Ed Hutchins’ manifesto begins: “The Digital Ethnographer’s Workbench project is part of a growing movement in the behavioral sciences to reengage a set of questions that were abandoned early in the cognitive revolution. These questions have to do with the nature of human activity as it occurs in natural settings. We are looking where cognitive science has not paid much attention: fine-scale details of moment-by-moment interactions. We approach this with a theoretical framework that is still being developed. Recent advances in recording technologies give us access to the details of human interaction. Our first order of business is to understand what the phenomena are. What needs explanation? What do people actually do? In our very brief presentations to the lab in recent weeks we have encountered some really interesting phenomena. A partial list includes the following items [more].
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