Maximizing Value in Duality

How do we maximize our current capability to create value and provide benefits? How we can maximize interactions in physical space to provide benefit in the digital landscape? In truth, these are not distinct questions but two sides of the same question. Tools, for example, are conditioned by purpose-shaped to suit the way that they will be used. So the design of a tool is the study of the capabilities that they enable. In the paradigm of duality, we cannot presume that the tool will be strictly tangible or strictly virtual-we must begin with an understanding that life occurs in both realms at once. Is Facebook strictly virtual when people begin their day checking the latest updates from their friends? Once one 'likes' a post is that not a tangible action that takes place in 'real life'?

Two Worlds

The virtual world is not the world of the digital; it is the world of the imagination, the world not present to the senses. Leonardo da Vinci's portrait of Mona Lisa exists in both the physical and virtual world. In the physical world, it is a 77 x 53 cm piece of wood coated with dried pigment. In the imagination of the viewer she becomes a woman with an intriguing smile-this smile does not tangibly exist since the woman exists only in the mind of the viewer. In art, literature and science, people have long explored ideas through virtual incarnations of real or imagined worlds. Artists create sensual stimuli to evoke response and change perception. Writers create immersive worlds in which avatars grow and share human experiences. Scientists use metaphor and symbolic diagrams, to model relationships that are beyond direct observation. [1]

  • [1] refer to these representations as virtual insofar as their meaning is virtualand not explicit-found not in the traits of the physical, but in the interpretationof the receiver. These worlds are able to convey ideas that transcend explicitphysical demonstration.
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