136 pages

Published Nov. 15, 2019 by meson press.


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4 stars (1 review)

Book available on open access: meson.press/books/communication/

Contemporary communication puts us not only in conversation with one another but also with our machinery. Machine communication—to communicate not just via but also with machines—is therefore the focus of this volume. Diving into digital communications history, Finn Brunton brings to the fore the alienness of computational communication by looking at network timekeeping, automated trolling, and early attempts at communication with extraterrestrial life. Picking up this fascination with inhuman communication, Mercedes Bunz then performs a close reading of interaction design and interfaces to show how technology addresses humans (as very young children). Finally, Paula Bialski shares her findings from a field study of software development, analyzing the communicative forms that occur when code is written by separate people. Today, communication unfolds merely between two or more conscious entities but often includes an invisible third party. Inspired by this drastic shift, this volume uncovers new …

1 edition

Two out of three ain't bad

4 stars

Communication is a deep, entertaining and contemporary 3-part collection about communication and technology by three leading researchers in this area. The authors each write about specific areas of communication relating to technological communication.

Finn Brunton's chapter, Hello From Earth explores the highest level idea of communication, asking how two tape recorders, two alien species or two computers might communicate. Through this, he asks broad and often entertaining questions about what communication means from one entity to another, be that human-to-human or human-to-machine, or human-to-alien or machine-to-machine. It features a fascinating history of communication theory, and is very well written.

Mercedes Bunz's The Force of Communication follows this by looking back from computer to human, exploring the "force" of communication when a machine directs a message at a human. Her writing walks a line between theory and accessibility perfectly. Examples used include self-service checkouts and the iPad, and Bunz slowly directs …


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