The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Chimeric Thinking in the Trough of Disillusionment
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I love this. Matt Jones at BERG shares a list of totally uncool technologies. Mice! Kiosks! CDs! Landline phones! 512MB flash drives!

Matt argues that these technologies all live in the Trough of Disillusionment (which is where you fall after cresting the heights of hype), and that recombining or recontextualizing these technologies…

…can expose a previously unexploited affordance or feature of the technology – that was not brought to the fore by the original manufacturers or hype that surrounded it. By creating a chimera, you can indulge in some material exploration.

The rest of the post is really interesting, and you should check it out. But I want to dwell on the word “chimera” for a second.

chimera

We obviously love hybrids and interdisciplinary thinking here at Snarkmarket. But you know, I think we might love chimeras even more.

Hybrids are smooth and neat. Interdisciplinary thinking is diplomatic; it thrives in a bucolic university setting. Chimeras, though? Man, chimeras are weird. They’re just a bunch of different things bolted together. They’re abrupt. They’re discontinuous. They’re impolitic. They’re not plausible; you look at a chimera and you go, “yeah right.” And I like that! Chimeras are on the very edge of the recombinatory possible. Actually—they’re over the edge.

Tim’s last post feels chimeric to me.

I was going for something chimeric with this post, I think.

Chimeric thinking. It’s a thing.

7 comments

Yah! I like it too! In fact, I think I AM a Chimera. Moongirl xxx

There’s a great line in Warren Ellis’s Ultimate Nightmare (which I totally recommend, by the way): Sam Wilson (The Falcon, who’s like ten times as cool in the Ultimate Marvel version) hacks into a decommissioned ex-Soviet base, and he says to Black Widow (about the entry system) “Typical Russian, if you don’t mind me saying. An 80s keypad stuck on a 60s computer system. Take two things that work and nail them together.” Of course, when they get into the base, they find out it’s really a prison, packed with mutants who’ve got different alien body parts bolted onto their bodies to augment their powers. Take two things that work and nail them together.

I’m wondering, though — is there a distinction between chimerical thinking and constellational thinking? Or are all of these implausible recombinations/illusions — constellations, chimeras, pieces nailed together — do those metaphors themselves make a constellation? Or a chimera?

Oh, and I totally agree about my punctuation post. All day now, I’ve been thinking: “Dropped apostrophes + emoticons + hyperlinks + footnotes + big f—ing posters + hashtags + brains + screens + code + computers = WTF, something’s here, I’m going for it.”

As the great Frank O’Hara said: You just go on your nerve. If someone’s chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don’t turn around and shout, “Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.”

Who you callin’ discontinuous?

YES, we like Chimeros, too!

Thomas says…

(Psst. I think it was actually one of the other Matts-of-BERG who wrote that post: Matt Jones.)

Woop. Correct.

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