critical issues in multimedia e-book

I've started reading the Interactive Convergence : Critical Issues in Multimedia e-book and so far it's providing some more useful names of other books/reports to chase up. The first chapter is about the different new media university courses in the UK. pasting snippets here as I come across things to follow up or ideas to think about.

Chapter 1
Locating Interactive Media Production

(page 2)
A few media/cultural studies writers began to look at the social
and cultural impact of new media, Sherry Turkle (1985) Second Self:
Computers and the Human Spirit; Carolyn Marvin (1988) When Old
Technologies were new; Philip Hayward (1990) Culture, Technology and
Creativity in the Late Twentieth Century; Jay Bolter, (1991) Writing
Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing; Philip
Hayward and Tana Wollen, eds. (1993) Future Visions: New technologies
of the Screen and Roger Silverstone (1994) Consuming Technologies:
Media and Information in Domestic Spaces

This paragraph has an interesting point.. there's not many books or published educational materials for teaching 'new media' - I suppose the plethora of academic papers are not used for this purpose??

(page 9-10)
8. Maintaining curriculum integrity - quality teaching resources
There are other difficulties facing interactive media course designers
within any academic context. There is an impoverished supply of good
academic sources and few records of the historical development of design
for CD-ROM or the web. Compared with the sources we can draw on for
the teaching of video and film production for example, good books in the
field of interactive-media production are rare. A simple request to fellow
course leaders of interactive media in 7 different institutions for their
favourite production books, revealed that we are resourceful when it
comes to choosing teaching materials but also that most of our books were
over 4 years old and some were very old indeed. This is their list:

Curt Cloninger, Fresh Styles for Web Designers: Eye Candy from the
Underground (New Riders) 2001

Bob Cotton and Richard Oliver, Understanding Hypermedia 2000,

Multimedia Origins, Internet Futures (Phaidon Press, London) 1997

Mark Elsom-Cook, Principles of Interactive Multimedia, (McGraw-Hill
Education) 2000

Elaine England and Andy Finney Managing Multimedia (Addison-
Wesley) 1996 revised 2001

Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
(Penguin Books) 1980, anniversary publication 2000

Bob Hughes, Dust and Magic: The Secrets of Successful Multimedia
Design (Addison-Wesley) 1999

Richard Lanham, The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology and the
Arts (University of Chicago Press) 1995

Brenda Laurel, Computers as Theatre (Addison-Wesley) 1991
Brenda Laurel, ed., The Art of Human Computer Interface Design,
(Addison-Wesley) 1990

Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media, (MIT Press) 2001
Mullet and Sano, Designing visual interfaces (Sun Microsystems Inc.)

Janet Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck, The future of narrative in
Cyberspace (MIT Press) 1997

Donald A Norman, The Design of Everyday Things (Basic Books)
Original 1988, revised ed. 2002

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry
into Values (Bodley Head) 1974, latest publication 1999

Oliver Sachs, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (Picador) 1986

Tom Standage, The Mechanical Turk: The True Story of the Chess-playing
Machine that Fooled the World (Allen Lane The Penguin Press) 2002

Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information (Graphics Press UK) 1990

Tay Vaughan, Multimedia - Making it Work (Osborne McGraw-Hill) 1994
revised 1998

Jefferey Veen, The Art and Science of Web Design (New Riders
Publishing) 2000

Lynda Weimann, Deconstructing web graphics 2.0, (New Riders
Publishing) 1998

Jeffrey Zeldman, Designing with Web Standards (New Riders Publishing)

