Summary of Papers

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Common Themes

  • Technology is reinterpreted by the users and this reinterpretation feeds back into the design
  • There are tensions between multiple interpretations of technology which can sometimes be resolved
  • Technological stabilisation requires some process of negotiation


  • Looks at the introduction of the car into rural America - how farmers used the car for their own goals
  • Very much opposed to technological determinism, believes that users have an important role in shaping the progress of technology.
  • Social Construction of Technology
  • The process of technological closure: Stabilisation of feedback loop.
  • Initial reaction against cars
  • Once accepted, cars were seen as "a general source of power"
  • Links between cars & DIY:

Makers Bill of Rights

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  • Interpretive Closure: Combination of criticism and introduction of products to meet need


  • Asks "How do technologies and users relate to each other" within the context of the Argentine Mailing List
  • Presents 3 frameworks
    • Direct Impact
    • Mediated Impact
    • Mutual Shaping
  • Dynamics of "Banal Nationalism"
  • Mutual Shaping in action: MajorDomo installed->council formed->new server needed->fundraising organised
  • CD-ROM as a boundary object?


  • Society has become "informationalised"
  • The inherent structure of software & the internet leads to a state of "permenant beta" (technological determinism? no!?)
  • Wikipedia: The ultimate permenant beta
  • Permenant beta and work/cognition
  • Reactions to permemnant beta: romanticisation of the antique?
  • BetaTeen and abdicating control to the user
  • Web 2.0 logo generator (unfortunately, now defunct)

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