Art can't be explained
April 6th : Just came from the last lecture on art. This afternoon there was a tea for the lecturer – old women like me, very dull – (…). What’s it all about, this art?
We’ve had the reason for the way each man worked.
We’ve had the viewpoint of each man.
We’ve had the thoughts of each man.
We’ve had the man turned inside out and the work turned outside in, and how much of it is true?
Who of us knows just why we do what we do, much less another’s whys or what we’re after? Art is not like that; cut and dried and hit-at like a bull’s eye and done for a reason and explained away by this or that motive. It’s a climbing and a striving for something always beyond, not a bundle of “rules” or a bundle of feels nor a taking of this man’s ideas and tacking them on to that man’s ideas and making a mongrel idea and calling it “my own”.
It’s a seeing dimly beyond and with eyes straight ahead in a beeline, marching right up to the dim thing.
You’ll never quite catch up...."
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
The most consequential assumption behind all his work (ed. Don Norman, leading authority on design and usability) is that even if human error is to blame, it is hard to imagine any human not making these errors. Humans might fail—but they are not wrong. And if you try to mirror their thinking a little, even the stupidest and strangest things that people do have their own indelible logic. You have to know why people behave as they do—and design around their foibles and limitations, rather than some ideal.
His great insight was that no matter how complex the technology, or how familiar, our expectations for it remain the same. […]. This is what you have to understand if you are to design an app that people can use the first time they try it, or a plane that humans won't crash, or a nuclear reactor that humans can't cause to melt through the continental shelf.
[...] the act of reading is a secret, and sometimes fertile, ceremony of communion. Anyone who reads something that is really worth the trouble does not read with impunity. Reading one of those books that breathe when you put them to your ear does not leave you untouched: it changes you, even if only a little bit, it integrates something into you, something that you did not know or had not imagined, and it invites you to seek, to ask questions. And more still: sometimes it can even help you to discover the true meaning of words betrayed by the dictionary of our times. What more could a critical consciousness want?
One piece of information followed by a denial, that's two pieces of information.