The Stuff Of Bits: An Essay On The Materialities Of Information

May 5, 2017|
The Stuff Of Bits: An Essay On The Materialities Of Information by Paul Dourish
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An argument that the material arrangements of information—how it is represented and interpreted—matter significantly for our experience of information and information systems.

Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds, and online stores, are backed by the large-scale physical infrastructures of server farms, fiber optic cables, power plants, and microwave links. But another domain of material constraints also shapes digital living: the digital representations sketched on whiteboards, encoded into software, stored in databases, loaded into computer memory, and transmitted on networks. These digital representations encode aspects of our everyday world and make them available for digital processing. The limits and capacities of those representations carry significant consequences for digital society.
In The Stuff of Bits, Paul Dourish examines the specific materialities that certain digital objects exhibit. He presents four case studies: emulation, the creation of a “virtual” computer inside another; digital spreadsheets and their role in organizational practice; relational databases and the issue of “the databaseable”; and the evolution of digital networking and the representational entailments of network protocols. These case studies demonstrate how a materialist account can offer an entry point to broader concerns—questions of power, policy, and polity in the realm of the digital.

Paul Dourish is Chancellor''s Professor of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction and coauthor of Divining a Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing, both publi...
Title:The Stuff Of Bits: An Essay On The Materialities Of InformationFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:256 pages, 9.31 X 6.38 X 0.9 inShipping dimensions:256 pages, 9.31 X 6.38 X 0.9 inPublished:5 mai 2017Publisher:MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262036207

ISBN - 13:9780262036207

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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