Data is made. When you take out your tape measure and measure twice before you cut, you have taken all the bits that it took to make that particular tape measure and projected them on to the tick mark where you will cut. You do that twice. You go even further by taking the bits involved in making the saw and projecting them on to the line that gets cut. Seeing a nice flat surface, a surface that doesn’t exist in nature, should remind us that data is made, manmade. Well, more than likely, robot made.

So lets start at a point and look, once again, at a point, a point in some multidimensional space, a point in an argument, a number of bits.

So we have the point again.

When there is a point, there is at least one bit. We’ll just call zero bits ground.

Where there is a bit, there is a decision. If such and such. Never mind the behavior associated with that bit for now. If there is a decision, there is always at least one consequence. “There’s a spot on this glass.” “Then, wash it.” Just one point and already you need a dishwasher, a water softener, and dish towel.

And, of course, where there is one bit, there will be more. Consider how much money is spent on systems to move bits around that boil down to that single bit, “Hey, are we still in business?”

The real problem with bits is consciousness. We tend to treat explicit bits differently than implicit bits. We talk about assumptions, aka the criminal alias of implicit bits. But consciousness moves around. One bit is important right now. Another bit later on. We have limited focus as humans and those limits demand implicit bits. It’s the world size problem. We put some number of bits inside our world at a given moment and assume the rest.

We focus on the foreground. We let the midground and background slip into the implicit in varying degrees. We let those assumptions fly.

Then, there is the whole mess of carrier and carried, of software as media, of product as media, of company as media, of stock prices as media.

It’s like a cave. You have a floor of implicit bits under you, and a ceiling of implicit bits above you. The space you can stand up in is that of your explicit bits. If you’re ever a coal mine tourist, keep the exits in mind.

The software as media model comes into this notion of habitable space. There are many carriers. A startup that has its own technology undergoing adoption starts out as two people and three bivectors: company, product, and market. Oh, four: the technology. Whole product people can skip the fourth. To position the point is to build the company, product, and market. So all those bits roll up into that point. Fuse me some data.

Here I simplified the carrier and content aspects. I’ve also applied some hypothetical factor analysis to the system. Each aspect is different in terms of how important it is. The hole is not round. As much as designers dislike radar diagrams, sometimes it takes a radar diagram to illustrate where the point is. Then, again, the point isn’t always in the middle.

When you have a dimension and you are optimizing it in some way, you have the physical aspect, aka the media, presenting you with some impedance. The ribbon in MS Word does this to me all the time. I’m like, “Where the hell is the control?” I know how to move that impedance, I’m just lost on the topic of finding it. Design is the process of establishing how much the enabler will have to push against the impedance. Bits vs bits. Design in this definition is general enough to work for software or art. The criteria define the impedances. Design is a point.

Since we usually design in multidimensional spaces, we end up with a multidimensional surface. That surface having explicit and implicit components, a foreground, midground, and background. That is a surface of bits. The red column of enabler bits is the technology that made this product possible, that enabled the work. The rest are context.

A multidimensional design will be built on a multidimensional analysis having some tiling and some population(s

). Change the tiling and the populations and you will need a different design. These are the keys to finding a market for a fast follow. Adding a new technology of your own will get you a different design as well. In the end, they are collections of bits, collections of points.

Oh, why did I say unquantifiable? The implicit bits are not counted. Psychological processes don’t count bits. We have no idea how many bits make up our floors or our ceilings. The poets connotations float, as do we.

Enjoy! Comments?

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