1. Oren, Tim. “Designing a new medium” in The Art of Human
computer Interface Design, ed., Brenda Laurel, 467-479.
Addison-Wesley, 1990.
2. SEEDA and Human Capital. Skills for the Digital Media
Industry-Research and Recommendations for the South East of
England Development Agency, Final Report, June 2000
3. England, Elaine. UK i-professionals–Education, Training and
Development Audit. ATSF ltd. in conjunction with the BIMA,
2002. Details from
4. Department of Culture Media and Sport. Creative Industries –
Internet Inquiry:’snapsjhot of a rolling wave’ – The Report of the
Creative Industries Task Force Inquiry into the Internet.
February 2000. PDF available
5. SkillSet. Identifying Functions relating to the Computer Games
Industry project, report published by SkillSet, 2002
6. Media Employability Project. 2002 Joint project between
University of Sunderland, Sheffield-Hallam University, De-
Montfort University and the University of Central England. The
project’s aims are: To identify skills and attributes (specific and
transferable) which can be defined as enhancing the
employability of Media Studies graduates. To identify those
elements of curriculum and pedagogic practice which deliver
these skills.
Bolter, Jay. Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of
Writing. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., 1991.
Marvin, Carolyn. When Old Technologies were new: Thinking about
Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century. Oxford
University Press Inc., USA, 1988.
Hayward, Philip. Culture, Technology and Creativity in the Late Twentieth
Century. University of Luton Press,1990.
Hayward, Philip and Wollen, Tana eds.. Future Visions: New technologies
of the Screen. London: BFI Publishing, 1993.
Silverstone, Roger. Consuming Technologies: Media and Information in
Domestic Spaces. Routledge,1994.
Turkle, Sherry. Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit. Pocket
Books, 1985.


Chapter 2
The Difficulty in Communicating with Computers

Kurzweil has some interesting ideas about reverse engineering the brain. I wonder how he can pinpoint dates/years though for when these ideas will come to fruition. is it a case of talking about it will make people develop the tools/technology like some ideas that have become reality and were originally based in science fiction??

(page 17-18)
Despite the discouraging results the mechanistic view is still
viable. For example, Pattie Maes’ (1997) view is that the way agents differ
from ordinary software is that an agent is personalized. It means, among
other things, that an agent is proactive, which in her view means that it can
take its own initiative rather than only react to events. According to Maes
another difference between current software and software agents is that
agents can run autonomously while the user goes about doing other things.
She also argues that the reason to call it an agent is the fact that the
software agent’s actions are based on its knowledge of the user’s

Here Maes, however in good company, seems to overlook the
very nature of autonomy. It is not only the knowledge of the user that is of
concern for autonomous agent but the possibility to refer to itself. An
autonomy, with its reference to self, refers to some language, because
reference is a linguistic phenomenon. In Maes case, autonomy refers to a
well known language, viz. a programming language or in this context we
may speak of the programming language since the expressability is the
same in all programming languages. However, according to Tarski
(1956), no language can completely free itself from external influences
meaning that a metalanguage is necessary to understand complete
autonomy. Hence, the autonomous agents that Maes refers to, are given an
operational and objective description in a mathematical or formal
language, which leaves the understanding of the autonomy outside the
description. So, here we see that the machine metaphor does not succeed
in describing autonomy because it leaves out of account the language in
which the autonomy is described.

Ray Kurzweil (1999) goes several steps further than does Maes,
arguing that by reverse engineering of the brain we may create computers
that are much more intelligent than the person whose brain is transferred.
This is only a question of time not of biological hurdles. We only have to
await the progress in nanotechnology. Kurzweil (1999, pp. 220-222)
predicts that in 2029, the vast majority of “computes” of nonhuman
computing is now conducted on massively parallel
neural nets, much of which is based on the reveres
engineering of the human brain.

Many – but less than a majority – of the specialized
regions of the human brain have been “decoded” and
their massively parallel algorithms have been
deciphered. […] The machine based nets are
substantially faster and have greater computing and
memory capacities and other refinements compared to
their human analogues. [T]here is extensive use of
communication using direct neural connections. This
allows virtual, all-enveloping tactile communication to
take place without entering a “total touch enclosure”[…]
The majority of communication does not involve a
human. The majority of communication involving a
human is between a human and a machine.

In 2099, Kurzweil anticipates that the reverse engineering of the
human brain appears to be complete. Furthermore (p. 234):
Even among those human intelligences still using
carbon-based neurons, there is ubiquitous use of neural
implant technology, which provides enormous
augmentation of human perceptual and cognitive
abilities. Humans who do not utilize such implants are
unable to meaningfully participate in dialogues with
those who do.

Chapter 3
Accounting for User Needs and Motivations in Game Design

“If we were always to judge from reality, games would be
nonsense. But if games were nonsense what else would there be left to
do?” -- Tolstoy

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