It is a normal fact that a form of art contains infinity in one or several ways. I don’t know if musicologists or literature experts discuss whereand how this happens in a piece of music or book, but everyone must have experienced the greatness in art or music, or its ability to give new thoughts over time.

I’m as usual talking about any genre.

The fact that you can work on a piece of music for a year or more not only to rehearse it properly, technically, if it is possible to separate, but to know it good enough, all the way through, to give it to others in a sensible fashion – this tells me that what I have under my hands is a durable and many-sided object.

You can, if you are the right type of professional, keep going not just a year, but practically your whole life, on and off, with one project, a genre, or maybe one composer. This seems a little single-minded, maybe, to me, but every artist – and amateurs are often wonderful artists – everyone has things that never cease to fascinate.

Art usually doesn’t stop, as I say, you can see it in new ways, make new versions of music, or of course write new music and make new art.

Nature experiences can work the same way, if you need another reference. Sports, all kinds of hobbies, also sex, those can be creative fields…

Any medium, I think, every man-made object, probably, can be said to contain a form of overview, a view on the world, a philosophy, in addition to the feeling of watching or listening. It may vary over time, develop, and of course what’s in it depends on who made the thing.

You need to be somewhere, philosophically, to create something. Some know a lot about it for themselves, some don’t, but its still there.

The thought in it will be an organising element in what you listen to, watch, participate in.

For the artist, it is maybe not common to tell to everyone everyside of what you do, (that would maybe be impossible too) you create something, you publish or play, and discussions will come afterwards, if they come.

You can say, today it is more and more necessary to say something about what you do, to present it properly, because every culture in the world can potentially reach your desk or your city, and as an art audience we may often need to be guided a little to understand what’s actually in front of you. It can be problematic if the music or whatever doesn’t strike you as understandable, easier sometimes with an introduction.

In Norway it has been pretty common to take in art directly, spontaneously, by regular exhibition goers, and it has probably even been claimed as a rightto have it this way.


Much can be said for and against this, I guess, but I find it sensible to have both ways of thinking in operation among us, the knowledgeable one and the almost inexperienced or just almost interested. But less passion gives you less right to say something in the discussion, I think.

The Internet can be said to contain representations or reproductions of all art forms, in the form of pictures, film, sound. The medium itself, the gadget that it is, has its own ways of functioning which partly forms what comes out of it and what can come out.

New genres has also emerged which are made for the computer, meaning that we have completely new art forms, both in form and content.

There are connections between a picture and the eye on one side, and the rest of the body, movement and maybe other functions on the other, reactions that does not necessarily go via the conscious thought neither in philosophical nor everyday language…but for instance through bodily imitation and spontaneous movements. Some football fans in front of the TV jump and yell, which is both visible and audible, and there is an obvious connection between the body and the picture on one side, and words and the intellect on the other (and of course numbers, but they interest me less).

Similar things will go on in your head, it is affected by whatever purpose you use it for.

Learning through reading traditionally goes via the head, you take in words as an expression of a thought. Are you an apt reader, this can also happen quickly and pretty much spontaneously, it depends on how familiar the style and content is for you, and how complicated the content is to understand, also for you.

Some who did not grow up in an intellectual environment see words mainly as practical tools, as a means to tell someone what to do in a workplace, for instance.

This is a very important difference from the academic world, especially if this fact is hidden, not told, because underneath may lie a completely different understanding of the world.

Of course, you can always address someone, and you don’t necessarily have to consider which way other people conceive or understand what you say, but as I said, if these things are concealed because of shyness, for instance, you may end up with a lot of misunderstandings. It may actually be a good idea to try to understand enough of someone’s way of thinking to get your points across, so you don’t speak to the wrong end of the creature. We are all different, and today differences actually meet.

