Relating to dyslexia

Albert Einstein - Dyslexic and most recognized and well-known scientists

I was reading wired.com’s post about Dyslexia from a while ago and it almost had me in tears on the tube today. Why? Because I related to so much of it, it was freaky.

Interconnected reasoning is another kind of strength. These connections can be relationships of likeness — analogies for example — or causal relationships, or the ability to shift perspective and view an object or event from multiple perspectives, or the ability to see the “gist” or big-picture context surrounding an event or idea. Many dyslexics work in highly interdisciplinary fields or fields that require combining perspectives and techniques gained from different disciplines or backgrounds. Or they’re multiple specialists, or their work history is unusually varied. Often these individuals draw the comment that they can see connections that other people haven’t seen before.

This is one of my biggest things. I see the world in a connected way (for example the post about the singularity and diversity) and I find it hard to explain to others but in my head it makes sense. The tools I’m told to use limit me and drive me insane (don’t get me started on having to separate my life and manage two calendars, thankfully I opted out of that crap)

Here comes one of those connections… I have been looking for a way to do collaborative mindmapping. I love google docs but a document is sometimes limiting. I have looked around and found quite a few commercial mindmapping tools but then I found mindmup which is open source. And with some experimentation the other day, I got it working with Google Drive in a realtime collaborative way. Expect more mind maps in the future now.

But back to that post…

Wired: Would you want to be dyslexic if you could choose to be?
Brock: Absolutely! It’s a phenomenal kind of wiring.

This one really got me. For all the people telling me I’m doing it wrong, correcting my writing, etc, etc… Its made me a stronger person. A person with a super strong personality, self confident about my own ability and weaknesses. I have to admit even with the hard time I got at home and at school, I wouldn’t change a thing. Its part of who I am, and I can’t imagine not being dyslexic.

I luckily grew up in the technological revolution meaning I could cope through reliance on technology. If I was a generation earlier, it would be a different story.

I do wonder what difference it would have made if I had been correctly diagnosed in junior school? Rather that 10 years later while doing my dissertation at Ravensbourne. The test of half a day was intense but finally the results were posted to me later and as I always knew, I was pretty badly dyslexic.

I’ll be keeping an eye on dyslexicadvantage as I’d certainly like to improve on my already quite unique skillset.

Perceptive learning resources

Future of StoryTelling

For the last few Wednesdays I have been watching the Future of StoryTelling hangouts online. I first heard about them from Matt Locke and Frank Rose last year when I gatecrashed a planned hangout with Perceptive Radio.

The Future of StoryTelling speaker Hangout series continues on Wednesday, January 15th, with a discussion about interactive gaming, and how great entertainment can transport you from your daily life and immerse you in another world.

You can watch the whole thing here on youtube. and last weeks with Google creative labs Robert Wong. This weeks Including my question which is based off my noticing, interaction and narrative keeps getting thrown around together when they are quite different things.

The guest this week was Microsoft’s Shannon Loftis, General Manager at Xbox Entertainment Studios. She said a lot of things I agreed with but switching narrative for interactive, paused me to think about the origins of Perceptive Media.

I’m not going to say Games and interactive experiences are not storytelling. I would be very wrong, but what I’m surprised at is Microsoft have this amazing device with cutting edge sensors and they sound like they are doing some perception. But they are only using it for Games? Shannon even talks about the golden age of Television then slides off into Games again.

Real shame…

Anyway there was a question asking about what this all can mean for children. Most of the guests give some answers which I couldn’t disagree with but Charles Melcher (founder of future of storytelling) jumps in with something quite profound.

I clipped it and put it on Archive.org but its something I’ve been thinking about since the early days of perceptive media.

The beauty of media which adapts, responds or as I prefer preconceives the audience and the context. Is it can unfold one way and unfold another way for someone else. Like Charles, I’m dyslexic and sometimes just can’t get my head around learning resources which are written for a majority of people.

I understand why its been that way. The cost of creating multiple versions of a learning resource is going to be a bad idea from a resourcing idea. But that only applies if you build your resources in a solid non-flexible way (like a blob) your going to run into the same problem described.  However if you have something more fluid (generative) or object based you can change aspects on the fly.

Simple example, a Book (any book) vs a Ereader (like a Kindle). I’m sure I’ve talked about this before but line lengths is a common issue with people who are dyslexic. We tend to loose what line we’re on for a split second.

I can reshape the lines lengths to make it more readable for myself (thats interactive). An Ereader with sensors could follow my eyes patterns and reshape the line lengths and fonts to give me the best reading experience (now thats perceptive). This all works because the text is digital and therefore an object which can be manipulated.

Back to Charles, a resource which can be manipulated by a person is good but one which can be manipulated by a process of data and sensors is even better (if they are working to aid you). Combining/aggregating resources together gets you to a position where you can weave a story together. I won’t bore you with my campfire == perceptive media equals and this is what humans do thoughts. But I do feel this is the future of storytelling. Charles vision is achievable and its something I’d love to talk to BBC Learning about in more depth.

I’ll be honest and say not only has this one got me writing but I also started writing after hearing Robert Wong talking last week about leadership and inspiring people.

Life explained on film, Video Jug


VideoJug: How To Clean A Laptop

Sheila showed me a site I've never seen before. Videojug.com, explains how to do things in real life. Its a simple concept and honestly when I first saw it, my first thought was so what? But then I started thinking, this is actually really good idea. Its like Sclipo but centred around those situations in life where you may or maynot know how to act, behave or start. I started watching “how to choose the right Television” just to see if the information was correct and upto date. And I got to say I was pretty impressed with the information and tips it gave in the short time.

To most of us the idea of using a web video to teach us how to cook a Rib Eye steak, check your prostate or even How To Fold Trousers Without Creases seems silly, but actually think about it. Where did you ever learn this stuff? School, College, Parents, Friends or even TV shows? Well he's a great site if you ever missed out or was ever too proud to admit you don't actually know.

I have to do my eight things you don't know about me post one day soon, and I was thinking about some really abstract ones. Well this is great because I can now throw some really weird ones in and link to them on Videojug. Nice!

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