We have grown up to understand that a picture is worth a thousand words. Images speak to us in a visceral intuitive language that complements words, but reaches beyond to deliver something a thousand times more complex. All of us are wired to process instantly, intuitively, organically, such multimedia elements as movement, pictures, beauty, color, pattern, change and symbology. But despite a hundred years of exponential torrents of words and graphics, our computer screens still deliver simplistic icons and our presentation of anything complex relies on our ancient language of words instead of rich visuals that can communicate in an instant the essence of any modern problem, any critical decision or any enterprise.
We think with our mediated gut and visceral senses before we think with our formal conscious deliberative mind. And both forms of thinking, gut (subconscious) and conscious understanding, depend heavily on our language and inherited culture to organize and interpret everything. Each of us walks and talks according to the programming of our genetics, our mediated life experience and our ancient language.
The big problem with this, the problem semiotics is about to solve, is that we are enclosed in a self fulfilling transparent tough eggshell of stuff that we cannot break out of without help. Inside the egg of all of us is an increasingly tornadic swirl of inherited data, information, knowledge, media, economics, relationships and references. Outside the eggshell is an entirely different world, a fresh sunlight-filled complex world of interlaced systems and holistic perspectives that better suit our needs and potentials than the simple linear narratives trapped within the eggshell. Secondary—-
Semiotics is the representation by media of meaning. I think semiotics is about to disrupt and transform every form of digital communications.
Lets look at a specific application of the power of semiotics:
The subject is Concussion, a complex subject that in some way touches all of our lives. Until just a few years ago, the prevailing understanding of concussion, or head trauma, was that it produced momentary dizziness and brain fog, perhaps a headache, and then went away, in minutes, hours or perhaps a day, leaving the victim free and clear to pursue life to the fullest. Now, maybe 5% of the people in the world, because of diligence from the New York Times and a research team at Boston University, understand that concussions and head trauma are serious injuries, with potential long term disabling hooks, damaging the brain and body in ways that are complex, far beyond the popular understanding of the word “concussion” and more in keeping with “traumatic systemic brain injury”. We now know first impacts on vulnerable children, and second impacts before the initial brain injury reaches a non-inflammatory stage, can deliver long term consequences that lead to chronic dysfunctions and later life neurological diseases. Head trauma is a cumulative trigger (toxins can be another example) that can result in immediate or latent tissue and cell damage, auto immune reactions leading to neurodegenerative diseases, systemic changes and cognitive/functional/behavioral changes.
Here are two brief stories:
A young girl who lives down the street from where you live just leaped into the air during a school soccer game and crashed heads with a tough competitor. The parents watching the game could hear the crack of their heads. Both were trying to head the ball in opposite directions and ended up on the ground. The other girl popped back up, rubbing her head, while our young neighbor lay on the ground dazed and slow to move.
A high school boy, a relative, is on a skateboard, like he is virtually every day. He and his buddies refuse to wear helmets or padding and have bruised and bashed themselves for over 4 years. Your relative has had two broken bones in his arm, and has smashed his head 8 or so times against concrete, metal rails and one of his buddies heads. Stitches were numerous and traumas were considered badges of honor.
Now, as you look at the health of these two young people, lets compare how a traditional search for understanding compares to a semiotic experience. Tell us which route, words with charts or semiotics with words, works best for you, and for the kids and their parents, or for people in similar circumstances throughout the world.
For all involved, this is a matter of life and death, rich systemics against linear semantics.
Standard Smartphone/Laptop Screen vs Semiotic Version
(Insert Screen Shot of Standard Screen)
ILLUSTRATED PANEL 1 – IMAGINED SCREEN
Structures & Objects & Model Frameworks and Scaffoldings and Controls Use Darker Neutral Colors such as greys, browns, metals, etc. – Avoiding Blues, Reds, Greens, Yellow/White. Blues, Reds, Greens and Yellows/Whites are reserved to deliver meaning within windows, cells, membranes or objects according to patterns and textures and simple color legends – never just flat fill color).
