Re: [xmca] technological tools & foreign cultures

From: basile zimmermann (
Date: Thu Feb 09 2006 - 07:23:07 PST

Dear friends,

Thanks a lot for the answers, I will have a close look to Tony's
article, so far I like the word "physical capital", but I need a second
reading, the text is a little difficult for me.

- to Mike: I like very much what you wrote. Who are Luria and LSV and
this idea that "self control arises in conjunction with mediated
action"? I never heard of them, sorry if its a stupid question :-)

- For now the Chinese are still, as far as I know, mostly using input
in pinyin and converting to characters (and forgetting how to write by
hand). Graphic tablets are on the way, but it wasn't mainstream at all
last time I was in Beijing (summer 2005)

- I am not very good with definitions and terms, especially in English.
Im not sure about the word 'affordances', I read it somewhere, and it
looked pretty close to what I was observing inside the tools. No
equivalent in French either. About 'technological' tools, I was trying
to make a difference between a computer and a spoon; 'technological'
for "more complicated in terms of number of things -- human decisions
buried inside"


>> I was wondering if someone on the list could help me find information
>> on "affordances or cultural constraints 'inside' technological tools,
>> based on history and design".
>> Things like when an ASCII keyboard is based on the latin alphabet,
>> which is inconvenient for writing in Chinese, the issue of 'corrupted'
>> French (and other foreign languages) accents in e-mails*, or the fact
>> that websites names can only be written in plain English etc.
>> Any help really appreciated (I am looking for more
>> references/comparisons for my thesis) --thanks very much in advance,

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