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Co-Evolution of Humans and Tools

Co-Evolution of Humans and Tools



my talk at reboot11, June 26, 2009 ...

my talk at reboot11, June 26, 2009
We should be aware of the fact that we are not just creating our tools but that these artifacts are also shaping us. This is true since the invention of language, writing, the printing press, and more than ever in our digital age of computer and web environments. These are the basis of culture as such, and it is our responsibility to design in a way that supports our life on this planet. BTW_ we neither have another life nor another planet.



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  • about 100000 years the foxp2 gene mutated and human beings developed the ability to speak instead of grunting - oral culture, story telling from generation to generation.
  • Writing 7000 years ago. Made it possible to detach the speaker from the spoken word, transfer the message over time and space. Authorship - Identity
  • Several hundred years before Johannes Gutenberg, movable type was invented in Korea and China – Nobody noticed. 1439 Gutenberg Bible - expensive Aldus Manutius usability - saddle case - carry books around - learn reading - democratizing of wisdom, French revolution, Aufklärung
  • In 1844 Samuel Morse invented telegraphy, which can be seen as the starting point of the Digital Age. Electrifying the word. Transmit writing with electrical power. Computer: Konrad Zuse 1941
  • 3 phases
  • 84 years old today -- on of the pioneers who developed many elements that we are still using today -- motivation Augmenting Human Intellect Augmentation Research Center at Stanfort Research Intitute http://flickr.com/photos/nilsohman/511128120/ http://www.invisiblerevolution.net/engelbart/glossary/index.html
  • A Conceptual Framework http://www.agglo.info/audiolib/arc/infos/info20030406-1.html http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/EngelbartPapers/B5_F18_ConceptFrameworkPt2.html
  • User Experience & Usabiliy This is where I have my roots and background
  • one to one - e-mail, chat,
  • one to many many to many
  • 3 parallel levels that are not realy interconnected with each other. for each level we have to answer the question what is the appropiate learning tool? Yet the combination of those is tremendously powerful.
  • Now if we look a little bit closer
  • Während die Tinte trocknet wird der Gedanke langsam zu Schrift. While the ink is drying - thought slowly becomes writing. This is as close as I can get to the point that matters today. How do we get there to support this process with new digital media?
  • … for children of all ages - reflect, a mirror between me and my thoughts a feedback loop
  • http://www.digibarn.com/collections/books/computer-lib/index.html
  • The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis
  • http://www.briansolis.com/2008/08/introducing-conversation-prism.html

Co-Evolution of Humans and Tools Co-Evolution of Humans and Tools Presentation Transcript

  • Co-Evolution of Humans and Tools Shaping our Digital Habitat Matthias Müller-Prove User Experience Architect Sun Microsystems reboot11, Copenhagen, June 2009
  • Language -100,000 http://www.jimhopper.com/paleo.html
  • Writing ➚ Language -100,000 -5,000 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Medieval_writing_desk.jpg
  • Printing Press ➚ Writing ➚ Language -100,000 -5,000 15th Century http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Printer_in_1568-ce.png
  • Digital Age ➚ Printing Press ➚ Writing ➚ Language -100,000 -5,000 15th Century 20th Century
  • Digital Age Writing Culture Oral Society -100,000 -5,000 15th Century 20th Century
  • http://flickr.com/photos/nilsohman/511128120/ http://www.invisiblerevolution.net/engelbart/glossary/ Douglas C. Engelbart
  • Human using Language, Artifact, Methodology / Training H C http://sloan.stanford.edu/mousesite/EngelbartPapers/B5_F18_ConceptFrameworkPt2.html Doug Engelbart (1962)
  • H C Human-Computer Interaction
  • C H H C Computer Mediated Communication
  • Chemistry of Social Computing
  • Social Web Information Web Personal Computing 1970/80s 1990s/2000s today
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/guymauve/664378096/
  • Wim Wenders: Der Himmer über Berlin (D) 1887
  • http://flickr.com/photos/prupert/68375339/ A Personal Dynamic Medium
  • A Social Dynamic Medium
  • http://www.theconversationprism.com
  • http://www.theconversationprism.com
  • We are shaping the tools. And the tools are shaping us. Marshall McLuhan
  • And it’s the tools that make us smart Don Norman
  • Theodor Holm Nelson
  • Ted Nelson 1974
  • Example: Corporate Microblogging
  • …to shape our (digital) habitat! Matthias Müller-Prove www.mprove.de