Information Ecologies

Author: Bonnie A. Nardi
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262640428
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
"An information ecology is a system of people, practices, technologies, and values in a local environment. Like their biological coounterparts, information ecologies are diverse, continually evolving, and complex. Nardi and O'Day encourage the reader to become more aware of the ways people and technology are interrelated. A key to thoughtful action, they say, is to ask more "know-why" questions, before jumping to the more straightforward "know-how" questions. They talk about practical ways to have more "know-why" questions, to dig deeper and reflect more on how we use technology"--

Information Ecologies

Author: Bonnie A. Nardi
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262140669
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
An information ecology is a system of people, practices, technologies and values in a local environment. Like their biological counterparts, information ecologies are diverse, continually evolving and complex. This text aims to encourage the reader to become more aware of the ways people and technology are interrelated. The authors draw on their empirical research in offices, libraries, schools and hospitals to show how people can engage their own values and commitments while using technology. The case studies show avenues for participation and engagement with technology.

Context and Consciousness

Author: Bonnie A. Nardi
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262140584
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Intended for designers and researchers, Context and Consciousness brings together 13 contributions that apply activity theory to problems of human-computer interaction.Understanding how people actually use computers in their everyday lives is essential to good design and evaluation. This insight necessitates a move out of the laboratory and into the field. The research described in Context and Consciousness presents activity theory as a means of structuring and guiding field studies of human-computer interaction, from practical design to theoretical development. Activity theory is a psychological theory with a naturalistic emphasis, with roots going back to the 1920s in the Soviet Union. It provides a hierarchical framework for describing activity and a set of perspectives on practice. Activity theory has been fruitfully applied in many areas of human need, including problems of mentally and physically handicapped children, educational testing, curriculum design, and ergonomics. There is growing interest in applying activity theory to problems of human- computer interaction, and an international community of researchers is contributing to the effort.Contributors : Rachel Bellamy. Susanne Bødker. Ellen Christiansen. Yrjo Engeström. Virginia Escalante. Dorothy Holland. Victor Kaptelinin. Kari Kuutti. Bonnie A. Nardi. Arne Raeithel. James Reeves. Boris Velichkovksy. Vladimir P. Zinchenko.

Cognition in the Wild

Author: Edwin Hutchins
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262082310
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Hutchins examines a set of phenomena that have fallen between the established disciplines of psychology and anthropology, bringing to light a new set of relationships between culture and cognition. The standard view is that culture affects the cognition of individuals. Hutchins argues instead that cultural activity systems have cognitive properties of their own that differ from the cognitive properties of the individuals who participate in them. Each action for bringing a large naval vessel into port, for example, is informed by culture; thus the navigation team can be seen as a cognitive and computational system

In the Bubble

Author: John Thackara
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262250375
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if "tech" ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives. Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we're unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now -- not in a remote science fiction future; it's not about, as he puts it, "the schlock of the new" but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can't. In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways. Many of these services involve technology -- ranging from body implants to wide-bodied jets. But objects and systems play a supporting role in a people-centered world. The design focus is on services, not things. And new principles -- above all, lightness -- inform the way these services are designed and used. At the heart of In the Bubble is a belief, informed by a wealth of real-world examples, that ethics and responsibility can inform design decisions without impeding social and technical innovation.

Writing Machines

Author: N. Katherine Hayles
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262582155
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
A pseudo-autobiographical exploration of the artistic and cultural impact of the transformation of the print book to its electronic incarnations.

Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability

Author: Keith Pezzoli
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262661140
Format: PDF
Download Now
foreword by John Friedmann In many areas of the world, environmental degradation in and around human settlements is undermining prospects for both socioeconomic justice and ecological sustainability. To explore the issues involved in this worldwide problem, Keith Pezzoli focuses on a dramatic instance of conflict that grew out of the unauthorized penetration of human settlements into the Ajusco greenbelt zone, a vital part of Mexico City's ecological reserve. The Mexican government's initial response to these "irregular" human settlements was contradictory and reactive. Social unrest, ecological deterioration, and violence have all been part of the continuing crisis.The heart of the book is the story of what happened when residents of Los Belvederes, a group of Ajusco settlements, fought relocation by proposing that Los Belvederes be transformed into Colonias Ecolthe bo Productivas, or productive ecology settlements. Through innovative organized resistance, their grass-roots movement generated environmental and social action that eventually won crucial state support. Pezzoli draws upon urban and regional planning theory and practice to examine biophysical as well as ethical and social sides of the story, and he uses the Mexican experience to identify planning strategies to link economy, ecology, and community in sustainable development.

