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What It’s Like to Work on a 30-Year-Old Macintosh - The Atlantic
I really do love his writing. The line about the cruel reality of putting words in order is great.
writing  ianbogost  apple  macintosh  retrocomputing  atlanticmonthly 
14 days ago by UltraNurd
Peripetatic Humanities - YouTube
"A lecture about Mark Sample's "Notes Toward a Deformed Humanities," featuring ideas by Lisa Rhody, Matt Kirchenbaum, Steve Ramsay, Barthes, Foucault, Bahktin, Brian Croxall, Dene Grigar, Roger Whitson, Adeline Koh, Natalia Cecire, and Ian Bogost & the Oulipo, a band opening for The Carpenters."
kathiinmanberens  performance  humanities  deformity  marksample  lisarhody  mattkirchenbaum  steveramsay  foucault  briancroxall  denegrigar  rogerwhitson  adelinekoh  ianbogost  oulipo  deformance  humptydumpty  repair  mikhailbakhtin  linearity  alinear  procedure  books  defamiliarization  reading  howweread  machines  machinereading  technology  michelfoucault  rolandbarthes  nataliacecire  disruption  digitalhumanities  socialmedia  mobile  phones  making  computation  computing  hacking  nonlinear 
february 2018 by robertogreco
The History of Ed-Tech: What Went Wrong?
"There’s a popular origin story about education technology: that, it was first developed and adopted by progressive educators, those interested in “learning by doing” and committed to schools as democratic institutions. Then, something changed in the 1980s (or so): computers became commonplace, and ed-tech became commodified – built and sold by corporations, not by professors or by universities. Thus the responsibility for acquiring classroom technology and for determining how it would be used shifted from a handful of innovative educators (often buying hardware and software with their own money) to school administration; once computers were networked, the responsibility shifted to IT. The purpose of ed-tech shifted as well – from creative computing to keyboarding, from projects to “productivity.” (And I’ll admit. I’m guilty of having repeated some form of this narrative myself.)

[tweet: "What if the decentralized, open web was a historical aberration, an accident between broadcast models, not an ideal that was won then lost?"
https://twitter.com/ibogost/status/644994975797805056 ]

But what if, to borrow from Ian Bogost, “progressive education technology” – the work of Seymour Papert, for example – was a historical aberration, an accident between broadcast models, not an ideal that was won then lost?

There’s always a danger in nostalgia, when one invents a romanticized past – in this case, a once-upon-a-time when education technology was oriented towards justice and inquiry before it was re-oriented towards test scores and flash cards. But rather than think about “what went wrong,” it might be useful to think about what was wrong all along.

Although Papert was no doubt a pioneer, he wasn’t the first person to recognize the potential for computers in education. And he was hardly alone in the 1960s and 1970s in theorizing or developing educational technologies. There was Patrick Suppes at Stanford, for example, who developed math instruction software for IBM mainframes and who popularized what became known as “computer-assisted instruction.” (Arguably, Papert refers to Suppes’ work in Mindstorms when he refers to “the computer being used to program the child” rather than his own vision of the child programming the computer.)

Indeed, as I’ve argued repeatedly, the history of ed-tech dates at least as far back as the turn of the twentieth century and the foundation of the field of educational psychology. Much of we see in ed-tech today reflects those origins – the work of psychologist Sidney Pressey, the work of psychologist B. F. Skinner, the work of psychologist Edward Thorndike. It reflects those origins because, as historian Ellen Condliffe Lagemann has astutely observed, “One cannot understand the history of education in the United States during the twentieth century unless one realizes that Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.”

Ed-tech has always been more Thorndike than Dewey because education has been more Thorndike than Dewey. That means more instructivism than constructionism. That means more multiple choice tests than projects. That means more surveillance than justice.
(How Thorndike's ed-tech is now being rebranded as “personalization” (and by extension, as progressive education) – now that's an interesting story..."

[via: ""Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost" is pretty much the perfect tl;dr version of the history of education."

