15th Nov2012

W12: Postcolonial Computing

by averydame
  1. Since Dourish introduced design and OLPC into the conversation, I think it might be interested to consider Negroponte’s most recent experiment, “What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word?” While the coverage has some of the usual problematic elements, the “hacking” and “language” elements present interesting opportunities to expand upon Dourish’s article.
  2. Dourish frequently uses translation as a way to think through the issues he raises. Translation, he argues “has  a  dual meaning: the linguistic sense captures the transformation between different
    languages—culturally  situated  representational  schemes;  the  geometric sense refers to the movement of a figure from place to place” (7). His interest is in linguistic barriers around spoken language, but I wonder if it isn’t also worth adding in programming languages to the mix. How can they also function to promote imperialist goals?
  3. How are some of the functions Anderson discusses in Ch. 10 (particularly, the use of the museum) reproduced in digital spaces? What is the connection and crossover between the digital and the physical?

Fluency – To have a familiarity which enables one to speak and move easily. Relies on interior knowledge without needing support from others. Contributes to one’s ability to translate between and across language barriers. Has the character of flowing.

(Featured Image: The Imperialist Competitive Algorithm, which is geared toward achieving optimization in systems.)

One Response to “W12: Postcolonial Computing”

  • jessicavooris

    I was thinking about that exact news stories when I was reading the Dourish/Philip/Irani article, and hope that we can discuss it further in class!

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