Bryan Meyer claims to prefer the abstract task on the left to the concrete task on the right:
But both of those images have information that is extraneous to the question Bryan poses about them. Color information is irrelevant in both, for instance, so you get rid of it. You don’t need the names of California’s missions or the name of the ocean to its west. Both images are in need of abstraction. Therefore they are both concrete.
Or at least they’re more concrete than what we get after we ask ourselves:
- What information is important?
- How do I represent it?
This points to the highly subjective nature of the adjectives “abstract” and “concrete.” They’re often statements of preference (eg. “I prefer concrete to abstract” or vice versa) and they’re both relative terms. Everything is more abstract and more concrete than something else on the same ladder. But we’re looking at two different ladders here, not one.