Molly’s Big Brain

Molly E. Holzschlag is a well-known Web standards advocate, instructor, and author.
Here she is contemplateing the massive brain power needed to operate in information-rich environments like the intertubes:

Web designers and developers are challenged in a way that very few learners and thinkers are challenged. Not only is the complexity of the subjects that we study a concern, but the rate at which we must absorb that information and put it into practice seems unprecedented. We also have to manage the doing as well as the thinking: the hands-on creation of technology and design for web sites. All of these acts demand knowledge that is both broad and deep, and we must access that knowledge as quickly and as painlessly as going to the corner store for that cold beer.
As we seek to become more effective web designers and developers, our brains similarly must manage the complex process of learning, processing information, and rapidly storing that information into memory.
I’m of the mind-set that we can all become better at what we do by first giving ourselves credit for the interest in and fascination with a field whose very essence demands that its professionals think technologically and artistically. Then, to grow in our work, we must identify our strengths, be honest regarding our weaknesses, and push ourselves to find ways to improve our skills to achieve innovation.

One thing I wonder about is this: The intertubes are infinite, but is our capacity to process and contain the knowledge also infinite?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.