Meaning consists of:
…the form of everything, from shapes to structures to groupings of related variables, to aesthetics to realism living with surrealism and symbolism and modernism. Where the objects are placed has meaning, their relative size has meaning (they will not grow or move in animation) and they offer portals for knowledge to be delivered or sought by inventing “windows, cells, substructures within subsubstructures, closed shapes to be filled with patterns, within the semiotic objects etc.
…intuitively non confusing forms and perspectives, with a “language” we are inventing that defines every environment, object, shape, pattern, color, ontology (small uniquely identifiable and intuitively distinguishable groupings of unique “cells/windows”). For example, a building structure would not have 10 stories of windows in rows and columns all looking the same. It would have groupings (2-10 or so windows/lights/doors/other) that would all touch, separated by thin neutral membranes with a couple channels within them, with each form being different – designed to convey the variable that it represents at the highest level – with every window/cell/door/light/sign/screen/facing/brick or panel representing 4 layers beneath – by lightly showing when desired the cellular outline of the sublayer directly beneath.
..”lighting up/activating” a space to show it is activated, in play, “signal to noise” relevant, has been selected, usually against a darker background, with the degree/shade/texture/color intensity and mix, usually shades of yellow and white – LIKE INTERIOR LIGHTING – conveying how substantial the meaning is for that space.
WHAT IS GOOD VS BAD IF WE ARE ASSESSING ACHIEVEMENTS OF OBJECTIVES AT A POINT IN TIME OR ACROSS TIME. we color and pattern the cells/windows etc. to show 2 levels of good – blue, 2 levels of bad – red, and 1 level of neutral. We never use flat color. See color legend.
WHAT WE KNOW AND DO NOT KNOW ACCORDING TO 2 levels showing reliable understandings –
EXCHANGES – RELATIONSHIP – CONNECTIONS – INITIATORS – SEQUENCE – ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
We convey these meanings via motion and pattern using our color scheme. Design for meaning means avoiding flat color, embracing lines, textures, directionality, perturbation, path, intensities reflecting the meaning beneath. Like patterns within different cells link them.
Panel 1 Illustration is Composed of the Following
- Environment – 3D Perspective View – World – Portal – Surreal – A Semiotic Cityscape Landscape With Centro, Controls – The view shows sky and mountains, buildings and structures, an environment (park,trees), foreground and background, underground, water – the scene has enough dark to set off the lighting of color within the cells/windows etc.
- Objectives (Center of Screen)
- Understand (9 Node)
- NETS is the circular street
- Matter:Energy bottom & Man Made top of Building
- Proof Process Pyramids in front of Mountains
- Motion is a Building composed of screens on sides and roof and billboards
- Y PERSON is a human like building construct
- Human Constructs is a Building Next to Buildings of SWAY and RELATIONSHIPS
- Add Sky (3 horizontal topological shades using off blue/purple)
- Add Hills/trees/plants in Background (4 horizontal shaded ranges with a small numbers of distinct representations of plants, crops)
- Add Earth and Water Beneath CityScape – Dark with 5 horizontal shaded ranges)
- Understand (9 Node)
- Objectives (Center of Screen)
THESE ENVIRONMENTAL ELEMENTS PLACED LEFT OR RIGHT ON SCREEN
Decide/Act -Y (1 Big TREE-LIKE Structre)
Share/Contribute – Soft Structure with 5 cells
Enterprise/Value Creation – 1 Building Like Structure
Relationship – See NETS Relationship and replicate (6 OVAL LIKE Structures)
Enjoy/Experience – 1 NightClub/museum/concert hall/stadium w large screen
Resources (Buy/Sell/Exchange/Toolkits) – 1 Marketplace w 6 cells
Avatar top right of screen – Valuing/Surfacing (Self, Others) – 1. YPerson – mirrors of other circles behind w tags – 2. Valuing, Banking, Giving, Receiving, Trust 5 cell grouping circling around y person
Custom Modelsets across Top Edge of Screen center and left
Controls (along bottom edge of screen)
- Toolsets – generative draw, write, email, skype etc.) Drill Down Layers & Detail Controls Option, cool analog watch with stop & start
Use others structures, nature, lights and illuminations
Somehow represent access to any place on earth – geographic portal – like a transporter for transportation, maps and literal viewing/learning access to any place on earth
ILLUSTRATED PANEL 2 – SEARCH SCREEN
Standard Search Screen for Concussion vs Semiotic Version
(Insert Screen Shot of Concussion Search Result Screen)
ILLUSTRATION PANEL 2 –
MONTAGE OF MODELS WITH CONTEXT OF PANEL 1
High Level View of Human Being Model – showing concussion progression
Standard Concussion Content vs Semiotic Versions
Not Mutually Exclusive
High Level View of Human Health
THE RELATED MODELS ABOVE AND BELOW REPRESENT A HUMAN BEING. We call her Y Person. Top sector representing Conscious, lower right corporal, and lower left subconscious. WHAT WE ARE DOING IS REPRESENTING A HUMAN BEING BY SHOWING THE CONTEXT FOR AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE HIGHEST LEVEL VARIABLES ASSOCIATED WITH CONCUSSION. LETS TALK TUESDAY.
