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Kategorie: coik syndrome

COIK #3: Big black box


Nein, ich weiß nicht, was Sie mir sagen wollen. Alle Ihre schönen, klugen Ideen sind für mich zunächst nichts anderes als eine


Was drin ist, wissen nur Sie. Und wenn Sie mir nicht transparent und deutlich machen, worum es (Ihnen) geht, bin ich nach Ihrem Vortrag nicht viel schlauer als vorher. Ich sitze dann leider immer noch im 


Selbst wenn Sie mir


mitgebracht haben, nützt uns das beiden nichts, solange Sie mir nur ungeordnete Fakten entgegenschleudern. Nein, leider ist das nicht alles ganz einfach. Ich weiß nämlich nicht, worum es geht. Sie schon. Ich bin aber nicht Sie. Ich kann nicht in Ihren Kopf schauen. Ich kann Ihnen nur zuhören. Oder es zumindest versuchen. Leicht machen Sie es einem nicht.


Ich weiß nämlich nicht, was von all dem wichtig ist, bis Sie es mir sagen. Helfen Sie mir doch bitte ein wenig. Entrümpeln Sie etwas. Es kann doch nicht alles wichtig sein. Es kann doch auch nicht alles gleich wichtig sein. Könnte ich nicht einiges davon später in aller Ruhe nachlesen?

Worum geht es Ihnen denn eigentlich? Was von all dem soll ich behalten und mitnehmen? Was muss sich ändern? Muss ich mich ändern? Oder Sie?

Ah, es geht Ihnen um die Fakten, sagen Sie. Schön. Danke, dass Sie sich das nicht bis zuletzt aufgehoben haben. Fakten sind immer gut. Jetzt verstehen wir uns schon etwas besser. Ich ahne, was Sie vorhaben.


Aber Sie wissen schon, dass Faktenwissen alleine selten merkwürdig genug ist.

Und dass Wissen alleine nichts ändert. Oder?


COIK #2: Don’t look now


At the See #6Brendan Dawes from magneticNorth also showed a number of older projects. In 2004 he ran the 1973 film Don’t Look Now through a simple slit-scan program written in Processing and saved the resultant frames. These results are as eerie and bewilderingly strange as to be expected from that film.

It scared the living daylight out of me when I first saw it at the age of 14 or so.

Before he introduced the slides, he asked the audience (some 850 Germans) if we knew the film.  Only one or two people raised a hand, and Mr. Dawes must have returned to the UK thinking us Germans a terribly uneducated lot.

But then we are a dubbed nation, relying on getting lost in translations. Feeding us the German film title would have achieved strikingly different results. A clear case of COIK-Syndrome. Clear only if known.

  • If we had seen some original stills, we would have recognized the film.
  • If we had been giving a moment or two, we also would have got it.

But being put on the spot, sitting in the dark and in a large audience, means some adrenaline is at work, and a certain fear of failing; and when under pressure we fall back easily only on things we are very familiar with.

Even though I have read Daphne du Maurier’s book several times in English, I watched the film the first (and last) time in German, and so that is the corner where I have it stored, and that was what my brain needed at that moment. A red trigger. Something to help me recognize. Something to help me choose the right drawer. Because I knew I knew. I just could not grasp it.

When Dawes began to talk about the opening sequence, when he began telling the story of a grieving Donald Sutherland, my friend and I nudged each other and whispered: Oh, he means Wenn die Gondeln Trauer tragen.

The story achieved what the processed images could not. And once we were on safe grounds, we even realized which of the frame sections must be the dream sequence. 



If a book or film title is very important, you might want to make sure everyone in the audience gets it. Do not rely on global pop culture alone. Everyone who has ever watched that film would have remembered one of the original stills or the film poster. It is not a film you forget easily.

Fear is a master player at memory.


COIK #1: Clear only if known syndrome


We all suffer from it. We have been reading and doing research on our subject for weeks.We know all about it. And we forget that our audience doesn’t.

We have been living with that one movie line most of our adult life, ever since we fell in love with Blade Runner and all it stands for. Like tears in rain. How can anyone not get it? How can anyone not have heard of it?

We all have those Blade Runner moments. And the best term I know for it is COIK-Syndrome. Clear only if known.

I found it in an old manual for technical writers and the example it used was a story about a New York water pipe worker who wanted to know from a company if it was safe to pour their product X into pipes to clean them. He received various answers, all of them jargon mumbo jumbo. »Does that mean it is safe?,« he wrote back.

The final answer finally was clear: »X eats hell out of pipes! Don’t use it.«

The fact that I remember the story and the wording but not the name of the substance is interesting in itself.

Anyway. COIK. Watch out for it.

Today I was waiting for a doctor’s appointment and saw this door saying DU KA.

Now for everyone English this does not make sense anyway. In German, it could mean different things.

  • Dunkelkammer (Dark room).
  • Duschkabine (Shower).
  • Dunstkamin (Foggy Chimney).
  • Du kannst (You may).

I guess you get my drift. I spent half an hour inventing words and had fun.

Your audience may not have half an hour to follow you and it is not funny at all having to decipher slides with acronyms or abbreviations.

Just as it is no fun being quoted to from Blade Runner if you haven’t seen it.

So make sure that what you say is what you want your audience to get.

And if you really haven’t seen Blade Runner yet: This video was made from every single individual frame of the movie and it might give you a first basic idea.

Then again, it might not. It might be just another case of COIK.

But don’t worry. It won’t affect the test.