See also: "Or David Snedden won. People forget about him."
https://twitter.com/doxtdatorb/status/884520604287860736 ]
audreywatters  ianbogost  johndewey  seymourpapert  edtech  computers  technology  education  ellencondliffe  edwardthorndike  bfskinner  sidneypressey  psychology  management  administration  it  patricksuppes  constructivism  constructionism  progressive  mindstorms  progressiveeducation  standardization  personalization  instructivism  testing  davidsnedden  history 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Binky: The App That Does Nothing - The Atlantic
Brilliant. Social networking app with no content and no social network. (via Waxy)
via:waxy  ianbogost  dankurtz  iphone  apps  socialnetworks  atlanticmonthly 
june 2017 by philgyford
Tech Start-Ups Have Become Conceptual Art - The Atlantic
"And in 2017, Nigel Gifford designed an edible, unmanned drone meant to deliver humanitarian aid to disaster zones.
Okay, I lied. The last one is a technology start-up. But it might as well be a work of conceptual art. In fact, it makes one wonder if there’s still any difference between the two.
Conceptualism has taken many forms since the early 20th century. At its heart, the name suggests that a concept or idea behind work of art eclipses or replaces that work’s aesthetic properties. Some conceptual works deemphasize form entirely. (..) Others, like Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull, lean heavily on the material object to produce effects beyond it. (..)
The product epitomizes the conceit of contemporary Silicon Valley. It adopts and commercializes a familiar technology for social and political benefit, but in such a simplistic way that it’s impossible to tell if the solution is proposed in earnest or in parody."
art  conceptual  siliconvalley  ianbogost 
may 2017 by gohai
What Design Can’t Do — Graphic Design between Automation, Relativism, Élite and Cognitariat | THE ENTREPRECARIAT
"However, I think that graphic design (in which I include web design as well), has already undergone the drastic effects of automation, at least in a broad sense. (..)
In his dystopian novel Player Piano (1952), Kurt Vonnegut depicts an almost completely automated society where it is sufficient to simply record the movements of a worker on a disk to ensure that the machine will endlessly repeat them with full accuracy. When I open Word or InDesign, I run into a similar situation, since the page, only apparently blank, already contains a series of design choices registered in advance, such as the margins’ width.
That’s how template culture comes to life, where every new project actually derives from a long sequence of previous projects. In the mid-2000s, default settings became fashionable. Why waste time on design decisions when one can celebrate the aprioristic purity of the template? Aren’t we like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants? Perhaps, this is the most authentic expression of the idealistic impulse that permeates the modernist ideology. (..)
No More Rules. This is the title of the study on the influence of postmodernist mentality on graphic design conducted by Rick Poynor. (..)
Take German designer Manuel Buerger, who went to a copy shop in Mumbai to commission the design of his own business card. (..)
Obviously, texts penned by graphic designers are hardly a novelty: in 1963 Ken Garland wrote the First Things First manifesto while in 1978 Albe Steiner published Il mestiere di grafico. (..)
In addition to being part of popular culture, graphic design has become a common practice (..) According to Ian Bogost, we’re all "hyperemployed". Instead of merely practicing our official job, we perform many of them, before, during and after working hours. (..) Many of these include graphic design operations. (..)
[I]t is also hard to blame a society that is not able to recognize the value of graphic design anymore. Clearly, I don’t speak of the carefully created design of Google, offered for free to millions of users. I refer to the long tail, populated by designers who are forced, in order to survive, to convince their client that the layout specifically developed for a website, with little resources, is better than the interface of, say, Medium.com, a superb free platform. (..)
In the 2000s, Richard Florida theorized the advent of the "creative class", whose transformative potential he praised. A few years later, the MyCreativity group reformulated this concept pragmatically, speaking of self-exploitation, insecurity and creative underclass. We must admit that design schools contribute to populating this creative underclass."
silviolorusso  design  automation  vonnegut  template  postmodern  writers  ianbogost  hyperemployed  practice  free  creativeclass  schools 
may 2017 by gohai
In The Shadow of the Holodeck – Charles J Pratt – Medium
This is really good. I had some beginning-threads of thought at the time of the Bogost article that I just couldn't frame, and in the meantime, CJP has run with similar threads, a good dose of history, and come to some sharp conclusions, and basically reminded me what I actually think. So I'm just going to point at this to say "yes, I think this, and this is better expressed than I could ever have put it". Strong stuff.
games  narrative  charlesjpratt  ianbogost  writing  story  plot  interaction  design 
may 2017 by infovore
The Fidget Spinner Explains the World - The Atlantic
"What is it for? The fidget spinner has been framed as just a toy—but also as a stress-relief tool, a classroom menace, a treatment for ADHD, and a possible salve to smartphone addiction, among other things.

