CTheory – Jailbreaking the Perfect User Interface

Just published a paper on CTheory.net titled:

Doing with Icons makes Symbols; or, Jailbreaking the Perfect User Interface

Here’s a sample: “Mediation and technologies of mediation, whether the sign (Vygotsky), the symbol (Piaget), or the mirror or signifier (Lacan), all play central roles in accounts of human development and activity. They are not simply metaphors enabling, say, a particular conception of memory, perception or language — as is the case for Plato’s wax tablet, Descartes’¬†camera obscura or Chomsky’s computational “language organ.” Instead, media form the organizing principles for the psyche and its functions overall; they provide the pivotal moment for maturation and humanization — the point where human development allegedly diverges decisively from the animal to the human. But in these contexts, media are not simply the basis, cause or source of psychological phenomena; they are inextricable from and in a sense even constitutive of them.”

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