October 30, 2005

What the Geeks Know

Stuart Moulthrop's Engelbart-Award winning paper, "What The Geeks Know", is now online (pdf).

Constructing a new basis for literacy in the archive might permit us to move beyond distinctions between production and reception (writing and reading, in the old idiom) that seem increasingly inappropriate today. In terms of hypertext research, it might encourage further development of a thread that still seems somewhat neglected in our field: descriptive and ethnographic studies of user populations, especially in contexts that include production as well as reception.

Rereading this, I heard a resonance with Merholz's recent despair over UI work that treats the user as a hapless victim.