I've finally caught up (sort of)! These are the first articles I write about that I have read *this* year (2014). My last blog post about "articles I've read" treated articles I read a year ago (I don't have time to read that much beyond books during the autumn due to my teaching load).
I'm on a sabbatical in the US (at UC Irvine) as of six months. We arrived in mid-January but there the first week or two was spent fixing admin stuff (enrolling the kids in school etc.) so I basically started to work on February. Below are the articles I read that month.
Since I came to the US, I have started to post quotes from the text I read on Facebook. In this and later blog posts about books and articles I have read, I will from now on include these quotes. See further below for the first batch of quotes. I have chosen to add an asterisk before the authors names for each quote that is included further down on the webpage.
Batch/week 1 - design fiction
Comment: I basically read only one article (about design fiction) as the manuscript was 50 pages long!
- Wakkary, R., Desjardins, A., Hauser, S., & Maestri, L. (2013). A sustainable design fiction: Green practices. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 20(4), 23. */ "This paper explores how sustainable interaction design (SID) can be informed by viewing sustainability within a framework of social practices." Everything should be just right about this article; sustainability, HCI, design fiction. While interesting, the text still for some reason didn't grab me. Still, I'm reading more and more texts about "practice theory" and this being one, I'm learning more and more about it. /*
- Murphy, K. M. (2013). A cultural geometry: Designing political things in Sweden. American Ethnologist, 40(1), 118-131. */ The author is an anthropologist at UCI, he speaks Swedish and we were supposed to meet. There was a mix-up and we never met, but I read his articles to prepare for our meeting. Always interesting to see what an anthropologist-outsider has to say about my culture... "By formulating Swedish design as intrinsically democratic and socially responsible, proponents ... cast mundane things as latent instruments of social justice." /*
More stuff I have read in my quest to learn more about sustainability, ICT and HCI (there's more to come...).
- Mancini, C., Rogers, Y., Bandara, A. K., Coe, T., Jedrzejczyk, L., Joinson, A. N., Blaine, A. P., Thomas, K., & Nuseibeh, B. (2010, April). Contravision: exploring users' reactions to futuristic technology. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 153-162). ACM. */ "How can we best explore the range of users' reactions when developing future technologies that may be controversial ... Our approach -- uses futuristic videos, or other narrative forms, that convey either negative or positive aspects of the proposed technology." Interesting methodological contribution! /*
- * Kirby, D. (2009). The future is now: Diegetic prototypes and the role of popular films in generating real-world technological development. Social Studies of Science. */ "'diegetic prototypes' ... account for the ways in which cinematic depictions of future technologies demonstrate to large public audiences a technology's need, viability and benevolence*. Highly recommended article about the nuts and bolts of how fiction (movies), emerging technologies and maketing of said, not-yet-existing technologies (and the movie) works! How do we become convinced of the necessity, normalcy and viability of technology that does not yet exist? /*
- Pierce, J., & Paulos, E. (2012, May). Beyond energy monitors: interaction, energy, and emerging energy systems. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 665-674). ACM. */ Often-referred to article reviewing energy-related work within HCI (51 papers) with ideas about how to progress beyond electricity consumption feedback and 'using less'. "current work is narrowly focused on a specific set of goals and interventions" /*
- Dourish, P. (2009). Print this paper, kill a tree: Environmental sustainability as a research topic for human-computer interaction. Submitted to Proc CHI. */ The paper has a "troubled history" and first became a UCI report, later to (slightly modified) become an accepted paper ("HCI and environmental sustainability" at the DIS conference. Argues that the HCI focus on individual acts/action (rational actors, cost-benefit analysis, return on investment etc.) is too narrow. We need to look at and think more about the super-individual level, e.g. corporate responsibility, state regulation etc. /*
- Mankoff, J., Kravets, R., & Blevis, E. (2008). Some Computer Science Issues in Creating a Sustainable World. iEEE Computer, 41(8), 102-105. */ An early take. What is the role of, and, how can computer scientists help combat global climate change? Hardware, networks, data centers, electronic waste = low-hanging fruit. This short paper does not - in my opinion - struggle with the really hard questions. /*
- Ross, J., & Tomlinson, B. (2011). Negabehaviors and environmental sustainability. Journal of Sustainability Education, 2. */ "the concept of "negabehaviors" ... are a variation on the idea of "negawatts" (a unit of energy saved through conservation), and offer a way to view and teach environmental sustainability that focuses on subtractive elements rather than additive ones." Instead of only "taking action", how can we also sometimes refrain from behaviours that have negative environmental effects (e.g. "stop taking action")? /*
More stuff I have read in my quest to learn more about sustainability, ICT and HCI (there's more to come...).
