In the Bubble

January 7, 2011

I spent this past week browsing a copy of designer John Thackara’s book “In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World” (MIT Press, 2005) from the New York Public Library. I found this quote provocative:

“We’ve built a technology-focused society that is remarkable on means, but hazy about ends. It’s no longer clear to which question all this stuff – tech – is an answer, or what value it adds to our lives. Too many people I meet assume that being innovative means ‘adding technology to it.’ Technology has become a powerful, self-replicating system that is accustomed to respect and receives the lion’s share of research funding. In NASDAQ, tech even has its own stock exchange,” (p. 2).

As (communications) technology researchers, what is our role in defining or investigating – rather than simply accepting or evangelizing – technology?

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