Some confusion has arisen between phones and tablets in the zone between 5” to 7” diagonal screen measure. Are the smart phones growing? It may be that the distress is a fundamental lack of adaptation of the phone lozenge shape to hand held use of any sort. Recall that the legacy phone device was designed for hand held use with a handle situated to position a speaker in front of the mouth and receiver over the ear. The alternative hand was free to manage a keyboard. What a silly design…smart phone designers are smarter.
Even if phones are now optimized for screen display they will remain goofy as a hand held device. Notice the 18th century tablet design.
umwelt – cognitive and sensory capacity to assemble and utilize a perceptual field of surroundings. A umwelt construct is species variable but is needed by all organisms to survive. Of particular human interest is the role of an embedded umwelt construct in conflict with logical, statistical and scientific constructs as in the taxonomic fields of natural history.
The classic umwelt association is with the perceived world of living organisms and long evolved strategies of hunting and gathering. At first such a natural world umvelt intersected emerging scientific views without displacement and intuitions of Linnaeus and then Darwin were advanced based on inherent umwelt constructs. However evolutionary change and subsequent statistical, DNA and cladistics analysis could not be and never were realized in an intuitive ordering of living organisms. A displacement of the evolved perceptual capacity by scientific construct then occurred and traditional intuition of living orders was discredited.
I suspect this umwelt precept can convey to communication efficiencies with the codex as well as providing a deeper narrative of conflict inherent in digital humanities. A separate cognitive capacity and neurological region is dedicated to constructs of the inanimate world and it accommodates artifacts. Curiously this cognitive capacity is not ordered by living behaviors or appearances, but by artifact function. So tools, hammer stones, projectile points, power drills and iPads are ordered according to what they can do. Such a culturally evolved perceptual capacity is not as likely to be displaced as technology and scientific understanding advances. However, it can also be suspected that deeper, embedded perceptual constructs also overlay and, so, influence our appreciation of artifact function. At that interface the possibility of a longer refined and adapted function of the codex may find comparative cognitive capacity of higher efficiency among later formats of book display. Such conjecture would call on influence of brain lateralization, haptic navigation and pattern recognition as optimized by the codex.
Librarians accept the reality of operation of hybrid print and screen libraries. The interplay of these resources is not yet fully emerged. Do we need multi format displays of book collections? OCLC research into configurations for co-operative “last copy” general collections still side-steps the full functionality of hybrid collections. Print collection growth continues and supersession of physical collections by screen equivalents has not occurred. Preference for paper format continues for textbooks, print on demand options and website and blog screens sent to printers. Paper book collection populations compiled by OCLC research as “duplicates” are projected for disposal but these distributed print duplicates can also be projected as the analog equivalent of digital network access. A larger issue of the interplay of self-authenticating paper books with self-indexing attributes of screen book lurks here.
Taking a wider view, the bionic type specimen and residual monograph title exemplar now arise in context with comparable entropies of diversity. Mass die-off and extinction threatens the bionic world while an equivalent dissolve of bibliographic entity dismantles and displaces previous access systems and displaces use of print. Another shared displacement is apparent with discredit of previous intuitive classification methods of human entry cataloging and similar displacement of biologic classification by computer driven analysis. A general displacement of humanist construct is apparent in classification of both the living and artifact world.
Such humanist displacement can be superficially attributed to a “digital revolution” but a larger displacement may be at work between intuitive perceptions and computer assisted perceptual methods. Associated conflict and ambiguity would account for interest in composites such as “digital humanities” or cross-disciplinary study in general. Libraries are the laboratories for such contests.
Demsey, Lorcan, Lavorie, Brian, and Malpas, Constance, Understanding the Collective Collections: Toward a System-wide Perspective on Library Print Collections, OCLC, 2013.
Schonfeld, Roger, “Stop the Presses, is the monograph headed toward an e-only future?”, ITHAKA S+R, 2013.
Stallybrass, Peter, “Books and Scrolls: Navigating the Bible”, in Books and Readers in Early Modern England, 2002.
Yoon, Carol Kaesuk, Naming Nature the clash between instinct and science, 2009.