Conceptual developments in
           the digital environment

1. Medium Effects
             The Medium is the Message (McLuhan): Technological Environment is the
             Mediums Shapes the Message (Postman): Mediums transform content. Not
             message is translatable.
             The Medium Embodies the Message (Negroponte): Bits are the stuff of

          2.Technological Myopia
             First order effects are overestimated. Second order effects are

             3. Myopic technological rationalism
             Attributing excessive importance to the efficiency of the new medium.
             Underestimating the importance of the social communication
             present in relationships with the technology.

             4. Technological Efficiency Paradox
             Technology offers the potential to make life easier but added
             increase both difficulty of use and user frustration.

          Technological developments for

             5. About Bits
             The economy of bits is driven by bit architecture and by the
             imposed by storage and delivery mediums.
             One can fit many separate streams of bits through the same space/channel that
             previously could carry only one analog stream. Bits can be error corrected more
             easily than can analog information. Bits can be modified and manipulated
             easily. A bit is a bit is a bit: Bits don't care what kinds of information they

          6. Bit radiation and time

             Only live events need real time display. All other events will be
             stored, culled, reorganized, redisplayed.

          7. The Negroponte Carrier Switch
             That which is now in/on the ground will take to the air. That which is
             in the air, will soon be found in/on the ground. Though loop networks
             (such as cable) now combine with star networks (like phone) , STAR networks
             will take over.

             8. Moore's Law from both sides
             Computer power and speed double every 18 months to two years. Rapid
             increase of computer
             speed/power is a good thing. Rapid increase of computer speed/power is bad

          9. Improving System Efficiency
             Close the windows: Right now, systems are designed for generalist use. Systems
             will work better as they are pruned and designed specifically for a smaller set of
             terms and functions. Designing usable technology: The Psychology of Everyday
             Things. The interaction should be a cooperative endeavor between person and
             Misconception and/or miss-appropriation can happen on both sides.

          10. Why designs go wrong
             Innovation is faster than human evolution /adaptation. Aesthetics do not equal
             usability. Designers are not typical users. Designers work to please clients, not
             end-users. Design is for every-person; however, we are all special. Gulf of
             is too wide (difference between user intention and outcome). Gulf of Evaluation
             too wide (difference between perceived and interpretable physical
             representation of system and intended actions).

          11. Why computers go wrong
             Computers break most of the rules of good design. Most users end up spending an
             inordinate amount of time working on the computer rather than on the problem.
             Creeping featurism. Worshiping false complexity.

          12. Good design aids
             Affordances (perceived and actual properties of objects which provide clues as
             how they work) Visibility (state of device and action alternatives). Strong
             conceptual model (coherent, consistent, predictable system image). Good
             mappings (clear relationships among actions-results, controls-effects, system
             state-actions-outcomes). Feedback (full, continuous, accurate info. about the
             results of actions. Proper balance of required knowledge in the head and
             knowledge in the world. Test, retest, be flexible.

             Implementing technological

             13. 30 year rule
             Communication Technology innovations take approximately 30 years
             become "everyday."
             When innovations "hit," though they were a long time in development, they

             14. Ev Rogers' Diffusion Theory
             (about when technology will "take", not about how news spreads)
             Relative advantages? Is the innovation really better? Compatible with current
             technology? Easy to use? Reliable? Observability/word of mouth? Especially
             early adapters. Fidler adds: Bridges of familiarity (especially metaphors/icons).
             Motivating socio-economic-cultural opportunities. Suppression of radical

          15. Medium survival principles
             All established forms must change in response to emerging new media; or die.
             Co-evolution of all communication forms. Convergence Of MORE not fewer.
             of "path crossing" and "overlap". Increased complexity looks like disorder,
             but may be chaos theory in action.

          16. The Communication Business Paradox
             Innovation is competition driven. Communication is monopoly driven.

          17. About cross-ownership
             Negroponte thinks cross-ownership is good: Bits co-mingle so help explain each
             Companies pick up additive abilities to collect and distribute information.
             companies are stronger so more stable. Ed thinks cross-ownership may be bad:
             Competition helps keep companies working hard. Competition helps keep
             honest. The bigger the company, the more insulated and hard to influence.

