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Thread started by Dave Winer on Monday, January 28, 2013.

Beautiful software

Jason Pontin of Tech Review asked a challenging question on Twitter today. What's the most beautiful software?

A picture named mona.gifI answered his challenge with a podcast. I felt the idea needed verbal explanation. I offered three examples. Two written by others, and one I wrote myself. In every case it's the reflection of the software from another person that makes the beauty evident. That, to me, is what art is. It is in the experiencing of it.

If the Mona Lisa hung in a locked closet where no one could see it, it would not be art. Anything that evokes a response from an observer is art. And the beauty is a function of the experience. Beauty isn't intrinsic to the thing itself, as I illustrate in the story I tell.

So here's the podcast.