Many feel bad about their lack of knowledge, real or experienced, and won’t show it to you unless they have to. There is nothing wrong with their inborn intelligence, but say you have been treated like a stupid one all your life, especially in your upbringing, and also lived in an environment that has no direct contact with science, you may end up actually not knowing basic things. Stupidity exists in all of us, and a story like this is actually outrageous from a teacher’s point of view. Many have such experiences, and it is not enough to submit to their way of thinking, because it may be problematic or actually wrong, but someone has to meet them and address their problems in order to solve them.

I don’t believe stupidity has to stay stupid, it can be cured, basically by trusting the other person’s intelligence. Not doing so is devastating for the student, it is therecipe, I think, to destroy someone’s learning abilities. But you may have to stretch, and it is an advantage to have little pride, as a teacher.

You have to listen honestly to what he or she says but correct whatever is wrong, as you see it, without killing the guy or the girl, she or he may have been killed many times by others. Be careful.

In my experience, which does not have to be the only way, the presence of an honest and not mocking or condescending person is what you need. It can be a magic moment for a teacher. After all, shouldn’t we invite the “stupid” questions? It is old knowledge for anyone who is a learner that you get the really interesting answers when you have the courage to do so yourself. The only difference here is that you may get questions which doesn’t quite belong inside your professional or just simply “normal” way of thinking.

You still have to relate, but the person you talk to also have to accept the fact that some things are irrelevant. Some things are less interesting or not important, but not necessarily wrong.

All knowledge belongs in a system, and what is often wrong is that you emphasize a fact or a question too much, or you place it in the wrong position in the system.

For instance, to take something that I doubt that teachers in any level spend much time in discussing, we cannot knowthat there are no living creatures elsewhere in the universe, but it has actually never been shown traces of them, so if you hang yourself up on this, you may well miss most of science in general or the way that it works, just because no one wants to answer this question properly. Sometimes questions hang around all the way from childhood, and you are in real need of having them answered even if you are 37 and “should have” found out by now.

Everyone needsto define borders around their world.

If you get your stupid question answered you may end up with sort of an overview, and the feeling that someone actually listensto you, which can often be theproblem


In film, for instance, it is possible to tell more of a story in less time, compared to a normal novel, for instance. This is simply put, and there are probably experiments with forms that contradict it, but it is true as a basic fact.

Pictures can contain much information, and they are often taken in more directly and unconscious than a text, unless you have developed a conscious relation with the visual world, professionally or in other ways, or you read…hm, really fast.

The interactivity in the machine also gives frames for “practical” actions, and not only writing, even if that is one of them, of course. The “machine side” of writing has developed a lot, you can “cut”, “glue”, push it around and a lot more, which all of them used to be practical actions involving more muscles….

All these bodily, but simple actions also goes directly into the world of reading and writing, and could easily create a practical universe of something that used to be a universe of thought.

To write an article on a computer is mentally something else than doing it on paper, even if it resembles a typing machine. But the whole thing affects your way of thinking, editing didn’t use to be done in a practical fashion, for instance, not in my head, unless you sorted parts of interviews after subject discussed, in a research project, for instance. Actually this resembles that work a little. These days I often skip the overview and go straight into editing, as if you were digging a ditch or cleaning up a room.

To what extent this is the case probably depends on what type you are, on many levels, but the technology invites us to forget some of the intellectual overview and replace it with a sort of step-by-step way of thinking.

This probably has to do also with the way today’s Internet and computer world is designed. I believe you can do practically anything with this technology in terms of organizing the information, cultural codes, habits and connotations, and not just relating to content. That’s obvious, but also to ways of doing the whole thing. This is an unchecked claim, but I feel that the medium interested user easily makes him- or herself into a slave of technology, much helped by the isolated environments of developers and programmers.

We feel the technology to be more of a cage than it has to be because we don’t know it properly, but the solutions also make it into a cage because the IT world are lousy communicators with non-IT-thinkers, they live in their own world and either expect us to understand fully what they are doing, or laugh at us.

At worst, of course. I am not saying all IT people are malevolent, but the thing itself explodes in our face.

All the practical or engineering abstractions which come to my eye easily take up space from the thoughts that were there from before, the thoughts that you actually depend on to do your work.

