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Is losing your data good for you? Tune in on the 18th of December (18:00h - 19:00h CEST) to find out!

In 2015, researcher and media artist Dave Young (@dv) wrote an essay entitled "Know Your Filesystem (And How It Affects You)". He argued that "the ‘traditional’ filesystem interface, familiar to us as a visually traversable hierarchical structure of files and folders, is replaced by an app-centric interface."

Half a decade later the issue has become urgent again and it is time for a retrospective evaluation. In the fourth and last episode of The User Condition, PDF-hoarders Dave Young and Silvio Lorusso will look back at this interface parable and try to understand where are we now. Did app-centricity actually become hegemonic? What did we lose in the meantime? What have we gained? How helpful is the "helpful framework" of smart interfaces? How purist should you be when it comes to file management?

More info: varia.zone/en/usercond04.html

@entreprecariat @dv why did it become urgent *again*? Are you referring to a particular development?

@entreprecariat @rra @dv IMO big part of the problem is the cloud storage; their browser interfaces are desktop metaphors, and those files are not in your machine to give you a better understanding of your filesystem. Even with a file manager, we can grasp where our files are. Doesn't need to be via the command line.

Now if IT/computer schools have stopped teaching how to use the terminal, as the verge article claims, they need to fix that.

@entreprecariat @dv ah yes this one! Yeah that is really familiar. Part of competencies to be taught in education imo, not to assume people 'naturally' learn about this..

@rra @entreprecariat Indeed people don't simply have this knowledge, but the question of 'where' and 'how' these tacit competencies have been historically developed seems to have changed, and that's what is interesting. In the 90s and 00s, teens were taught at school how to use a computer so they can be a bureaucrat (ref: the ECDL programme). This taught a very explicit performance of the office metaphor that our 'traditional' OSes employ. Nowadays, in the UK the 'smart economy' and 'creative industries' rhetoric reigns supreme in second-level IT pedagogy, and many secondary schools here adopted tablets en masse in the early 2010s. The generation of students who experienced this latter pedagogical approach to computers are now arriving in media arts degree programmes, with unprecedented skills in some areas, but a striking unfamiliarity in others (e.g. the filesystem). The metaphor of administrative work that older OSes emulated is something of an anachronism. Just as the 'blade' icon that allows the user to make an edit in video editing software no longer refers to the physical 'cut' in a strip of film for many people, the file icon has come to be an icon that primarily refers to itself - not some analogue, material equivalent.

@entreprecariat @dv

It's inodes all the way down.

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Welcome to post.lurk.org, an instance for discussions around cultural freedom, experimental, new media art, net and computational culture, and things like that.

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