Book review on The Mobile City blog: Paul Dourish & Genevieve Bell – Divining a digital future (2011)

I wrote a review of this recent book on The Mobile City website:


In Divining a Digital Future (2011), computer scientist Paul Dourish (Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine) and cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell (Intel Interaction and Experience Research Lab) again team up in an attempt to marry ethnography with ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) research. The book heavily builds on some of their previous collaborative work. Dourish & Bell propose to develop “a ‘ubiquitous computing of the present’ that takes the messiness of everyday life as a central theme” (4). Their scope embraces the far ends of mythology, the cultural ideal-narratives that shape ubicomp’s research agenda, and messiness, the complex and contested realities of how people actually use and interpret everyday technologies.

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