Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes In The Age Of The Machine

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Basic Books, 1993 - Science - 290 pages
3 Reviews
In Things That Make Us Smart, Donald A. Norman explores the complex interaction between human thought and the technology it creates, arguing for the development of machines that fit our minds, rather than minds that must conform to the machine.Humans have always worked with objects to extend our cognitive powers, from counting on our fingers to designing massive supercomputers. But advanced technology does more than merely assist with thought and memory—the machines we create begin to shape how we think and, at times, even what we value. Norman, in exploring this complex relationship between humans and machines, gives us the first steps towards demanding a person-centered redesign of the machines that surround our lives.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gooutsideandplay - LibraryThing

A bit dated now, but still very interesting. Explores connection between human thought and technology. Stresses that technology should support human characteristics and thought patterns -- not demand that humans conform to technology. Explains how that can happen with specific examples. Read full review

THINGS THAT MAKE US SMART: Defending Human Attributes in the Age of the Machine

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Cognitive psychologist Norman searches for humane technology and just plain user-friendliness in the paraphernalia and artifacts employed in everyday life. What he finds is that ``today we serve ... Read full review


Chapter Notes and Book Design
A HumanCentered Technology
Experiencing the World
The Power of Representation
Fitting the Artifact to the Person
The Human Mind
Distributed Cognition
A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
Predicting the Future
Soft and Hard Technology
Technology Is Not Neutral
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About the author (1993)

Donald A. Norman is Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, a former ?Apple Fellow,” and a partner in the Nielsen Norman Group Consulting Firm, which consults with corporations on design. He is the author of a number of books on design, including Emotional Design and the best-selling The Design of Everyday Things. He lives in Northbrook, Illinois and Palo Alto, California. Donald A. Norman, founding Chair of the Department of Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego, is an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. He is the author of The Design of Everyday Things, and Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles.

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