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Showing posts from December, 2005

The Expanding Design Space

Really short. When the digital material grows in scope and dimensions, and more aspects of our reality becomes digitized, the technology will not become more stable and defined. Instead, the design space will expand. This is contradictory to what happens with most other technologies where we over time see an increasing focus and stabilization. There is a complex logic behind this that I will come back to. For now, happy new year!

Infoaesthetics and design

I was made aware of the blog called "Infoaesthetics". The page is devoted to information design. You can find a number of really interesting examples linked from there.

I think it is important for anyone working with information technology, and especially in HCI and interaction design, to have a good understanding of visualization. We are entering an age where we will more and more work with digital material, and that material can take any form and shape we want. It all becomes a question of design! We can interact with invisible aspects of reality as well as the physical reality. So, we will face questions on how we want to interact with that combined reality. Where and how do we want to interact? Do we want to fill it with visual representations of the invisible reality or do we want to keep the physical and digital apart? My guess is that we are being drawn and pushed into a situation where we will always interact with a combined reality. What humans have seen as invisible…

Question Technology

I just found this blog with a lot of good information on technology and society. A lot of useful links and book references. Good work, Kevin Arthur! I have also added the link to my link list.

Information Systems research...and happiness

The International Conference of Information Systems is a conference I have attended for quite some years now. I have never really liked the conference, since the research presented is not what excites me. It is usually heavily oriented towards business interests. I have no problem with that, instead it is the kind of research that bothers me. The research is often conducted as studies where someone tries to find out what factors influence a certain phenomenon. The studies are usually done in a rigorous and detailed way. However, to me they are seldom well formulated from the beginning, use methods not suitable for the issues at hand, and almost never end up in results that are at any level of abstraction that would make it interesting for practitioners or the layman.

This year I actually found some interesting sessions and that made me happy, and a little bit more optimistic about the future of the field. Maybe there is hope. Maybe we will see a new kind of research that is interesting…

Outsourcing Game Playing

In New York Times today there is an interesting article on the new industry growing in China -- the game playing industry. It is not about businesses that designs and builds games, it is people playing games for richer people that don't have the time or energy to do it themselves. So, you pay someone to play the boring parts of the game, or the difficult parts to get some rare treasure. This is a consequence of the growing new economy in virtual worlds. In some games you can use tools and powers that you can buy from someone else. This has created a whole new economy. Some weapons are very expensive. You buy or sell them at places like eBay.

Anyhow, this is not new (except for the outsourcing of playing, at least for me that was new), but it is one more evidence that the two worlds are getting more and more involved in each other. The virtual is not "only" virtual anymore, and the physical is not the only "real" world. It is a consequence of the digital transfor…

Marcuse, design and technology

I did read parts of this book a while ago, but now I am reading it again. The book is "Heidegger and Marcuse -- The Catastrophe and Redemption of History" by Andrew Feenberg. I have not spent so much time on the parts on Heidegger, instead I have focused on the chapters on Marcuse and especially the chapter "Aesthetic Redemption". If you are not used to texts by "real" philosophers, this is not an easy book to read, but if you have an interest in an alternative way to understanding our society and how it relates to modern technology, then the book is for you.

I would recommend any reader to start with Marcuse's famous book "The one-dimensional man". One of the best books dealing with our problems of understanding our society, since we are so completely entrenched in it. The two books together advocates the idea that radical change is not found in empirical observations, instead we have to develop our ability to both stay close to our experien…