             18. Traditional Broadcasting vs. New Media
             Broadcasting charges little for many eyes. Broadcasting casts a wide net.
             is pushed toward users. Broadcasting is culturally collaborative. Narrowcasting
             a lot for fewer eyes. Narrowcasting targets very specific users. Narrowcasting is
             by users. Narrowcasting isolates and individualizes.

          19. Technological Complexity Paradox
             Increasingly complex technologies are headed for Users with
             decreasing levels
             of preparation for using technology.

          20. Curve of Complexity
             U-shaped complexity curve: high at first; drops and evens out; then rises
             with innovations. The same technology that simplifies life by providing more
             in each device, also complicates life by making the device harder to learn and use.

             21. The Advantages Gap
             Without intervention, the information marketplace will widen the gaps
             between rich and poor countries and people. Haves and have-nots might
             a better look at each other. These views may further widen, or may help narrow,
             the divides.

             22. Bit protection
             Copyright laws must be re-written Or dropped. The recombinant nature of digital
             information confounds current laws. Interstate and international commerce laws
             grossly inadequate for the digital world.

          23. The Principle of Relative Constancy

             Americans spend a consitent amount of money on entertainment and
             information. That
             amount is limited by other fixed needs/costs (housing/food/education/heathcare,
             The total spent on entertainment and information, as a percentage of total
             money spent,
             hasn't much changed over generations. So money which might be spent on new
             media may well come out of money now spent on old media (or not be spent at all)

Social developments from digital

          24.The Death of Distance
             Horizontal bonds (language, culture, jobs) will be strengthened across
             different parts of the globe. Vertical bonds (governments and
             to people) will weaken.Familiarity may (or may not) breed love; but it
             drive knowledge of others. Income distribution across countries will
             but within countries will widen. Digitization leaves tracks: commercial use
             content can be targeted. Information overload will both enable and cripple
             government surveillance efforts.

          25.Global Village vs. Global Marketplace
             In the village, folks would--Be interconnected--Be interdependent--
             mixing home with job-- Share a cultural veneer so, would be informed about
             other. In the marketplace, folks--Would share a public info. infrastructure--
             access widely available info. resources--Could scale info. use to their needs--Are
             very independent.

          26. Urban Villagers vs.Urbane Villagers
             Folks might be very Urbane, and ignore those in need and eschew contact with
             Folks mightstress their participation as villagers and use info. to nurture culture

          27. Control
             Technology has long been used as a form of control. If users don't fully
             the new environment, technology, formalism, bureaucracy will prevail. CMC
             not favor democratic political development. CMC does not function uniformly
             environments. CMC does not break down established organizational/social
             Status differences still work their ways. Who controls the products of a certain
             technology? What social project is incorporated in that technology? CMC can
             more unknown observation. Asymmetry in message/sender/receiver: sending
             involves far lower costs, so happens more often.

          28. Liquescence
          The state in which power resides Authoritarian power thrives on
             Global economy lacks local outposts where one can find and critique the overly
             establishment. Architectural monuments of power are hollow/empty: the elite
             in cyberspace.

          29. New Media might Challenge/Resist
             Power Elite
             Artistic creation can establish resistive public forums (esp. recombinant content).
             Digital hypertext might break linearity and destabilize the inevitability of textual
             authority (so users can reach their own conclusions). Images can no longer be
             as having fidelity to referents. Plagiarism might be back: the nature of "author"
             probably more political than real anyway. Though networks are still centralized,
             the means of production is de-centralized. Technology can be a means of active
             production rather than passive consumption.

          30. Pulling instead of pushing
             In the current environment, most information gets pushed onto/at consumers.
             In the
             new media environment, more information will be pulled by users. Pulling may
             empower users However pulling provides LOTS of tracking information to
             such that they might encourage the change.

             Ontological implications

          31. New Media, Ancient Humans, Old Brains
             We can't/won't rewire humans overnight. New/Digital media will have to fit the
             ways that we are, now, or only early adopters will stay with it.

          32. The Cartesian Split
          On the "Technology" side: Science/ Logic/ Reason/ Progress/ Developing
             / Environmental concerns/Nuclear fears
          On the "Humanities" side: Art/Religion/History/Literature/
             Anti-establishment/Impractical/ Cultural hegemony/ Elitist/ aesthetics
             Reuniting technology & humanities. If left alone, New Media exacerbates
             the split.
             Techies have to shift interest from structure of information to the conceptual
             meanings in information. Humies have to learn to master and control the
             of New Media.

