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The Interface Effect

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Interfaces are back, or perhaps they never left. The familiar Socratic conceit from the Phaedrus, of communication as the process of writing directly on the soul of the other, has returned to center stage in today's discussions of culture and media. Indeed Western thought has long construed media as a grand choice between two kinds of interfaces. Following the optimistic p ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 8th 2012 by Polity Press (first published October 1st 2012)
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Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's a not really standalone theory of interface. It's more like a series of essays commenting on other authors.

the introduction is working on a critique of Manovich.
unworkable interface is working on four categories through two images and some brief discussion on WoW (which is an extension of the diegetic versus non-diegetic discussed in Essays in Algorithmic Culture).
Software and ideology is a commentary on Wendy Chun's statement on software and ideology.
Are some things unrepresentable? is a r
Galloway has some major insights here for theorizing computational media—particularly the idea of centering ethic or practice instead of some essence-of-the-medium ontology. Thinking of computing as the simulation of metaphysics provides much more to work with than trying to figure out what computers “really are.” But most of these insights come early in the book, and it can be tough to follow the threads connecting these key methodological/media-theoretical questions to the subjects of later ch ...more
I won't lie, I'm still trying to wrap my head around "the whatever," which is the only thing that keeps this from being a five star review. The book is beautifully written and intellectually challenging. It's not that I'm not willing to do the intellectual work to get at how Galloway is using the whatever. At the moment, however, I'm not sure I could explain it to someone else. I need to think about it some more, particularly in relation to identity politics and cultural theory. ...more
Fascinating read

The work done by Galloway is mostly effective. The only times that The Interface Effect falls short are he's there are points where more in-depth analysis would have been helpful in strengthening the ideas of the book. That said, the book is approachable. It'll be a great read for people studying technology and communication.
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it
galloway is smart, but moves too quickly and strays too far - his final claims about the "whatever" seem unmotivated, but there is some very rich analysis and he argues cogently about the role of the political. ...more
Zachary Powell
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The virtual (or the new, the next) is no longer the site of emancipation. Rather, it is the primary mechanism of oppression." ...more
Connor Stockton
Jan 17, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-reread
its good but definitely not a good book to jump in and out of - i think this is a commitment book
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