Sunday, January 10, 2010

The liberal side of the digital world



Read this interesting article on creativity in the information age. I came to know that the prestigious Sundance Film Festival is creating a new category from 2010, ‘low-or-no budget’ films. I am aware that low-or-no-budget does not necessarily translate to bad quality. However, the director would surely have cut corners more than he or she would have liked.  Surprisingly, the directors on their part only seem to be enthusiastic. Michael Mohan, one such director with a film made for less than US$ 50K says, "There's an audience for everything . . . if you say I want to express myself and people will see it, yes, that's what in 2010 you can do."
Why is he so optimistic?
The answer is in the article: ‘Ubiquitous communication and cheap digital technologies are empowering the striving artist who steadily cultivates his or her craft, challenging the cliché of the starving bohemian, or the superstar’.
Let’s shift the scene to 37Signals, a software company I greatly admire. In their famous book, Getting Real, they advise budding start-ups not to seek perfection of their product before launch but to ‘Just wing it’. They should know. That’s just what they do with every new launch of theirs.
Companies like 37Signals are not advocating shoddy or below-par products. On the contrary, their destination is perfection. The digital world is the 'liberal playground' to make this happen,eventually.  I am completely fascinated by this and wish it was stressed more often. 

Even the critics and cynics of the digital space will agree that they have been able to reach a much wider audience with their criticisms and cynicism of the digital world using the digital world. 

Wondered why is the digital world such a liberal world? The following is the best I could come up with as an explanation.
Warts and all are what make us real and human. The digital world gives us the freedom to be ourselves. Our imperfections (as well as perfection) are mirrored in this world creating a kaleidoscope of digital impressions. These impressions are at once organic and open, thereby giving the digital world its liberal side. Am I right?
  
(Image courtesy: Len Radin)

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