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User Error: Resisting Computers Culture
     

User Error: Resisting Computers Culture

by Ellen Rose
 

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User Error explodes the myth of computer technology as juggernaut. Multimedia educator Ellen Rose shows that there is no bandwagon, no out-of-control dynamo, no titanic conspiracy to overwhelm us. Instead, there is our own desire to join the fraternity of users, a fraternity that confers legitimacy and power on those who enter the brave new world.

Rose

Overview

User Error explodes the myth of computer technology as juggernaut. Multimedia educator Ellen Rose shows that there is no bandwagon, no out-of-control dynamo, no titanic conspiracy to overwhelm us. Instead, there is our own desire to join the fraternity of users, a fraternity that confers legitimacy and power on those who enter the brave new world.

Rose exposes how we surrender decision-making power in personal and workplace computing situations. As users we willingly grant authority to the creators of software, support materials, and the seductive infrastructure of technocracy.

"Smart" users are rewarded; reluctant users are pathologized. User identity is deliberately constructed at the crossroads of industry, consumer demand, and complicity. User Error sounds a timely alarm, calling on all of us who use the new technologies to recognize how we are being co-opted. With awareness we can reassert our own responsibility and power in this increasingly important interaction.

Savvy, accessible, and up-to-date, User Error offers insight, inspiration, and strategies of resistance to general readers, technology professionals, students, and scholars alike.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rose has written a book for anyone whose life has been affected by computerization, exploring the nature and social implications of computer use in an accessible style. What separates this from other books about technology is its focus on the people who interact daily with computers rather than on the technology itself. She talks about "technolust," the yearning to acquire technology to be considered "smart." In a discussion about software interfaces, Rose argues that the concept of "user-friendly" condescends to users, as if we are "dummies." That's why so many people dislike Clippy, the office assistant who pops up occasionally when using Microsoft Office. She calls for "responsible action," i.e., using technology to make life better or improve the human condition. This appealing book for most libraries is a good complement to the works of harsher technology critics such as Clifford Stoll or Neil Postman.-Joe Accardi, Harper Coll. Lib., Palatine, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781896357799
Publisher:
Between the Lines
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.93(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Rose holds the McCain/Aliant-Telecom Chair in Education and Multimedia at the University of New Brunswick. She directs a graduate programme in instructional design. In addition to numerous journal articles on media, technology, and pedagogy, she has published Hyper Texts: The Language and Culture of Educational Computing.

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