If you consider the screen as a picture, and the information you find is organised after visual logics, and you spend hour every day to absorb information through it, it may affect your way of thinking, both about or with words and pictures. I haven’t tried to analyse all the different ways this may happen, but for an academic on any level it sure is a different world that books, which used to be the most common place to spend your days or nights.

Your conscience is also affected by the fact that you do things all the time in front of a screen, or believe you do, at least, or pretend. I find it difficult to think in front of he computer. A book gave me more possibilities.

Or, maybe it is right to say that the screen invites you to practicalthinking, which I guess must be considered a separate thing. I have no idea whether this is scientifically explored or not, but I would guess so. Anthropology?

The book used to invite me, at least, to build theory, and ok, I’m not a professional academic, but I always talked to them and relate to their world as much as I can because I enjoy it.

How things areand how to do itis an important partition probably anywhere, from everyday life to politics. Many discussions end in the dustbin or on a real battlefield because those two things are not kept apart, thought through or checked properly. Some people are almost only practical, which means that they havea view on the world, but may very rarely expose it to the public or even think about it themselves, maybe because they are shy about it, too little self conscience, and because they feel that certain things are just like that, inevitable, nothing you discuss, everybody knows this.

They are blind for other world views than their own and take things for granted vwhich I’m not sure I would agree on. The peculiar thing is that the people who talk to them or comment are equally blind and take for granted that everyone has the basic academic knowledge which they have.

This is absolutely no attempt to say that the unschooled is always right, I regularly agree more with the others, but you have to start the discussion and it does not work without respect, which can be difficult.

This last thing is a surprise to me, that well educated people don’t know how the badly educated think, because you would expect science-minded people to be investigative enough to discover those differences, but there we are… I’m not saying that the ones at the bottom are necessarily right, on the contrary, but you have to listen because this is democracy and they claim their right to say things.

That in itself…I have to stop, but it has notbeen easy to take them seriously, and to listen you have had to filter out a lotof noise, misunderstandings and other things.


You can of course say that the visual and practical differences between screen and paper are not absolute, they are tendencies, etc, in the sense that both media can be drawn in different directions. A scientific article published on the internet resembles more a booklet or a stack of paper, and an advertisement section in an “old-fashioned” newspaper may be closer to what goes on on the Internet.

That is the side of visual means when your webpage keeps still, of course the movement and interactivity comes on top. But the possibilities in the whole thing seem to be many – it’s up to our choice what we use it for.

I saw a computer animated film, pretty early in this “history of digitalisation”, which was very poetic, old-fashioned-looking, like it had been drawn.

The technique makes it necessary to do many repeated actions. I think I saw somewhere news about a research project looking into what goes on, motorically, perhaps, or sensorically, in the few centimeters between your brain and your machine, but I’m not sure. Sounds kind of fun.

In computer games this is obvious. The “technical”, practical, engineering creativity may then contain the uendelighet. How?

And what is the problem for a practical mind and a theoretically inclined?

I have friends who ponder on practical problems for years and then come up with really nice solutions, and I used to be the type that was constantly on a sociological study trip, or any subject. for that matter, if it interested me.

With two maybe different approaches to life, you probably also have a different approach to the computer world, although the world I grew up with was – in a way – academic, at least both practical and theoretical minds had to submit to academic facts. During the years that I grew up there was a big discussion about this, one position being that the practical ones were discriminated. A lot came out of that, but today I don’t quite know how things are in school.

You may say that on the screen technique and visuality easily becomes the boss, while on paper they are more subordinated other parts of our world. A writer, I think the Italian playwright and writer Giovanni Guareschi, in one of his books, commented on the difference between a smith’s work and a car mechanic’s, in the same way.

In the first case man is boss, in the second the iron.

It is, as probably most parts of Truth, not 100% true, but it gives us a clue of something. In both cases the important thing, as I see it, is not to give up all control over technology, but try to conquer it as much as you need, in order to use it for your own purposes.