Wednesday, February 25, 2004

To Josh's point where he quotes:

The essential lesson that we have extracted from our experiences with Habitat is that a cyberspace is defined more by the interactions among the actors within it than by the technology with which it is implemented.

I'm taking a very constructivist approach to that statement. I think that it's getting at is the idea that we discussed in class earlier in the semester -- that of the competing views of how humans should interact with technology.

There were those who believed that what computers (or any other sort of information technology will do here) brought to the table was the opportunity to build man-machine relationships. This is the idea of the "verbal interface" for generals or executives who couldn't take the time to learn to type and so on. It's the concept of the "application" where you interact directly with the machine -- not necessarily another individual.

Then there're the folks who think that computers exist to connect people. Email, weblogs, newsgroups, discussion forums... these are all places that connect people via computer rather than connecting people to computers.

The above statement to me is a fancy way of talking about connecting people to people by computers. It does ignore the idea of connecting people directly to the technology, which may or may not be short sighted depending on your particular views. Personally, I believe the real power of technology is in its ability to foster person to person or person to "many" (audience, readers, whatever) connections.

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