             33. Tools/Technologies/artifacts transform
          Tools are occasions for redefinition of goals and meanings. Artifacts are
             interfaces between\actors and environments. Artifacts embody the principles and

             practices of a given culture. Artifacts enable and constrain Artifacts have politics
             and are involved in struggles for socioeconomic control. Artifacts modify
             abilities, competencies, ways of thinking.

             34. The Media Equation (new media, old
             Media equal real life. People expect new media to follow the natural rules of
             interpersonal interaction, as though the rules apply in and to media as well.
             respond socially and naturally to media even though they believe it is not
             to do so and though they don't think they themselves do. People can think
             through this
             and avoid it but when they don't (when tired, distracted, busy, "normal," on
             they follow the equation. People like most that which is present, simple,social,

          34a. Media Equation Findings I
             (Interpersonal/Small Group)
             Polite is better. Nearness increases participation. Praise is better than blame
             Praise from others is good; from respected others is even better. Personality is
             than fact. Liking is the primary emotional response (or NOT liking). Teams are
             (identification and interdependence); even when people are teamed with
             machines. Gender
             counts, is role differentiated, with male preference.Negative media
             is disliked by remembered. Media arouse, arousal can accumulate; arousal is not
             antithetical to thought.

          34b. Media Equation Findings II (General
             Specialists are thought to be better (even when a machine).
             Multiple voices differentiate so may be problematic (and/or may be used
             strategically) in computers. "Kill the
             Messenger" holds for sources orientation (programmers are transparent and
             Size arouses. Perception is crucial (that which seems true is taken as true).

          34c. Media Equation Findings III (Mass Com)
             Motion gets attention and prepares user for action. Scene changes demand
             (cuts); visually dynamic messages get favorable attention. Subliminal imagery
             is everyday. It can prime later actions. Picture fidelity does not matter much;
             sound fidelity does.
             Synchrony (correct audio/video timing) is CRUCIAL.

          35. Fear of Fragmentation
             Every new representational medium has been accompanied by fear that
             representational arts can be delusional. The more persuasive the medium, the
             dangerous. Digital can assimilate all previous representations . . . So seems

             36. Fragmentation of the Self
             In the forever-ness of nextness--always changing images, we may lose a sense of
             we really are. Digitization enables role-taking to the extreme. Authorship
             becomes moot.

          37. Answer to fragmentation: Kaleidoscopic
            Multiform narratives feature alternative time/action lines Readers assume a
             active role when processing them: Immersion is possible here; agency has real
             outcomes. Digital media can manage multi-form-ality via procedurals, spatiality,
             the encyclopedic nature of computers. Mosaic forms of communication present a
             epistemology Computers might help us master the fragmentation of the age. We
             learn to understand narrative PROCESS (rather than just practices and/or
             We can reenter the multiple possibili.ties to see how alternatives work out.
             is nice, but the real power here is simulation

             Epistemological implications

          38. Epistemological Changes
             Deliberate and careful data analysis and critical thinking may fade. Quick
             informational accessing and processing will increase. The IMAGE may
             rather than content.

          39. Textual/Digital Oscillation
          {e.g., scale changes transform reality}
             We thought we were: Doing unconscious expression / looking through text/
             toward Correctness . Instead, need to learn to know so as to write about it/do
             self-conscious design look at text / work toward Effectiveness-Decorum/
             Learn so as to use it.

             40. Introduction to Chaos Theory
             Small scale disorder is often large scale patterning. Small variation events
             cascade into large scale patterns of change. Scale is relative to point of view: a
             view will often show patterns which look random up close.

          41.Epistemological Chaos & New Media
             Digital Visualization works as as a vital new conceptual tool. Digital
             introduces new attention structures. Our attention is drawn to Dynamic
             stability Chaos Boundary conditions The liminal (in gray areas) Life is
             which creates new meanings. Digital promotes self-consciousness about

Ed Lamoureux
 Associate Professor, Speech Communication
                                           Interim Director, Multimedia Program,Bradley University