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i guess the fundamental question is: can we really consider the web a metamedium?

forgot about Striphas notion of "controlled consumption", which is quite related to the user condition I'd say (source is my thesis)

and now I'm in the rabbit hole of understanding the evolution of AJAX and XMLHttpRequest. Is it true that the "killer app" for the technology was Gmail?

ok, so here's my tentative chronology of XMLHttpRequest/ AJAX:

2000: Microsoft comes up with XMLHttpRequest (the cornerstone of AJAX) and implements it in Outlook Mail:

2002: uses JavaScript to mimic a desktop mail application, using AJAX methodologies:

2004: Google borrows several ideas from Oddpost to create Gmail:

Apparently at the time there was some discomfort with the idea of turning webpages into apps. Where can I find more about this?

this might have been the historical bifurcation moment: "There were two implementations [of Outlook Web Access] that got started, one based on serving up straight web pages as efficiently as possible with straight HTML, and another one that started playing with the cool user interface you could build with DHTML."

Paul Graham in 2005: "Near my house there is a car with a bumper sticker that reads "death before inconvenience." Most people, most of the time, will take whatever choice requires least work. If Web-based software wins, it will be because it's more convenient. And it looks as if it will be, for users and developers both."

atm "The User Condition" magnum opus (which obviously will never see the light) has the following chapters:

- User/Agent
- Multidimensional Agencies
- Hyperlinearity
- Interface Proletarization
- Vita Administrativa

subchapter title: Infinite Scroll and the Paginated Mind

ok, I tried to put together a tentative chronology of this idea of Interface Industrialization, connecting the emergence of web apps, the invention of the infinite scroll, the appearance of syndication and aggregation, the introduction of smartphones and thus the swipe gesture. Spoiler: it ends with a US Senator wanting to ban infinite scroll

gesture producing a single meaningful action, i.e. *being* the action (fully manual) : Angry Birds


gesture modulating an external autonomous flow (full automation): Flappy Bird

Convenience, seamlessness and straightforwardness are other names the backgrounding of low-level agencies.

action != behavior

action = disruption of behavior

behavior = absence of action

greeting someone with "howdy" = behavior

greeting someone with "the end is near" = action

agency = the capacity to disrupt behavior

p.s. action movies should be called behavior movies

<<Nguyen [creator of Flappy Bird] wanted to make games for people like himself: busy, harried, always on the move. “I pictured how people play,” he says, as he taps his iPhone and reaches his other hand in the air. “One hand holding the train strap.” He’d make a game for them.>>

"There is no variation or evolution in gameplay throughout the game, as the pipes always have the same gap between them and there is no end to the running track, having only the flap and ding sounds and the rising score as rewards." again Flappy Bird

"We could have games for anything. Games for attending classes, co-working, and making art. Games for work. Games for just hanging out. We're going to make these kinds of games. But at this point, it's time we stop thinking about them as games and start considering them part of a broader field: spatial interfaces."

"The accumulation of gadgets hides these meanings Those who use these devices do not understand them; those who invent them do not understand much else. That is why we may *not*, without great ambiguity, use technological abundance as the index of human quality and cultural progress." Wright Mills (1959)

interface proletarization: disappearance of navigation, the user doesn't go anywhere, things come to them

a good interface: one that, despite its complexity, you can understand so well that you can forget about it

"I realized that we can't have a single good term to describe what we do with digital media for a reason.

In the 1960s-1970s digital media pioneers like Alan Kay systematically simulated most existing mediums in a computer. Computers, and various computing devices which followed (such as "smart" phones)came to support reading, viewing, participating, playing, remixing, collaborating.. and also many new functions.

This is why 20th century term s- reader, viewer, participant, publisher, player, user - all apply."

Lev Manovich in 2011

currently in the rabbit hole of ppl programming on their mobile

if agency is the ability to interrupt automatized behavior, then rewiring the computer means acquiring agency in a computer system

"From the perspective of system developers, a utilitarian morality governs technology use. The good user is one who adopts the systems we design and uses them as we envisioned (Redmiles et al., 2005). Similarly, the bad or problematic user is the one who does not embrace the system or device. This creates a moral problem, a stain to be eradicated."

angry birds (action) vs flappy bird (behavior) for now in Italian, but soon to be translated and expanded

the most "active" user of an hegemonic technology is the one who decides not to use it

"Hence one has to ask what happens existentially when I press a key. What happens when I press a typewriter key, a piano key, a button on a television set or on a telephone. What happens when the President of the United States presses the red button or the photographer the camera button. I choose a key, I decide on a key. I decide on a particular letter of the alphabet in the case of a typewriter, on a particular note in the case of a piano, on a particular channel in the case of a television set, or on a particular telephone number. The President decides on a war, the photographer on a picture. Fingertips are organs of choice, of decision." Flusser

"At root, [World of Warcraft] is not simply a fantasy landscape of dragons and epic weapons but a factory floor, an information-age sweatshop. custom tailored in every detail for cooperative ludic labor" Galloway, The Interface Effect, 44

the most representative experience of being a user of a network computer nowadays is the mobile phone:
1) on average, more time is spent there than on laptop or desktop
2) most websites became fundamentally mobile-first in their design, or even mobile-only (think of Instagram)

@entreprecariat I get really upset sometimes when I feel like we are heading towards a society that will require all citizens to enter into a complex contractual relationship with one of two giant california companies.

If you want to do a lot of simple things these days, you are expected to have an intense intimate relationship with Google or Apple. Otherwise you can't participate.

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@KnowPresent I feel you and I also wonder whether in the "mobile first world" wuser are losing agency as interface affordances are drastically reduced. E.g. organizing windows

@entreprecariat If you're not a Steve Jobs fan-victim then you have to be the unabomber. There's no negotiation or anything in between that is offered as a possibility.

@entreprecariat I'm being melodramatic but I feel this is getting worse, where the people who make decisions about these things cannot imagine anyone not using a google or apple product for any interaction.

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