Here is the presentation from my talk at 6 Billion Ways, you can make it full screen and explore by clicking on items and zooming in and out (a scroll wheel is handy). Or use the controls in the bottom right corner to follow a pre-defined path.
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Johnson, Steven. 1997. Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way we Create and Communicate. Basic Books.
[NB These are notes to self, they become pretty ungrammatical towards the end!]
This interesting and erudite book starts from the position that the collision of technology and culture is nothing new, but that with the increased pace of technological change the collision has become more obvious. That is, new media have always intersected with cultural change but major innovations have lasted for millenia (cave painting), centuries (printing) or decades (television). As media technology change begins to happen within the span of one lifetime the relationship with culture becomes more obvious. An important point here is that the invention of the technology is itself a creative cultural act; engineers have always been artists and vice versa. Thus, the modern science/art of interface design and its relationship to culture is the topic of the book. Obviously, this is a very technologically led (even determined?) point of view, but well put nonetheless. (more…)
Short talk for the ‘Internet for Activists’ day organised at SOAS, 15 March 2009.
The purpose was to outline two different ‘ideal typical’ attitudes that activists typically bring to their engagements with technology. Within recent anti-war activism most people have approached technology as users, interested in the technology itself only to the extent that it makes the ususal organisational and communicative tasks quicker or more efficient. The talk outlines a few examples of the hacker attitude in action in order to show some of the possibilities inherent in stretching and blending communication structures. This is not to say that we must all become hackers, rather that an awareness of what we intend with technological solutions should help us approach technologies in an appropriate manner.
The slides for the talk are available here: SOAS talk (PPT, 740 KB).
This talk was a short version of a book chapter published in Net-Working/Networking: Citizen Initiated Internet Politics. A pdf version of the chapter is available here: Diverging Attitudes to Technology preprint.