Summary of Technology as Experience

MIT Press,
First Edition: 2004 more...

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Technology as Experience book summary
How do you feel about your cell phone – and who you are when you use it? Your answer is central to its meaning.


5 Overall

3 Applicability

9 Innovation

5 Style


John McCarthy’s and Peter Wright’s book is fascinating because they grapple with some of today’s major social, economic and interpersonal questions, such as what does technology mean and how can you determine its meaning? The authors move through several philosophical approaches that they find useful in framing these questions, review major thinkers in the field, and discuss case studies and personal experiences before reaching conclusions. The book is difficult, because of their academic bent. They are willing to break with existing practices enough to embrace emotional and subjective reactions to technology, but their writing can be thick and their conceptual apparatus is complex. As a result, the content is useful for futurists, those interested in social trends and change, and anyone working in information technology or marketing. However, getAbstract recommends their prose primarily to the more patient members of those categories.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to analyze an experience;
  • What components to look for in determining what an experience means; and
  • Why understanding experiences is so important.


Making Sense of Living with Technology
You don’t just use technology: You live with it every day; it is integrated into everything you do. You might like this intimate engagement with technology when you get a cell phone call from a distant friend. You might hate it when you have to move...
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About the Authors

John McCarthy is a senior lecturer at University College in Cork. Peter Wright is a senior lecturer at the University of York.

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