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Interface Culture: How the Digital Medium--from Windows to the Web--Changes the way We Write, Speak [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Stephen Johnson
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Kurzbeschreibung

8. Oktober 1997
"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 played by novelists is now fulfilled by the interface designer, who has bridged the gap between technology and everyday life by providing a conceptual framework for the vast amounts of information and computation that surround us.

Johnson boldly explores the past--a terrain few tech thinkers have dared enter, and one that throws dazzling light on the modern interface's roots. From the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages to the rise of perspective drawing in the Renaissance, from Enlightenment satire to the golden age of television, Interface Culture uses a wealth of venerable "interface innovation" to place newfangled creations like Windows 95 and the Web in a rich historical context.

Controversial, clear-sighted and challenging, Interface Culture also looks at the future--from what PC screens will look like in 10 years to how new interfaces will alter the style of our conversation, prose and thoughts. 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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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
  • Verlag: HarperOne (8. Oktober 1997)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0062514822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062514820
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,1 x 14,7 x 2,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (36 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 41.446 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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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 noncyber 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.

Synopsis

The founder of "Feed," an on-line computer magazine, reveals the enormous impact interfaces--the visual icons and cues on a computer screen that help users navigate their way through a program--are having on society.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, but questionable premise 3. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I think this is an Okay book that could have easily been a lot better with some good editing. Mr. Johnson's premise for the book is hazy at best. Much of the book successfully argues that the interface and web are a new medium--not too much controversy here. But throughout the book, he stretches the importance and capabilities of this technology. He claims the interface and the web are in the same league as major works of art. In his opinion, they are similar to the works of great authors such as James Joyce and Charles Dickens. I have no doubt that the web can be a medium for art, but I fail to see that the technology itself is art and the people who created it are artists. I have no doubt, as Mr. Johnson asserts, that the interface makes massive amounts of data easier to digest. But I fail to see how any of this technology alone equals the social criticism and storytelling mastery of Charles Dickens. I'm also troubled with Mr. Johnson's jumpy writing style. In the chapter about window technology, we some how end up in a discussion over the Wall Street Journal's apparent lack of ethics for cutting a deal with Microsoft. All interesting questions and facts, but how do they tie together? Mr. Johnson claims this is a book of links. He treats the book as a web browser, but unfortunately Mr. Johnson does all the clicking, and we're not really sure how or why we surfed to a particular topic. On the positive side, his chapters on links, text and the history of the interface are fascinating and make this book worthwhile reading. I've had the pleasure to attend a lecture by Mr. Johnson. He is an extremely bright and charming man who is passionate about the technology. He is extremely interesting when he focuses on a narrow topic. In his next book, I hope he finds an editor who can look him in the eye and keep him on track.
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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I've read a lot of these books about cyberculture recently, and Johnson's is one of the best. Positioning itself in neither the camps of "technoboosterism" nor "neo-Luddism," the book is an insightful, informed, and gracefully written history/meditation/prophecy about the evolving nature of "interfaces" as our primary means of inhabiting information society as a culture. Two things about the book stand out for me. One is Johnson's ability to pierce to the core of the notion of "interface" by thinking at a fundamental level about the experience of using such components as "windows," "links," "desktop metaphor," etc. His discussion of these topics is aided by a very judicious, selective look at recent software examples or online paradigms (e.g., his nice discussion of the nature of link discourse on the Suck site). In general, Johnson made me think about these seemingly mundane elements of the "interface" in new, broad ways--technical, social, cultural, and artistic. Secondly, Johnson's penetrating sense of the continuities between current information society and past literary, artistic, and technological societies is a wonder to behold (I enjoyed particularly his comparison of information space to such architectures of the past as the Gothic cathedral or city, and also his excellent comparison/contrast of information space to the 19th-century "connective" novel). He never overdoes the comparisons; I see them as the ballast that accounts for the steadiness of his middle tone between "technoboosterism" and "neo-Luddism." He is not Luddite because he has a strong sense of the evolving, slowly accreting momentum of technical changes and their (sometimes surprising) social reception. Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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3.0 von 5 Sternen McLUHAN THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY 23. März 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Eye wanted to like this book. The hype was awesome. Yet the book, which wheelbarrows its best stuff from Marshall McLuhan, seems to miss McLuhan's point: that the effects of media are more important than its content. This book is primarily about the content of the cyber-media jungle.
For example, Johnson ponders the potential problems of using data based analysis (agents) to spot patterns of behavior. He elaborates on the process while missing the point that agents are following the content of media. (The mystery is not how the magician pulled the rabbit out of her hat; but it is in how she hid the rabbit so well.) The fact is that we are already homogenized by the media, to the point of making agents possible, escapes his scrutiny. He misses the point that we have the mythic fear of intelligent automatons, because we have become just that already. As McLuhan pointed out 35 years ago, we have become the sex organs of machines. We help them reproduce, they keep us supplied with goodies.
His book betrays his bias towards print and print's singular point of view. He has a chapter on Links, but no reference to actual [...] that we could follow. He describes the "Sucksters" and their James Joyce-like use of hypertext, but fails to recognize it for the innovation it is. His format is typical-graphically in the Gutenberg Gal-Lexical mode. Any one of McLuhan's books is typographically more interesting than this book; in which he compares his word use to the word use in an Apple users manual. (p.154) And because of his print bias, he seems to completely miss the possibilities of sound as an interface in the future.
However, if you have never read McLuhan, this would serve as an introduction to some of McLuhan's basic ideas, and a great example for understanding the unconscious effects of media upon human perception. But by all means checkout "The Media is the Message" by McLuhan; it's the real deal.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Opening Our Imaginations to "DataSpace"
In writing Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate, Steven Johnson seems to want us to open our imaginations wider to the potential of... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 30. Juli 2000 von K. Rocap
2.0 von 5 Sternen I judged this book by the editorial reviews
The author has a great skill with the English language. His vocabulary is extensive, his skill with adjectives overwhelming. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 13. Juli 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Connecting today to the past
What do Beavis & Butthead, Talk Soup, and Entertainment Tonight all have in common? The answer is that they are all TV about TV. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 20. April 2000 von Andrew Proehl
4.0 von 5 Sternen Metaphors for Interaction
Steven Johnson, in his provocative book, Interface Culture, defines interface as "software that shapes the interaction between user and computer." (p. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 10. April 2000 von Theresa M. Flynn, Doctoral Student, Pepperdine University
4.0 von 5 Sternen It's like, you know...
In Interface Culture, Johnson has found a way to reach the rest of us when it comes to connecting the human race to the world of computer technology. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 3. April 2000 von Jennifer Lamkins, Pepperdine University
4.0 von 5 Sternen Thinking about Interface Design
In Interface Culture, Johnson takes us on a whirlwind tour of his thoughts on the integration of technology and culture. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 3. April 2000 von Robin Lindbeck
3.0 von 5 Sternen Making Sense of Information
Steven Johnson describes the recurring theme in Interface Culture like one would describe a disruptive technology, as something that is not fully realized at the time that it is... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2000 von Jennifer Ryan
3.0 von 5 Sternen Yeah! The culture is understandable now
Johnson has a very unusual, yet helpful way of explaining how we have come to our current level of human computer interaction. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2000 von Victoria R. Thompson
4.0 von 5 Sternen Theory made readable
Steven Johnson makes the theory of computer interface and its impact on our culture understandable as he uses metaphor, example, and plain language to explore this complex issue. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2000 von Kesten L. Blake
4.0 von 5 Sternen Looking behind the metaphors
In Interface Culture, Steven Johnson, opens our eyes to the way in which our interfaces have led us to where we are in the information age. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 1. April 2000 von George Lenno
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