Opinion: The Computer User as Scholar and Sorcerer

There are two kinds of computer Interfaces today. The older traditional computer interface tends to address the physical chicken and egg question. They were created as responses to the physical observation of the outside world. We exist detached from our devices and as a result detached from reality. Alternatively, we have newer immersive technologies that are more like magical devices, interfaces that allow us to extend the world around by allowing us to occupy computers from within.

Like a scholar, we share our experiences with traditional computers like sharing a piece of paper, a drawing of a chicken and egg, for example. With traditional computers, we are not granted instant access to control and manipulate the shared world around us. A sorcerer may instead, dispel this paper analogy in favor of conjuring up, within a shared world, the actual objects being portrayed as flat primitive illusions.

Modern computer software needs to allow us to act as if we are true magicians, not just bookworms. Sometimes I want to educate myself and others I want the be spared all the technicalities and long descriptions, the buttons, and windows, the feeling of interacting through a pane of glass, instead I may prefer a more action-based approach. This seems to be the major limitation of current computing platforms.

How can we better use computers? Are we sorcerers who swish our wand through the air, moving our body, using their presence to wow an audience or relinquish foes or are we scholars who analyze the world around us, demystifying our own greatest inquiries. I think it is fair to say we must evolve our creativity on both sides of this coin and ask a more philosophical question… “What came first, the existence of life or the experience of reality?”