Saturday, February 26, 2005

Against technological determinism 1.0

In studying people's use of writing technologies, I'm often concerned on the influence of the tool on how the activity it mediates unfolds. But technologies are only really influential if they're used in expected ways. A recent Boing Boing post cites a piece that refers to the hacker virtue of "User innovation and the lack of passivity".

I read about the same phenomenon recently in Neal Stephenson's Zodiac:
"Old hardware clerks have learned the hard way that nothing in a hardware store ever gets bought for its nominal purpose. You buy something that was designed to do one thing, and you use it for another." (p. 64)

Here's a resource for all active, innovative users:
[oh and see! what'd I tell ya?]

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