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Introduction 1. From Bits to the Object 2. From Objects to the Interface 3. On the Interface - Input - Mediation - Output 4. From the Interface to the Web 5. Abstraction and Its Consequences Bibliography Index
An ontological study of how the digital works and the characteristics it lends to the technologies and cultures that surround it.
Aden Evens is Associate Professor of English at Dartmouth College, USA.
In pointing a finger at the digital, Aden Evens is neither skeptical nor enthusiastic, but offers a careful tracking of the logic described in his title. Careful in the meticulous and informed argument, written in lucid and downright enjoyable prose; but also careful in how far to lament or grieve future outcomes, and here Evens is reasoned and balanced in weighing the potentials of the digital; and finally, care in assessing the burden or weight of the digital on us - how much care we need to take. In this, Evens pulls off the feat of arguing the digital is defined by its abstraction and showing this abstraction in the most pragmatic and everyday ways possible. We feel the digital's weight in all we do today, and Evens' book is a wise and necessary guide. -- Sandy Baldwin, Professor of English, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA Evens (Dartmouth College) argues that something is lost in our interactions with digital technologies. Clearly, much is changed, but is the loss more than the gain? Evens ... develops the argument ... as a critique of abstraction, an etymological deconstruction of language used to talk about abstraction, and prescriptive critical analyses of Smalltalk, the user interface, and the World Wide Web. ... It may well be that digital objects have a more austere logic than physical objects, but this makes it even more important to understand how they have nevertheless transformed human activity and experience so rapidly and thoroughly. Useful for graduate students, primarily to provoke critical discussions about digital technology. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students. * CHOICE *