CCT260 Book Notes
xi Our social connections have been constrained by the real world - geography and atoms. The
net is an artificial world which lets us see how much of our sociality is due to the nature of
ourselves and not the nature of the real world.
A New World
12-13 People being fired for sending inappropriate email. Is email a letter or a conversation?
Public or private?
21-22 In our culture we tend to believe that “Bad things aren’t part of ‘the deal’.” We expect
fixes or compensation.
22 Hoover Dam as “emblematic example” of the power of traditional management.
23-5 In the real world we play by rules that limit surprises. We strive for perfection. We know
how things are expected to work. The web changes concepts of space, time, perfection, social
interaction, knowledge, matter and morality.
32 Lived space is full of affordances (eg, a chair affords us the possibility of sitting) and
(Heidegger) the ready-to-hand.
35 The semantics of the web are spatial. We travel through it.
39 The web has created a strange mixture of documents and buildings. We go to them, we
vandalise them. They’re there. We “go to stores”, not “read catalogues”.
44 We don’t mind travelling to things in the real world, because we have to (eg, supermarkets
putting milk at back of store), but that doesn’t work online - we won’t travel/click far.
44 Real world space contains things within it. But web space is created by the things in it.
45 Distance online is created by links - some things convenient if lots of people link to it. One
big site can’t crowd out others like it could in the real world.
50 The web has no outside. It has places but no space. Only literature and movies come close to
52 Everything on the web is made - no nature. Because it’s human-made it has a moral
dimension. CCT260 Book Notes
54 Companies try to replicate real-world space - stickiness. Inconvenience.
60-2 Time is threaded online - chat room conversations; multiple IM windows at once; going
back and forth to websites rather than queuing; etc.
66 Online our interests control us, not vice versa. Everything is there and we flit according to
our whims. Online conversations are easily threaded and interrupted.
68 “Web, free of the drag of space and free of a permission-based social structure, unsticks our
interests. The threads of our attention come unglued and are rejoined with a much the inner
68 The web has a persistence that enables threads to persist. “Carries its history with it.”
69 Time on the web is more like hand writing, rather than a threads disappearing past Now.
76 Berners-Lee: “The web will always be a little bit broken.”
71-94 Web is imperfect. It breaks. It’s varied. People say what they like.
101-104 On the web fame is local.
104 “Everyone will be famous to fifteen people.” Web fame is more intimate and personal.
105 But the web isn’t the famous and their fans - the web is about groups.
109 Groups online are free of geography and temporal restrictions. Can “meet” all the time.
112 IRL you’re either in a group or you’re not. Online you can also lurk. Different to turning up
IRL and not saying anything.
112 NYT crossword forum - has a convention whereby people post answers in white text -
select it to reveal answer.
115-7 Balancing needs of the individual to speak and the mass to make sense of so many
119 What makes us human isn’t sharing space, but sharing interests, groups, sociability. CCT260 Book Notes
126 The age of the web is correcting the age of computers.
128 People have assumed good decisions result from good input. But this is how we calculate
not decide. A tough decision is often because we have too much info, often inconsistent.
Making a decision involves deciding which info sources to value and making a coherent story.
The story provides a context in which the inputs make sense. Therefore the causality wa