Book picks similar to
Simulation and Its Discontents by Sherry Turkle
Nicholas Negroponte - 1995
Negroponte's fans will want to get a copy of Being Digital, which is an edited version of the 18 articles he wrote for Wired about "being digital." Negroponte's text is mostly a history of media technology rather than a set of predictions for future technologies. In the beginning, he describes the evolution of CD-ROMs, multimedia, hypermedia, HDTV (high-definition television), and more. The section on interfaces is informative, offering an up-to-date history on visual interfaces, graphics, virtual reality (VR), holograms, teleconferencing hardware, the mouse and touch-sensitive interfaces, and speech recognition. In the last chapter and the epilogue, Negroponte offers visionary insight on what "being digital" means for our future. Negroponte praises computers for their educational value but recognizes certain dangers of technological advances, such as increased software and data piracy and huge shifts in our job market that will require workers to transfer their skills to the digital medium. Overall, Being Digital provides an informative history of the rise of technology and some interesting predictions for its future.
Edward R. Tufte - 1997
Through computers, the Internet, the media, and even our daily newspapers, we are awash in a seemingly endless stream of charts, maps, infographics, diagrams, and data. Visual Explanations is a navigational guide through this turbulent sea of information. The book is an essential reference for anyone involved in graphic, web, or multimedia design, as well as for educators and lecturers who use graphics in presentations or classes.Jacket design: Dmitry Krasny.Other artwork by Bonnie Scranton, Dmitry Krasny, and Weilin Wu.
You Are Not a Gadget
Jaron Lanier - 2010
Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse.The current design and function of the web have become so familiar that it is easy to forget that they grew out of programming decisions made decades ago. The web’s first designers made crucial choices (such as making one’s presence anonymous) that have had enormous—and often unintended—consequences. What’s more, these designs quickly became “locked in,” a permanent part of the web’s very structure. Lanier discusses the technical and cultural problems that can grow out of poorly considered digital design and warns that our financial markets and sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Twitter are elevating the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and judgment of individuals. Lanier also shows:How 1960s antigovernment paranoia influenced the design of the online world and enabled trolling and trivialization in online discourseHow file sharing is killing the artistic middle class;How a belief in a technological “rapture” motivates some of the most influential technologistsWhy a new humanistic technology is necessary. Controversial and fascinating, You Are Not a Gadget is a deeply felt defense of the individual from an author uniquely qualified to comment on the way technology interacts with our culture.
Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction
Paul Dourish - 2001
Yet it is also a philosophical enterprise in the way it represents the world and creates and manipulates models of reality, people, and action. In this book, Paul Dourish addresses the philosophical bases of human-computer interaction. He looks at how what he calls embodied interaction--an approach to interacting with software systems that emphasizes skilled, engaged practice rather than disembodied rationality--reflects the phenomenological approaches of Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and other twentieth-century philosophers. The phenomenological tradition emphasizes the primacy of natural practice over abstract cognition in everyday activity. Dourish shows how this perspective can shed light on the foundational underpinnings of current research on embodied interaction. He looks in particular at how tangible and social approaches to interaction are related, how they can be used to analyze and understand embodied interaction, and how they could affect the design of future interactive systems.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick - 2011
The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself. And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. The Information is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
Tom Bissell - 2010
He is also an obsessive gamer who has spent untold hours in front of his various video game consoles, playing titles such as Far Cry 2, Left 4 Dead, BioShock, and Oblivion for, literally, days. If you are reading this flap copy, the same thing can probably be said of you, or of someone you know. Until recently, Bissell was somewhat reluctant to admit to his passion for games. In this, he is not alone. Millions of adults spend hours every week playing video games, and the industry itself now reliably outearns Hollywood. But the wider culture seems to regard video games as, at best, well designed if mindless entertainment. Extra Lives is an impassioned defense of this assailed and misunderstood art form. Bissell argues that we are in a golden age of gaming—but he also believes games could be even better. He offers a fascinating and often hilarious critique of the ways video games dazzle and, just as often, frustrate. Along the way, we get firsthand portraits of some of the best minds (Jonathan Blow, Clint Hocking, Cliff Bleszinski, Peter Molyneux) at work in video game design today, as well as a shattering and deeply moving final chapter that describes, in searing detail, Bissell’s descent into the world of Grand Theft Auto IV, a game whose themes mirror his own increasingly self-destructive compulsions. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is like no other book on the subject ever published. Whether you love video games, loathe video games, or are merely curious about why they are becoming the dominant popular art form of our time, Extra Lives is required reading.
Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas
Seymour Papert - 1980
We have Mindstorms to thank for that. In this book, pioneering computer scientist Seymour Papert uses the invention of LOGO, the first child-friendly programming language, to make the case for the value of teaching children with computers. Papert argues that children are more than capable of mastering computers, and that teaching computational processes like de-bugging in the classroom can change the way we learn everything else. He also shows that schools saturated with technology can actually improve socialization and interaction among students and between students and teachers.
Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Paul Graham - 2004
Who are these people, what motivates them, and why should you care?Consider these facts: Everything around us is turning into computers. Your typewriter is gone, replaced by a computer. Your phone has turned into a computer. So has your camera. Soon your TV will. Your car was not only designed on computers, but has more processing power in it than a room-sized mainframe did in 1970. Letters, encyclopedias, newspapers, and even your local store are being replaced by the Internet.Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age, by Paul Graham, explains this world and the motivations of the people who occupy it. In clear, thoughtful prose that draws on illuminating historical examples, Graham takes readers on an unflinching exploration into what he calls “an intellectual Wild West.”The ideas discussed in this book will have a powerful and lasting impact on how we think, how we work, how we develop technology, and how we live. Topics include the importance of beauty in software design, how to make wealth, heresy and free speech, the programming language renaissance, the open-source movement, digital design, internet startups, and more.
To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism
Evgeny Morozov - 2013
But how will these be affected once we delegate much of the responsibility for them to technology? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything—from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity—by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifiying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical, and civic behavior, we may also change the very nature of that behavior itself. Technology, Evgeny Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement—but only if we abandon the idea that it is necessarily revolutionary and instead genuinely interrogate what we are doing with it and what it is doing to us.From urging us to abandon monolithic ideas of “the Internet” to showing how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions, To Save Everything, Click Here is a dazzling tour of our technological future, and a searching investigation into the digital version of an enduring struggle: between man and his machines.
New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future
James Bridle - 2018
Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world. In actual fact, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age. From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation. In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle excavates the limits of technology and how it aids our understanding of the world. Surveying the history of art, technology, and information systems, he explores the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime.
Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World
Kevin Kelly - 1992
Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things.
The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories
Frank Rose - 2011
Now, on YouTube and blogs and Facebook and Twitter, we are media. And while we watch more television than ever before, how we watch it is changing in ways we have barely slowed down to register. No longer content in our traditional role as couch potatoes, we approach television shows, movies, even advertising as invitations to participate—as experiences to immerse ourselves in at will. Wired contributing editor Frank Rose introduces us to the people who are reshaping media for a two-way world—people like Will Wright (The Sims), James Cameron (Avatar), Damon Lindelof (Lost), and dozens of others whose ideas are changing how we play, how we chill, and even how we think. The Art of Immersion is an eye-opening look at the shifting shape of entertainment today.
The New Media Reader [With CDROM]
Noah Wardrip-Fruin - 2003
General introductions by Janet Murray and Lev Manovich, along with short introductions to each of the texts, place the works in their historical context and explain their significance. The texts were originally published between World War II--when digital computing, cybernetic feedback, and early notions of hypertext and the Internet first appeared--and the emergence of the World Wide Web--when they entered the mainstream of public life.The texts are by computer scientists, artists, architects, literary writers, interface designers, cultural critics, and individuals working across disciplines. The contributors include (chronologically) Jorge Luis Borges, Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, Ivan Sutherland, William S. Burroughs, Ted Nelson, Italo Calvino, Marshall McLuhan, Billy Kl?Jean Baudrillard, Nicholas Negroponte, Alan Kay, Bill Viola, Sherry Turkle, Richard Stallman, Brenda Laurel, Langdon Winner, Robert Coover, and Tim Berners-Lee. The CD accompanying the book contains examples of early games, digital art, independent literary efforts, software created at universities, and home-computer commercial software. Also on the CD is digitized video, documenting new media programs and artwork for which no operational version exists. One example is a video record of Douglas Engelbart's first presentation of the mouse, word processor, hyperlink, computer-supported cooperative work, video conferencing, and the dividing up of the screen we now call non-overlapping windows; another is documentation of Lynn Hershman's Lorna, the first interactive video art installation.
Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science
Michael Nielsen - 2011
This change is being driven by powerful new cognitive tools, enabled by the internet, which are greatly accelerating scientific discovery. There are many books about how the internet is changing business or the workplace or government. But this is the first book about something much more fundamental: how the internet is transforming the nature of our collective intelligence and how we understand the world.Reinventing Discovery tells the exciting story of an unprecedented new era of networked science. We learn, for example, how mathematicians in the Polymath Project are spontaneously coming together to collaborate online, tackling and rapidly demolishing previously unsolved problems. We learn how 250,000 amateur astronomers are working together in a project called Galaxy Zoo to understand the large-scale structure of the Universe, and how they are making astonishing discoveries, including an entirely new kind of galaxy. These efforts are just a small part of the larger story told in this book--the story of how scientists are using the internet to dramatically expand our problem-solving ability and increase our combined brainpower.This is a book for anyone who wants to understand how the online world is revolutionizing scientific discovery today--and why the revolution is just beginning.