Johnson, Steven Interface Culture

ISBN 13: 9780062514820

Interface Culture

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9780062514820: Interface Culture

In this hip, erudite manifesto, Steven Johnson bridges the gap that yawns between technology and the arts. . Drawing on his own expertise in the humanities and on the Web, Steven Johnson not only demonstrates how interfaces - those buttons, graphics, and words on the computer screen through which we control information - influence our daily lives, but also tracks their roots back to Victorian novels, early cinema, and even medieval urban planning. The result is a lush cultural and historical tableau in which todays interfaces take their rightful place in the lineage of artistic innovation. With a distinctively accessible style, Interface Culture brings new intellectual depth to the vital discussion of how technology has transformed society, and is sure to provoke wide debate in both literary and technological circles.

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Review:

Steven Johnson turns the tables on the way we consider our computer interfaces. While many discussions focus on how interfaces help us work by adapting to our ways of thinking and our real-world metaphors, Johnson jumps from there to look at how our thinking and world view are altered by our computer interfaces.

He begins with the simple: the mouse improved the spatial nature of our computers by letting us move, by the proxy of our pointers, within the screen. The windows metaphor made cyberspace a 3-D space. And while we tend to think about the graphical nature of interfaces, Johnson also explores the textual side and how it has changed the way we work with the written word.

Interface Culture then goes on to show how, with each advance in technology, the interface shapes our perceptions in new ways. Where mice and windows turned the computing world into cyberspace, agents have created a perception of software as personality. On the larger scale, Johnson sees these tools, originally built on non-cyber metaphors, as creating, in their turn, a new set of metaphors for looking at the rest of the world. And while he finds it exciting, he spends considerable time on such shortcomings in our approach to interfacing: what he considers the excessive emphasis on graphics elements at the cost of anything textual. Johnson, who is the editor of the cerebral Feed Web site and whom Newsweek called one of the most influential people in cyberspace, has written an intelligent book about interface design, its relationship to the real world, and how it affects our perception of worlds both cyber and physical.

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Johnson, Steven
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Book Description HarperOne, 1997. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "As our machines are increasingly jacked into global networks of information, it becomes more and more difficult to "imagine" the dataspace at our fingertips, to picture all that complexity in our mind's eye . . . Representing all that information is going to require a new visual language, as complex and meaningful as the great metropolitan narratives of the 19th-century novel."--from "Interface Culture"In this hip, erudite manifesto, Steven Johnson--one of the most influential people in cyberspace, according to "Newsweek" bridges the gap that yawns between technology and the arts. Drawing on his own expertise in the humanities and on the Web, he not only demonstrates how interfaces--those buttons, graphics and words on the screen through which we control information--influence our daily lives, but also tracks their roots back to Victorian novels, early cinema and even medieval urban planning. The result is a lush cultural and historical tableau in which today's interfaces take their rightful place in the lineage of artistic innovation.With "Interface Culture," Johnson brilliantly charts the vital role interface design plays in modern society. Just as the great novels of Melville, Dickens and Zola explain a rapidly industralizing society to itself, he argues, web sites, Microsoft Bob, flying toasters and the landscapes of video games tell the digital society how to imagine itself and how to get around in cyberspace's unfamiliar realm.The role once pla. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062514822

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