Beth Kolko on the effect of Hackers and ProduSers on Creativity and Consumerism

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" Beth Kolko, Berkman Fellow and Associate Professor of Technical Communication at the University of Washington, was the guest speaker this week at the Berkman Center’s Luncheon Series.

Kolko’s presentation was entitled “User, Hacker, Builder, Thief: Creativity and Consumerism in a Digital Age.”

The not very slow but definitely steady flow of computer technology into far corners of everyday life has changed fundamental cultural processes and affected how people work, learn, and play. It’s also provided lots of cool stuff to buy. But by some measures there has also been a somewhat fundamental failure of imagination in envisioning what hardware, software and services can look like which has resulted in users from outside targeted demographics adapting technology in unexpected and creative ways. This talk is about diversity of design, the cult of expertise, why hackers are the good guys and lays out the argument that theories of subjectivity and axe grinders can be part of the same conversation. Encouraging users to become hackers, builders, and thieves may be the best way to ensure creative and diverse design." (