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Displaying: 1-6 of 6 documents


1. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Joseph D. Martin, Evaluating Hidden Costs of Technological Change: Scaffolding, Agency, and Entrenchment
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This paper explores the process by which new technologies supplant or constrain cultural scaffolding processes and the consequences thereof. As elaborated by William Wimsatt and James Griesemer, cultural scaffolds support the acquisition of new capabilities by individuals or organizations. When technologies displace scaffolds, those who previously acquired capabilities from them come to rely upon the new technologies to complete tasks they could once accomplish on their own. Therefore, the would-be beneficiaries of those scaffolds are deprived of the agency to exercise the capabilities the scaffolds supported. Evaluating how technologies displace cultural scaffolds can ground philosophical assessments of the cultural value of technologies.
2. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Heather Wiltse, Erik Stolterman, Johan Redström, Wicked Interactions: (On the Necessity of) Reframing the ‘Computer’ in Philosophy and Design
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The digital computational technologies that over the past decades have come to be fully integrated into nearly all aspects of human life have varying forms, scales, interactive mechanisms, functions, configurations, and interconnections. Much of this complexity and associated implications for human experience are, however, hidden by prevalent notions of ‘the computer’ as an object. In this paper, we consider how everyday digital technologies collectively mediate human experience, arguing that these technologies are better understood as fluid assemblages that have as many similarities with the infra-structural as they have properties typical for objects. We characterize these aspects in terms of ‘wicked interactions,’ drawing on and adapting the classic theory of wicked problems in design discourse that has similarly considered the complexity of interactions with and within other types of social infrastructure. In doing this we emphasize the need and the potential for building up connections between philosophy of technology and design discourse, with the hope that this might further the shared goals of understanding digital technologies and their consequences and determining how to act in relation to them and their design.
3. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Timothy Barker, Media Ecology in Michel Serres's Philosophy of Communication
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Throughout his philosophical project Michel Serres uses the etymological connections between words to reveal much larger experiential and philosophical links. One such connection is between the words ‘media’ and ‘milieu’. In this paper I show how Serres’ philosophy of communication can be used to think critically about the relationship between media and the environment. The paper provides an introduction to Serres’ mode of thought, focusing on his treatment of communication systems. It explores his articulation of noise, information, and thermodynamics and what this contributes to critical discussions of media ecology.
4. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Liam Mitchell, Karmic Cascades: Ranking Content and Conditioning Thought on reddit.com
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The content ranking system of reddit.com, the English language Internet’s most popular social news website, plays a large but often unnoticed role in shaping what users see and how they think. By pairing informational cascade theory with textual analysis, I argue that the “karma” system elevates particular forms of content over others and generates numerical cues that unconsciously guide users’ judgments about said content and about the world. By drawing on Heidegger’s account of modern technology, I argue that the karma system both symptomatizes and engenders an ontological perspective according to which things in general are taken as available, evaluable, and disposable.
5. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Giovanni Simonetta, The Realism and Ecology of Augmented Reality: An Ecological Way to Understand the Human-Computer Relationship
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Unlike in the phrase “Virtual Reality,” in the phrase “Augmented Reality” (AR) the stress is put on the word “reality.” It seems, though, that we still lack a concept of reality which can fit the world of both humans and computers. In connection with this philosophical issue, this paper aims to provide the background for a better insight into the meaning of Augmented Reality and its impact on human behavior. My thesis is that an ecological version of direct perception’s realism constitutes the most natural framework from which to start. The ecological approach to perception – namely, the Gibsonian theory of affordances – together with a non-dualistic, pragmatist and evolutionist notion of reality, perfectly fits this purpose. Thus, after a brief survey of the present state of AR technologies, it should become natural to interpret AR digital contents as implementations of affordances.
6. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Joshua Penrod, Ingenious Fluids: A Review of The Romantic Machine
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