This is going to be short, more like a provocation than a serious post. This quote really stirred me.
What [philosopher Arthur Danto's book] The Transfiguration [of the Commonplace] really attempts to do is to display a certain train of ideas, a certain set of discoveries and the questions opened up by them. It is a beautiful authorship because it makes you feel the longing of the author, and his resolution to remain in or savor that longing rather than, say, to try to satisfy it immediately.
–Crispin Sartwell, “Danto as Writer” in The Library of Living Philosophers Vol. XXXIII: The Philosophy of Arthur C. Danto, Open Court, 2013, p.713
What if this were a research norm of our community: to make “beautiful authorship because it makes you feel the longing of the author”?
Surely longing is a key epistemic feature of (at the very least) the design subcommunity within HCI, whether it’s for social justice, democratic participation, aesthetics, a methodology worthy of our ethical commitments, gender equality, a sustainable future, the pleasures of inquiry, or, as in my case, pretty shinies. That is, what we long for is not locked in our private personal world and somehow logically separated from our professional work. What I know of my colleagues personally is that their research is profoundly motivated by their ethical and aesthetic perspectives, and more fundamentally, what they long for.
Yet norms of academic writing encourage us to obfuscate this role. I can see that happening in two basic ways.