The Fabric of Space

Author: Matthew Gandy
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262028255
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Water lies at the intersection of landscape and infrastructure, crossing between visible and invisible domains of urban space, in the tanks and buckets of the global South and the vast subterranean technological networks of the global North. In this book, Matthew Gandy considers the cultural and material significance of water through the experiences of six cities: Paris, Berlin, Lagos, Mumbai, Los Angeles, and London. Tracing the evolving relationships among modernity, nature, and the urban imagination, from different vantage points and through different periods, Gandy uses water as a lens through which to observe both the ambiguities and the limits of nature as conventionally understood. Gandy begins with the Parisian sewers of the nineteenth century, captured in the photographs of Nadar, and the reconstruction of subterranean Paris. He moves on to Weimar-era Berlin and its protection of public access to lakes for swimming, the culmination of efforts to reconnect the city with nature. He considers the threat of malaria in Lagos, where changing geopolitical circumstances led to large-scale swamp drainage in the 1940s. He shows how the dysfunctional water infrastructure of Mumbai offers a vivid expression of persistent social inequality in a postcolonial city. He explores the incongruous concrete landscapes of the Los Angeles River. Finally, Gandy uses the fictional scenario of a partially submerged London as the starting point for an investigation of the actual hydrological threats facing that city.

My Life as a Night Elf Priest

Author: Bonnie Nardi
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 0472026712
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
"Ever since the creators of the animated television show South Park turned their lovingly sardonic gaze on the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft for an entire episode, WoW's status as an icon of digital culture has been secure. My Life as a Night Elf Priest digs deep beneath the surface of that icon to explore the rich particulars of the World of Warcraft player's experience." —Julian Dibbell, Wired "World of Warcraft is the best representative of a significant new technology, art form, and sector of society: the theme-oriented virtual world. Bonnie Nardi's pioneering transnational ethnography explores this game both sensitively and systematically using the methods of cultural anthropology and aesthetics with intensive personal experience as a guild member, media teacher, and magical quest Elf." —William Sims Bainbridge, author of The Warcraft Civilization and editor of Online Worlds “Nardi skillfully covers all of the hot button issues that come to mind when people think of video games like World of Warcraft such as game addiction, sexism, and violence. What gives this book its value are its unexpected gems of rare and beautifully detailed research on less sensationalized topics of interest such as the World of Warcraft player community in China, game modding, the increasingly blurred line between play and work, and the rich and fascinating lives of players and player cultures. Nardi brings World of Warcraft down to earth for non-players and ties it to social and cultural theory for scholars. . . . the best ethnography of a single virtual world produced so far.” —Lisa Nakamura, University of Illinois World of Warcraft rapidly became one of the most popular online world games on the planet, amassing 11.5 million subscribers—officially making it an online community of gamers that had more inhabitants than the state of Ohio and was almost twice as populous as Scotland. It's a massively multiplayer online game, or MMO in gamer jargon, where each person controls a single character inside a virtual world, interacting with other people's characters and computer-controlled monsters, quest-givers, and merchants. In My Life as a Night Elf Priest, Bonnie Nardi, a well-known ethnographer who has published extensively on how theories of what we do intersect with how we adopt and use technology, compiles more than three years of participatory research in Warcraft play and culture in the United States and China into this field study of player behavior and activity. She introduces us to her research strategy and the history, structure, and culture of Warcraft; argues for applying activity theory and theories of aesthetic experience to the study of gaming and play; and educates us on issues of gender, culture, and addiction as part of the play experience. Nardi paints a compelling portrait of what drives online gamers both in this country and in China, where she spent a month studying players in Internet cafes. Bonnie Nardi has given us a fresh look not only at World of Warcraft but at the field of game studies as a whole. One of the first in-depth studies of a game that has become an icon of digital culture, My Life as a Night Elf Priest will capture the interest of both the gamer and the ethnographer. Bonnie A. Nardi is an anthropologist by training and a professor in the Department of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focus is the social implications of digital technologies. She is the author of A Small Matter of Programming: Perspectives on End User Computing and the coauthor of Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart and Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design. Cover art by Jessica Damsky