Human‑Computer Idology

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  • Human‑Computer Idology

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Abstract:

  • In this paper we propose a theoretical framework of political interpretation of new media and interaction. All relevant enough cultural phenomena admit a political interpretation and, therefore, carry a political stance. HCI involves an extensive phenomenological corpus that intersects many areas of knowledge, rendering sensible the need of awareness of some of these political stances. There is not, and cannot be neither methodology nor praxis ideologically uncontaminated. The Ricœurian processes of selection (in Ricœur words ‘dissimulation’), legitimation, and social integration are unavoidable on the social construction of knowledge.Media theories need to move over the fascination of the discovery of how media technology is built. Media has to be appropriated from the rhetoric, and theory needs to catch up with the practitioners in order to establish a meaningful dialogue. The theoretical discourse should not be constructed from a fascinated alien perspective.Flusser’s black box theory identifies the need for media appropriation in order to decipher new media productions. In Flusser’s words: The coding happens inside this black box […]. As long as we are not in possess of this critical view, we remain analphabets. The notion of ‘ideology’ admits several readings, from the Marxism notion of falsehood, to the conceptions of Gramsci and Althusser, ‘who see ideology as an essential part of human existence, […] a communally shared sets of ideas which people draw on to make sense of their existence.’ In HCI, the politicality is evident as designers and organizations sample the world choosing the problems to be solved and their solutions. It is impossible to think about these decisions without realizing that there is always a political model behind them. In Phoebe Sengers’ words: “the proposed ‘solution’ tends to be understood as technologies that monitor users’ behavior and either influence them to make a correct choice, where the correct choice is generally determined by the technology’s designer”.

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