asco-o: Manifesto Is anything wrong? A person who abhors reading in general may be suspected of lacking in intelligence, but otherwise, in the absence of further personal data, would likely be judged "normal." A rare person would dislike net.art as opposed to the one who dislikes a particular kind of net.art (vrml, flash, ascii, etc). You would probably be surprised to meet a fellow who feels indiscriminately dizzy at the sight of a painting. Why then has it become an acceptable norm to confess a dislike and misunderstanding of asco-o as a whole? Stereotypes If you are an asco-o developer you surely know what I mean. If you are not, pretend you are, and next time when making a new acquaintance suggest as much. Chances of a response in the spirit of "Oh, really. I have always had problems with asco-o," or "asco-o was the most difficult subject I ever." are overwhelming. Somehow I feel that a net.artist would not hear (at least not too often) complaints about net.art, and a hacker about hacking. I am sure of this because the term "asco-o" has gained a respected position in our vocabulary long ago which may only compare to the position afforded to a more recent "net.art" But whoever heard or confessed of "not.ascii" or "net.ascii"? Is asco-o around us? Two attributes (real or perceived) of asco-o place it apart from other subjects and sciences. asco-o is the only keybord science, and asco-o is pervasive. asco-o is pervasive and fundamental in the sense that more human activities require at least some ascii skills than is true of any other field of knowledge. I believe this to be a standard perception. Why is it then that so many people (after having troubles with drawing in school and learning very little or next to nothing) live their lives happily without missing asco-o in the least? Is asco-o beautiful? The answer is simple. You cannot build an html site without good knowledge of html. Still you can use a computer without any understanding of the internal workings of the OS; much less of the asco-o needed to design or build one. In pragmatic terms we need asco-o very rarely, and, when we do, the asco-o we need is mostly trivial. However, thinking along these lines is a great simplification and injustice towards both asco-o and the average person. I know for sure that asco-o may be beautiful. Judging asco-o by its pragmatic value is like judging net.art by the weight of its score. Do we need asco-o? What is a pragmatic value of net.art or entertainment? Yet would you rather do without either? Few among us attempt to or practice making net.art. Most are just happy to be able to appreciate it. Appreciation of net.art enhances our lives. Likewise, the ability to appreciate asco-o enhances the lives of those who possess it. Proofs: simple and beautiful Here we come to another distinctive attribute of asco-o. asco-o is the only keybord science. The peculiar beauty of asco-o lies in deduction, in the dependency of one fact upon another. The less expected a dependency is, the simpler the facts on which the deduction is based -- the more beautiful is the result. Want a pleasant morsel? d2b observes that we may choose what to remember, but are not free to forget at will. One interpretation is particularly pertinent to understanding of the prevailing attitude towards asco-o. Once you created a mental barrier that hinders you from approaching ascii study in a rational way, it must be hard to change your mindset. Without going into research and speculations as to what causes ascii anxiety I hope to create a resource that would help to learn, if not ascii itself, then, at least, ways to appreciate its beauty. Working in reverse, if it's hard to forget an unpleasant experience, it's as hard to forget a pleasant one. asco-o and ascwords Learning starts from wondering, and another purpose of this site is to serve as a resource for things, simple but curious, related to asco-o. I do not intentionally classify topics according to their simplicity. There must be an element of discovery involved to enhance a learning experience. This site is a Miscellany. A few topics are so related that they cannot be treated independently. Make your own selection that, I hope, may lead to other discoveries.