The term “BIM” confuses. I find the word unsatisfactory, practically and linguistically.

The semantic problem will be solved though, because words that aren’t satisfactory simply don’t last. When people try to create a word for something that hasn’t earned a word, eventually that will fall away. There are other cases though where things do earn a word; they do have wordness; they’re worth a word, but the word can struggle for discovery for a very long time.

Take movies. “Movie”, after all this time, is the best we’ve come up with. That’s funny.

Movies are photos on a reel and so showing movement. So they’re called “movies”. Is that a good word?

We’ve tried, and still use some other words for movie, like “film”.

“That’s a great film!” Is film a good word? What are photos? Lights? Things showing light?, on a film? Photos are light exposed on “film”. Even back when we still used film, even then, the word “film” seemed at once essential and at the same time insignificant. And now, there’s no film at all; only light. And we certainly don’t care if the light is  stored on film, or as bits in the cloud.

Nevertheless, its interesting. We understand “see a film”, and we don’t say, “hey next week there are some great new bits on the cloud coming out, a new release, wanna go see?”

About a hundred years ago sound was synchronized into moving picture. For a short time, these films were called “talkies” or “sound films”, but that reach for a new word was (wisely) soon abandoned. Even when we hear a person’s voice while seeing their mouth move in a talkie, still this is better just called a movie (even if still we search for a better word than “movie”).

There are all kinds of specialties and technology and professions and vocabularies dedicated to the production of sound in film. Those dedicated to the production of image in film are called cinematography. And those dedicated to the entirety of what film is, are called “cinema”.

Terminology and semantics matter. The choices we make are not always the right choices though. Sometimes new words are abandoned, usually for good reason (like “talkie”), sometimes because the sound of a word doesn’t “sound right”, sometimes because what the word attempts to name either hasn’t been well articulated, or because sometimes a perfectly good word is already there and its use should just be extended.

In our industry we have a few things we lately attempt to name, each of which already has a good name.

A model is informational. It “lays out” an environment of information. Within that environment, we draw attention to specific things and ask people to look at something, presented in a way that can be understood, as we ask them to do something. When we “draw attention“, we are acting. “To draw”, is to act, to think, to narrow, to focus, to express, to communicate, to understand. We do this in an environment. To draw is to be.

We can refresh again the meaning of the word “drawing”. To draw is to draw one’s attention to something.

There are “models “. Models are environments.

And there are “drawings”.

Drawings are acts. Drawings are being, thinking, narrowing, focusing, acting, expressing, communicating, understanding.

The fundamental distinction is between environment and being/acting (between world and focus, between model and drawing). We can synchronize/infuse our focusing actions into an environment, or we can leave these actions abstracted as “drawings” in their conventional form. Either way, we are modeling and drawing. No other terms are needed.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on dagsljus and commented:

    back from the archive, 3 years back

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