- Christie, J. (2013). Sustainable web design. A list apart. Available online at: http://alistapart.com/article/sustainable-web-design. */ Not an academic text but I will consider using it in my education. Written by a practitioner who are concerned about the right things and asks the right questions. How can web designers decrease the carbon footprint of the websites they create? "At 1.4 MB, today's average [web] page is 15 times larger than it was 10 years ago ... The best way to prevent this kind of obesity is to set a page size budget". /*
- Peters, D. (2013). The web runs on electricity and we’re running out. A list apart. Available online at: http://alistapart.com/article/the-web-runs-on-electricity-and-were-running-out. */ Not an academic text but I will consider using it in my education. Again written by a practitioner who are concerned about the right things and asks the right questions. "designing for accessibility, with its support for backward compatibility, allows older devices to be useful for longer" "We should design ... systems that don't need to be on full-tie, that can run tasks only when connected, and that can turn themselves off when not in use."/*
- * Tomlinson, B., Blevis, E., Nardi, B., Patterson, D. J., Silberman, M., & Pan, Y. (2013). Collapse informatics and practice: Theory, method, and design. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 20(4), 24. */ This a longer, expanded and more ambitious paper than the original 2012 collapse informatics article. "While imminent collapse is far from certain, it is prudent to consider now how to develop sociotechnical systems for use in these scenarios." /*
- Huh, J., Nathan, L. P., Blevis, E., Tomlinson, B., Sengers, P., & Busse, D. (2010, April). Examining appropriation, re-use, and maintenance for sustainability. In CHI'10 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 4457-4460). ACM. */ Four-page CHI 2010 workshop description. HCI has started to discuss sustainability, "yet the most difficult task remains [as] the digital ethos is based upon short-lived computing products that come and go at rapid pace." /*
- Sengers, P., Boehner, K., & Knouf, N. (2009). Sustainable HCI meets third wave HCI: 4 themes. Position paper at the CHI 2009 Sustainable HCI workshop. */ Four-page paper with 2.5 pages of text and 1.5 pages of references. The themes are: reflect on sociocultural contexts, act locally, stay open to interpretation and break out of moralism. /*
- Hasan, H. (2013). Information Systems as a Force for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts & Responses, 4(1). */ "This paper takes a conceptual approach to develop a taxonomy of IS-based activities" for averting climate change. The author thinks he is on to something but to me it's just the same old (timid) ideas that are thirteen on the dozen ("inform the public", "monitor and reduce energy use", "improve efficiency of business operations" etc. /*
- Nardi, B. (2013). The Role of Human Computation in Sustainability, or, Social Progress Is Made of Fossil Fuels. In Handbook of Human Computation (pp. 1011-1020). Springer New York. */ The title is a riff of another paper. "The goal of this chapter is to sketch a future of economic decline and discuss how we should prioritize computational resources to prevent the erosion of social gains achieved" "The most important point is that we must absolutely protect the global communication channels the internet has created." /*
- * Rahm, L. (2013). Who Will Survive?: On Bodies and Boundaries after the Apocalypse. In Gender Forum (Vol. 45). */ Written by my friend/colleague Jörgen's wife. "Preppers and Survivalists ... believe in abrupt, imposing and near-in-time disasters and ... are actively and practically preparing to survive this imminent apocalypse. Preparing to survive, in this context, usually focuses on collecting gadgets for defence, safety and food ("bullet, bandages and beans"), but also on social, physical and mental preparedness. Importantly, with the internet, online discussion forums have become a central part of prepping and survivalism" /*
***** on science fiction, movies and future technologies *****
"For scientists and engineers, the best way to jump-start technical development is to produce a working physical prototype. Working physical prototypes, however, are time consuming, expense and require initial funds. [...] cinematic depictions can foster public support for potential or emerging technologies by establishing the need, benevolence and viability of these technologies. [...] film-makers and science consultants [...] construct cinematic scenarios [...] with an eye towards generation real-world funding opportunities and the ability to construct real-life prototypes. [...] technological advocates [...] are creating 'pre-product placements' for technologies that do not yet exist."
David Kirby (2010), "The future is now".
***** on collapse informatics *****
"In this article, we propose that there is a need for research in collapse informatics - the study, design, and development of sociotechnical systems in the abundant present for use in a future of scarcity.
collpase infromatics may produce innovations that are broadly useful, for example, in localized collapse situations, disaster-preparedness and response, or in ICT for Development (ICT4D), even in the event that the global community is able to sustain itself indefinitely.
Bill Tomlinson et. al. (2013), "Collapse informatics and practice".
***** on hard survival skills vs talk and make-believe *****
"The only major study to surface this far is on survivalist culture in the USA. In short, this study descries survivalists as being mostly about "talk" (rather than "action"). Again this points to the importance of online discussion forums as an arean where survivalists can co-create imagined futures and scenarios where their own preparedness will prove useful. In many ways this is a play with alternative futures."
Lina Rahm (2013), "Who will survive".