Look at the Y Person models above and below. Your mission (not impossible) is to redesign and reimagine them – make them come to life in a new rendering. A membrane separates them and rings the circle.
Always designing to convey the meaning of the variables but not literally.
Model 2 Illustration (2,4,4 organic model representing the content below, adding subcells)
- Genetics/Matter (light up 2 – in play) (4 unique subcells) CORE OF CIRCLE (see above)
- Microbiota (6 unique subcells) (outer ring of Corporal)
- Organs (second from outer ring of corporal)
- Systems (third from outer ring of corporal)
DISRUPTORS (these enter the corporal from outside (occupying 1/3 of all variables entering Corporal)- there are also things exiting corporal)
- Trauma (light 4 subcells with various reds) (5 unique subcells)
- Pathogens (6 unique subcells)
- Toxins (8 unique subcells)
- Environments surround the entire Y Person (light 3 subcells) (6 unique subcells)
- Life Experiences also surround the Y person but inside of the Environment (light 3 subcells) (4 unique subcells)
- Nutrition/Healthful Activities 1/3 of entry outside the corporal area of Y person – handle similar to disruptors (light all subcells) (5 unique subcells)
- Conscious/Subconscious (see above for the major sectors and grouping of subcells and sub rings – see 3 panel concussion example but NOT that detailed – yet organically
- USE THE BOTTOM AS A CONCUSSION GUIDE BUT DO NOT SHOW LIGHTING OR COLORS OUTSIDE OF THE CELLS THAT ARE INVOLVED – REIMAGINE IT.
High Level View of Human Being
High Level View of Human Health
Illustrate Model below (4,2,1 organic model showing subcells)
Concussion is a culmination of these factors:
Pre-Event Preventive Training
Genetics, Gender, Age and Biology of Recipient
Prior Brain Injury History/Frequency
Force/Angle/Form of Trauma
Brain Acceleration./Deceleration (bump, bang, shake, twist, whiplash)
Post Event Treatment/Behavior
Illustrate Using Example of the 2 Children – boy and girl
Brain Traumas Occur from:
- War Related Explosions
- Auto & Cycle Incidents
- Football, Soccer, Hockey, Skateboard, Basketball, Baseball, Gymnastics, Cheerleading Incidents
Illustrate Scenario for boy and girl showing systemic factors
Frequency (more is worse)
Severity (more is worse)
New Occurrence While Inflamed (more is worse)
Resilience (more is better)
Treatment Protocol (more is better)
Age (young is worse, old is worse)
Gender (female is worse)
BRAIN TRAUMA AFTER EFFECTS:
Delayed Vs Immediate Damage & Symptoms
conscious, subconscious, corporal
Amyotrophic Lateral Scerosis
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
Vision & Balance
Social and Moral Judgement
Here is what is expected to happen to the boy, the relative, with numerous skateboard traumas and the girl, a neighbor, who experienced a single soccer related head trauma. The other girl involved in the soccer collision, the one who got right up and exhibited no concussion symptoms, did not experience enough trauma to her brain to affect her later life in any measurable way.
1. 2 Trauma and Symptoms models
2. 80 years of a person showing Y person rings, identifying child brain traumas and later age 74 related occurence of alzheimer’s