Fidget spinners might or might not be any of those things, but at their core they are something more, and something stranger: the perfect material metaphor for everyday life in early 2017, for good and for ill."

"The top is not just one of the oldest toys, it is also one of the oldest artifacts of human civilization. Along with the earliest wheels, tops have been unearthed in ancient Mesopotamia dating back 5,500 years or more. The Egyptians had tops, too, some of which were found in the tomb of King Tut. Normally, a top is a toy requiring collaboration with the material world. It requires a substrate on which to spin, be it the hard earth of ancient Iraq or the molded-plastic IKEA table in a modern flat. As a toy, the top grounds physics, like a lightning rod grounds electricity. And in this collaboration, the material world always wins. Eventually, the top falls, succumbing to gravity, laying prone on the dirt.

Not so, the fidget spinner. It is a toy for the hand alone—for the individual. Ours is not an era characterized by collaboration between humans and earth—or Earth, for that matter. Whether through libertarian self-reliance or autarchic writ, human effort is first seen as individual effort—especially in the West. Bootstraps-thinking pervades the upper echelons of contemporary American life, from Silicon Valley to the White House. But it also underwrites more marginal plights. When some non-neurotypical fidget spinners shun scientific verification of the device’s therapeutic value, they do so by affirming their individual ability—and right—to self-diagnose and self-treat.

In this context, a top that spins in the hand is like a pocket orrery—a mechanical model of the heavens. The fidget spinner quietly attests that the solitary, individual body who spins it is sufficient to hold a universe. That’s not a counterpoint to the ideology of the smartphone, but an affirmation of that device’s worldview. What is real, and good, and interesting is what can be contained and manipulated in the hand, directly."

"Today, the internet-connected, global economy exerts influence like the electric light once did. Gizmos like the fidget spinner fuse just-in-time manufacturing, global logistics, marketing, retail, and publishing. They exist not to serve a purpose, like play or mental health, but to grease the machinery that fulfills the desire it also invents.

The same values that the fidget spinner symbolizes, like innovation and individualism, are supposed to produce a glorious future: life-extending technology, on-demand delivery, and hyperloop transit. But in truth, progress has ground to a halt. In its place: an infinite supply of gewgaws, whether apps or memes or tops. Each fashions a new itch, whose scratch offers a tiny, temporary relief that replaces broader comforts."
ianbogost  capitalism  distaction  2017  fidgetspinners  fidgeting  latecapitalism  fads  toys 
may 2017 by robertogreco
The Myth of Apple's Great Design - The Atlantic
Apple standardized excellence in design at the surface level, while failing to achieve that distinction holistically. Apple’s products are beautiful objects, no doubt. But beautiful objects whose operation never matched their appearance. Beautiful objects that lied about the depths of that beauty.
march 2017 by tonyyet
Why Nothing Works Anymore - The Atlantic
De reden dat technologie niet goed werkt, heeft vaak een economische achtergrond
technology  ianbogost 
february 2017 by heejeroen
Ian Bogost: Play Anything | Design.blog
"The lesson games have for design is not really a lesson about games at all. It’s a lesson about play. Play isn’t leisure or distraction or the opposite of work. Nor is it doing whatever you want. Play is the work of working something, of figuring out what it does and determining how to operate it. Like a woodworker works wood. By accepting the constraints of an object like a guitar (or like Tetris), the player can proceed to determine what new acts are possible with that object. The pleasure of play—the thing we call fun—is actually just the discovery of that novel action." Not just this quotation, but all of this article, really. So good. Immaterials, again.
ianbogost  games  design  play  interaction  materials  immaterials 
october 2016 by infovore

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