week 12: the digital milieu

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I see a convergence in psychology, marketing, design, computer science, technology, and innovation in the material we have studied thus far. In order to understand how culture influences technology one must understand the people that make up that culture–hence the psychology. Marketing, or how to engage consumers with technology, has a lot to do with the design of the product, as well as a psychological understanding of how people use technology. This also brings the invisible institutional structures into play– the things that influence human behavior and mental models about technology that are invisible to the eye and are only present by combining an analysis of the past with the present. Computer science and technology studies are of course relevant in that they are necessary in order to bring a product from innovation design and planning to implementation. I believe that all of these disciplines are trying to approach the task of using media to develop and share useful and desirable technology to consumers. Therefore, it is useful to utilize an interdisciplinary approach to technology and media in order to solve this issue, rather than assume that one discipline holds all the answers and “correct” approaches to technology and media creation alone.

Steigler wrote about the necessity of building upon different schools of thought when he said: “The web constitutes an apparatus of reading and writing founded on automata that enable the production of metadata on the basis of digital metalanguages which change what Michel Foucault called the processes of enunciation and discursive formation. All this can only be thought on the condition of studying in detail the neurophysiological, technological and socio-political conditions of the materialisation of the time of thinking (and not only of thinking, but also of life and of the unthought of what one calls noetic beings, which is also, undoubtedly, of their unconscious, in the Freudian sense)” (Steigler 9). In order to understand how interfaces are used and how they function as a part of technology, one must understand “digital metalanguages” –otherwise known as ways of decoding how we determine meaning from digital media.

I found Alexander Galloway’s notion of “the ultimate task is to reveal that this methodological cocktail is itself an interface. Or more precisely, it is to show that the interface itself, as a “control allegory,” indicates the way toward a specific methodological stance. The interface asks a question and, in so doing, suggests an answer” to be an interesting one (Galloway 30). To me it seems as though he is saying that the combinatorial process of integrating different disciplines in order to come up with the best solution for problem solving and creation is itself an interface– that interdisciplinarity is itself a discipline.

The tab function of many web browsers is almost similar to the layout of library catalogue cards or even bookmarks used in books, magazines, and other forms of reading material. Apple’s most updated user interface (iOS 7) has made use of translucence in order to remind viewers of the screen that they had just come from. Smartphone screens as a whole have an interface very similar to that of a computer desktop background, desktop icons and all.


Works Cited