Dear diary, today
On the train ride home tonight, after thesis class #3, I tried to quickly synthesize all the feedback I got in class today, and sketched out a plan for a more concrete structure and final product of my thesis project.

Problem my thesis project is addressing: Limitations in our ability to express ourselves (and the consequenses of that)

Point of my thesis project is: Technology presents an amazing oppurtunity to re-imagine and re-create forms and frameworks for how we express ourselves

Method: A Periodic Table of Expressing Yourself. Activities to help generate actionable data, and artistic expressions of your 

  • ideas
  • feelings
  • thoughts
  • poems
  • outlines
  • memes

Actionable Data:

“and lets you export it as actionable data to be included in the ongoing diologic process of meaning making”

This part of the process will be a big part of my thesis as I imagine it. And the ‘machine’ I would make to do it, is very generally and early in the concept imagined here

So, the plan is to make a periodic table of expressing yourself. Which will be made up of modular activities, that is-activities which work on their own as an individual activity, and activities can be put together to create larger ‘structures of expression,’ which would be an expression made up of the combined outputs of multiple activities, and could include multiple activity types.

Activity Types: Following (loosely) the metpahor of a peroidic table, I am thinking that different sections of the activities (which together make up the periodic table of expressing yourself), will have different properties. I am very genrally thinking of some of these as 

Generators- activities which generate ideas, text, visuals for use in school, work, etc. and also are generating the content which will make up tparts of the other activities. (example)

Canvases- Activity environments with different ways to manipulate text and other data. This would include the MLK acitivities ‘magic canveses’

Stages-Activity environments for ‘performing’ your ideas. Examples: Animating words, 

Mathematical Langauge of The Universe- Nature of code style activities. World genreators, painting by song (auido input)

Experiments in the Marvelous- 

Meme makers- Using Fabric Js. Maybe it intakes text notes from anywhere (such as annotations from a pdf you read) and then populates them into a front end ui where you can choose different elelements to bring on to a ‘canvas’ to use it in the creation of memes. The canvases would have automagic background images, text and image mainpulation through fabric js. What else?

Media talk back – something using vide grep to make it super easy for people to cut up and ‘speak back’ to elements of video culture

Scoped and Generative:

Archive: where all your re-creations are stored and can be used in other expresson activities.

1. In their completed form as a whole element in another production. For example if you madea collage of images and words to represent how you feel today, you could save that to your archive as an image, and then use that image as a visual symbol, representation, or a digital ‘brush stroke,’ in another re-creation activity.

2) (and) you could save the individual elements that made up the product (which was saved as an image) i.e. the text elements (possibly in svg format as well) and image elements you entered, could be used to populate a word and image pool for a poetry writing expression activity in another activity block. 

Archive-Functionality: I need to map out the backend, but I am thinking it would involved a lot of html forms –> Node js server –> Mongo DB (or FIrebase? need to find/choose right database)


Imagining a Periodic Table of Expressing Yourself

Up Next- Creating an analog version of the periodic table of expressing yourself by using flash cards, which have different expression activities on the back, and then user will do them on the front, and then play with putting them together. And each card could have the logic that the data flow would follow. For example.

x = any noun phrases from the words that make up the output of your activity for that card


And then the noun phrases collected from activities could be used in other activities. For example

Activity Instruction: make a list of two adjetives for each of the three words shown on the canvas below

Logic of the canvas:

for (i = 0; i < 2; i++) { 

//this would actually probably be programmed to choose three random index value from my_array_of_noun_phrases instead of the first three as in the code below



User would be presented with a list of three noun phrases randomly selected from an array that was populated by the data representing the output of other activities. All text generated from this activity would be sorted into arrays that could be accessed throughout the eco-system as well.

Activity Instruction:
 Using the 6 adjetives you generated, here is an interactive constellation of them (below is just to invision what I mean by interactive constellation). Use the canvas to create a personality matrix for a user profile (or character in a short story).Try creating a radar chart for a complex personality type (see example below). 


And then the product of the user’s personality radar charts would be exported to their Archive as an image of the final ‘constellation,’ along with any icons or text notes used for decoration and additional meaning dimensions. And the data would be exported in a json so that the chart could be reconstructed or re-created in any number of ways including,

– using the data to feed into D3 to make a dynamic model based on mathematics and SVG values,

– or more simply brought into Sketch for web development design,

– or exported in plain text to a word procecesor,

– or as OPML to be used in a mind map or outlining application.