High Definition Info Transfer

As a designer and strategist my job, at it’s simplest, is to come up with ideas and put them in other people’s heads. Over the years, I’ve observed time and again the challenges in getting a pure idea out of my mind and into other people’s noggins with a high degree of fidelity.┬áSo much is lost as a concept travels from my mind, into language, through some transmission device (type, speech, graphics, etc), into your senses, through your individual parser (which is shaped by experiences), and into your mind. This degradation of fidelity along the communication chain, which we can call lossiness, can’t be eliminated, but I believe it can be reduced.

Lately I’ve been thinking about a concept I’m calling High Definition Information Transfer (which is, admittedly, a crappy name. Definitely a placeholder for now). HDIT seeks methods to account for mind:mind lossiness. Think of it as a set of tools that sits atop communication theory. I’m really keen to dive into this, and look forward to hosting discussions and workshops to help build our collective ability to communicate with higher fidelity. A few of the areas I’m looking into include

  • Analogy and metaphor
  • Story
  • Video and motion graphics
  • Vocal pitch and modulation
  • Melody and rhythm

I hope you’ll join in and collaborate with me. I’ll be attending Overlap in June, and look forward to flogging this with a bunch of you there. I hope to find another couple of joints to pick this apart before then, so if you know any gatherings of curious people around Toronto, please let me know.

2 thoughts on “High Definition Info Transfer”

  1. Big are of thought. What also interests me is:

    1) what is it that is most important to transfer
    2) what is lost by increasing fidelity in transfer

    Looking forward to the conversation.

  2. Great questions Mike. #1 begs the question “what is an idea”. To what extent are emotion, context, and vision part of the seed of the idea itself.

    I think I see where you’re going with #2: that the static in the transmission might add to and allow space for mutation. I totally agree that we want that space to exist, but posit that higher fidelity transfer doesn’t preclude willful mutation. It may in fact allow for more efficient mutation.

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