The conventional idea” technology is not culture” is challenged by mediology idea. The “technology” is not affect “culture”, they are not separate sphere, they are somehow related to each other.
So let me apply my understanding to the browser, a window. Here is the picture of Google search browser in my computer.
So we see the search bar first of all. We mainly use this page for search intention. The action unite contains users, who input search terms into the bar and get results; the browser of search engine, the programming in the black box behind the window to show us the outputs, the devices like computer that showing the browser on screen; the microwave of wifi in the air, the Router provides wifi….
So the window is just an interface for us to get access with the results, to what is processing in the devices, is hiding in the blackbox of the devices. Every part of it, the screen, speaker, audio chip, mainboard, keyboard, wifi receiver and so on consist of the devices and contribute to the processing in the devices, and that is the design thinking of modularity.
Also, for the page of the window, we can see the logo of google, and the search bar, and some reminder of previous history. That is the design of a browser, and everything that serves which part is manifested on the browser, that is also the design thinking of making tings visible to users.
The thing support the process behind the screen is the internet, a network of networks. There are several layers of how the electric, digit is being packing and processing into things that become readable to us and finally apply to us. The information flow through the fiber and being linked together into data, then the database flow to internet protocol, and got transport by the wave, then comes to the applications, and finally is the content we receive.
So the internet is also now claimed a virtual world, and people are arguing fighting for the Internet freedom, all countries around the world are somehow have different governance toward the internet world, so that is also involving human rights, free speech, the right to be forgotten and so on.
So it feels like the window, can actually have relationship to all these different areas, it is like in the article “Régis Debray, What is Mediology?” said: “Our interest, then, does not concern an object nor an area of the real (e.g., the media), but the relationship between these objects or these areas. Between an ideality and a materiality, a thought and a machine, a plan and a device. “
- Regis Debray, What is Mediology? Le Monde Diplomatique, Aug., 1999. Trans. Martin Irvine.
- Martin Irvine, “Understanding Sociotechnical Systems with Mediology and Actor Network Theory
- Werner Rammert, “Where the Action Is: Distributed Agency Between Humans, Machines, and Programs,” 2008. Social Science Open Access Repository (SSOAR)