error, noise, debugging, divination, apophenia, crisis management

No one is inherently "good with technology." Some people gotten more accustomed to the ways things inevitably screw up. Especially as systems grow ever more complex, things could be working as they should, but still somehow be... wrong.

There's many sterile terms to describe this experience, but "glitch" has a particularly nice ring to it. The earliest modern use in technological context comes from the Project Mercury astronauts, who used it to describe a sudden voltage spike. They most likely got it from from the Yiddish word glitsh — a slip. Which is as helpful way to look at it. A slippage. A wiggle. The system is functioning, but, y'know, it kinda slides around a bit.

Today, with everything immersed in technology, it's also become a cultural trope — glitch filters for your snapshots, glitch music with a squonk you can dance to, glitch videos bleeding pixels. Which highlights the fact that errors which work against authorial intent can also be productive, shoving you in to a different way of looking at things.

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Everything breaks.


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