> an Xterminal in front of me.

Lucky guy. I've got a donated 286 and 2400 bps modem. :(
No Super VGA, no sound card , no pictures.(Do uuencoded gifs count?)
No cable TV, either.

> Danny Yee.
> (+) Insert about a quarter of a smiley.
> (*) There are no pictures on my Web server; not one solitary inline image.
> (=) Ok, ok, so I'm sharing the 4.5Mbps trans-Pacific link with everyone in
> Australia.

Gary "Edsel on the Info Hway" Nelson