The common rhetoric about technology falls into two extreme categories: uncritical acceptance or blanket rejection. Claiming a middle ground, Bonnie Nardi and Vicki O'Day call for responsible, informed engagement with technology in local settings, which they call information ecologies.
An information ecology is a system of people, practices, technologies, and values in a local environment. Nardi and O'Day encourage the reader to become more aware of the ways people and technology are interrelated. They draw on their empirical research in offices, libraries, schools, and hospitals to show how people can engage their own values and commitments while using technology.
About the Author
Bonnie A. Nardi is Associate Professor in the School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of A Small Matter of Programming (1993), and coauthor of Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart (1999), both published by the MIT Press.
"[A] new and refreshing perspective on our technologically dependent society. . . . Information Ecologies is an antidote to our current infection: our unquestioning acceptance of, and dependence upon, technology. Nardi and O'Day demonstrate how technology can have a more humane face when handled properly and integrated into a social environment where the human factor isn't ignored." —David Howell, Daily Telegraph