Computers and the Intuitive Edge

An Introduction to Computers for the Visual Thinker

Funded by Instructional Development at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

This page is currently a work-in-progress.

Project Description

in*tu'*tiv, a. Perceived by the mind immediately without the intervention of reasoning; having the power of discovering truth without reasoning.

One of the most common terms one comes across when being convinced about the power of a new interface is "intuitive." The very heart of the computer architecture is the "rational" and these same architects are working on developing a "intuitive" interface in order for the tool to be easier to work with, to be marketable. What excatly does the industry mean when they use the term "intuitive?" Does that mean that neither rational thought nor training are needed to use these machines? We know better than that! Intuition is also linked to supernatural powers which are so foreign in the technical / scientific / male- dominated worlds where everything has to be a proven fact in order to be accepted. Perhaps a whole new idea of the word when used in this context is being formulated.

Computers and the Intuitive Edge has evolved from a need that existed while teaching computer technology to artists and art to computer scientists. Few available textbooks cover the topics in a way that's not outdated soon after publishing. There is no way any of us can even make an attempt at compiling a definitive work on this subject. It is impossible to even repeat the same curriculum within a year. With this in mind a CD-ROM with a supplement on the World Wide Web (WWW) is in development and will be completed by this summer. The CD-ROM has a broad conceptual framework which would allow the users to build upon. A year was spent on designing an interface which has no buttons, arrows, or pointers. Music and sounds are composed having in mind the non-linearity of the topography of layers the user goes through. The WWW version is limited in its interface, but links to sites specializing in the specifics of this field.

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