Final paper proposal for Virtual Society class

I would like to try to work more on the idea of representing small on-line discussions as multiple video streams.

I am aware of the fact that transforming email messages into video streams is the contrary of the usual way, which uses graphical representation to simplify. Video streams are definitively more complex than email messages, but I suppose that this is only a theoretical problem. Of course there is NO one to one translation of the content of a text message to a stream of video, but there can be a transformation of an analytical mode of visual perception (reading) to a perceptual mode, which is more about visual impressions. To say it in a sloppy way, "let the pictures flow and influence you!" It is like using the non-intellectual part of our brain to choose an appealing discussion.

Imagine this:
You come home late, say, 4 in the morning. You don't want to go to bed, because you are still too awake. But you are tired enough not to read screen pages of email messages. So you sit in front of your monitor, lean back, and switch the "machine" on. No sound. Pictures do appear on it. There are video clips, snippets of old movies you have seen, hectic news coverage, slow documentaries, nature movies, cartoons, action scenes of sci-fi movies, romantic scenes from old Hollywood pictures, etc. You just watch them without thinking a lot, because you are too tired anyway. But certain pictures attract your attention more than others do. Perhaps because they are really slow, really romantic, really aggressive. There you stop zapping, and you let them flow... After a certain time, you feel comfortable with the speed and colors, and you are interested enough to switch the "caption" on. Now the actual messages are superimposed on the video windows. You press the fast forward button to catch up to real time, and then, you start typing your own messages....

"Hello, good evening, or rather, good morning..."

Send me some comments! Stefan Marti Last updated Apr 14 1998.