November 28, 2007
Kindle & Kindness: the rise of the e-book, outsourcing impact, & a laptop for every child
Kindle (active-link version of comment from Leslie's Blog & more)
At this moment, Amazon is heavily promoting Kindle, a new wireless interface reading device whose advanced technology is supposed to simulate the visual qualities/properties of paper (not the texture, of course --Limited Fork, by the way, studies interactions in visual (any/all forms) systems and tactile systems --among others);
Kindle certainly has texture, but not the texture of paper. And it is a device to hold; there is an expected protocol of intimacy in the use of the device. A book itself is a device.
Anyway, an entire book (100+ pages) can download wirelessly, no computer connection required, in about a minute (or so).
There's also the Sony Reader, side by side with Kindle:
(from Gizmodo online gadget guide --read the specs on both).
The laptop keyboard on which I'm typing this, by the way, has interacted with my fingers; there's been structural adaptation on the part of the keyboard, adaptation that reveals patterns of use and variance in pressure as keys are depressed, so there are actual depressions in the metal keys, some deeper than others, some more like greatly-reduced scale glacial gouges. Varying degrees of discoloration, some letters completely worn off the keys. So as I use my laptop more, the laptop increasingly responds to the use, becoming more my laptop. It has been marked; I also mark my books, but in different iterations of mark.
At the moment, it is easier (for me) to overcome protocols that restrict sharing through digital means.
I have about 4,000 books in my home, and I continue to acquire them, continue to enjoy them (but they are turning my home into a warehouse --not a library because I have no space for the display they deserve, so there's quite a bit of stacking and rotation of books from shelves to stacks on the floor.
An electronic system that would allow linking of texts and passages in my library is quite appealing --and Kindle supports note-taking, cross-referencing, linking, and so forth --that sounds good, but I'm not planning on acquiring Kindle this year. Now if someone gives me one, I'll try it out, eager to see whether or not and/or how quickly it's able to show evidence of tactile interactions with my hands.
You should know that Kindle has prior association for me; I've been shaped by what has become a memorable encounter some years ago with the technologically-advenced remake of A Little Princess in which Sara Crewe sings Kindle My Heart as she does in this video tribute to the movie:
The following documentary explores the impact of high-tech outsourcing to India on traditional Indian society and communities:
Kindly watch the following update to Shift Happens, a video made available to you in a previous Illuminating post:
& now the kindness of giving the gift of technology (+ related impact): the one laptop per child get one/give one program (until 31 December 2007)
The following Wall Street Journal video about Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC project and the impact of friendly (both sides for the global good) rivalry between OLPC's AMD-chip based os and Intel's own low-cost Classmate laptop:
Read the WSJ article here
Explore XO (as the laptop is called) features here
Here Laptop Magazine offers a comprehensive review of the XO
as seen in this detailed diagram:
The interface for XO is Sugar instead of Jaquar or Windows Vista, for instance, and is discussed in full in the following You Tube video:
Of course, the XO has unergone evolution since its inception when it was not called XO, and by now (November 2007), the XO itself has been superceded by the XO-1 which is the focus of this Wikipedia entry
(which you can compare with the OLPC wiki).
Finally, a global lens to further illuminate and possibly shape how you configure/reconfigure your blog/video components of impact of technology enclosure:
Image from the Global Denim Project, an initative-lens (and form of enclosure) attempting to understand global impact through investigating denim as a phenomenon that crosses cultures, and most global boundaries, in some way. Spend time, please at the Global Denim Project site.
The Abstract for A Manifesto for the Study of Denim by Daniel Miller and Sophie Woodward:
This paper considers the challenge to anthropology represented by a topic such as global denim. Using the phrase ‘blindingly obvious’ it considers the problems posed by objects that have become ubiquitous. While there are historical narratives about the origins, history and spread of denim, these leave open the issue of how we make compatible the ethnographic study of specific regional appropriations of denim and its global presence in a manner that is distinctly anthropological. Ethnographies of blue jeans in Brazil and England are provided as examples. These suggest the need to understand the relationship between three observations: its global presence, the phenomenon of distressing and its relationship to anxiety in the selection of clothes. As a manifesto, this paper argues for a global academic response that engages with denim from the global commodity chain through to the specificity of local accounts of denim wearing. Ultimately this can provide the basis for an anthropological engagement with global modernity.