User-Centered Technology. A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts By: Robert R. Johnson. Chapter One. Users, Technology, and the Complex( ity ) of the Mundane: Some “Out of the Ordinary” Thoughts. From Politica by Aristotle.
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A Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts
By: Robert R. Johnson
Users, Technology, and the Complex(ity) of the Mundane: Some “Out of the Ordinary” Thoughts
“…the user, or, in other words, the master, of the house will even be a better judge than the builder, just as the pilot will judge better of the rudder than the carpenter, and the guest will judge better of the feast than the cook.”
Going back to the quote from Aristotle at the beginning of the chapter, we must realize that the user’s voice is an important one.
Johnson is attempting to use the art of rhetoric to awaken users to enter into a dialogue about technology.
“The emphasis is on people, rather than technology, although the powers and limits of contemporary machines are considered in order to know how to take that next step from today’s limited machines toward more user-centered ones.”
(Notes, Page 12)
Refiguring the End of Technology: Rhetoric and the Complex of Use
“We are enamored of the things that technology can promise, but we simultaneously live in fear of the power that unchecked growth and dissemination of technology has over our lives. We want technology to help us get where we want to go, but we feel uncomfortable if we are unable to control the direction and speed of the journey.” (Page 20)
“Users, being human, operate in a world where things are constantly “coming into being.” Thus technologies must be described or explained through a lens of contingency, probability, and/or mutability that accounts for shifting contexts and situations.” (Page 24)
Johnson, Robert R. User-Centered Technology: A
Rhetorical Theory for Computers and Other Mundane Artifacts. Albany: SUNY Press, 1998.