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Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate cover
  • ISBN: 9780062514820
  • ISBN10: 0062514822

Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate

by Johnson, Steven

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publish date: 12/01/1999
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Description
Interfaces -- the visual icons, buttons, and text of a computer screen link us to the technical language within It organize how the world works and thinks. Omnipresent in software, television, video games, ATMs, and telephones, interfaces filter information and thus direct our lives. Steven Johnson, one of the most influential new voices on cyberspace and founder of the on-line magazine Feed (praised by the Economist as "cyberspace for grownups"), launches a radical argument that the ubiquitous interface is in fact a cultural force that, like fiction or painting, both expresses and controls the world's sense of itself in the digital age.

Controversial, clear-sighted, and challenging, Interface Culture argues that interfaces fill a vital role for the wired world. Just as the great novels of Melville, Dickens, and Zola explained a rapidly industrializing society to itself, Web sites, Microsoft Bob, flying toasters, and the creatures and landscapes of video games tell the digital society how to imagine itself and how to get around in the unfamiliar territory of cyberspace.

To put high technology in a historical perspective, Johnson looks back at the cultural forebears of the interface from the maps and travelogues of the Age of Exploration, to the satiric plays and novels of the eighteenth century, to the sitcoms of television. Regarding the future of the interface, Johnson has some predictions as well from what your PC screen will look like in ten years (nothing like it does today) to how new interfaces will alter the style of our conversation, prose, and thoughts. Witty and controversial, fluently written and insightful, Interface Culture is an essential contribution to the debate onhow technology has transformed society.

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