Re: [xmca] technological tools & foreign cultures

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Thu Feb 09 2006 - 11:30:46 PST

Hi Basile-- You can see that your question is indeed important to xmca-ites.
A.R. Luria was a friend/student of Lev Vygotsky. His autobiography is
in English through Amazon and is a good introduction to the overall problem
cultural mediation and human development as it has been developed within
I have come to refer to as cultural historical activity theory.

On 2/9/06, basile zimmermann <> wrote:
> 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"
> Basile
> >> 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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