Douglas Schuler

Douglas Schuler is a member of the faculty at The Evergreen State College, former Chair of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), and a founding member of the Seattle Community Network (SCN). He is coeditor of several books, including Shaping the Network Society: The New Role of Civic Society in Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2004) and the author of New Community Networks: Wired for Change.

  • Liberating Voices

    Liberating Voices

    A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution

    Douglas Schuler

    A new model for social change, integrating theory and practice, that shows how information and communication can be used to address urgent social and environmental problems collaboratively.

    In recent decades we have witnessed the creation of a communication system that promises unparalleled connectedness. And yet the optimistic dreams of Internet-enabled engagement and empowerment have faded in the face of widespread Internet commercialization. In Liberating Voices, Douglas Schuler urges us to unleash our collective creativity—social as well as technological—and develop the communication systems that are truly needed. Inspired by the vision and framework outlined in Christopher Alexander's classic 1977 book, A Pattern Language, Schuler presents a pattern language containing 136 patterns designed to meet these challenges. Using this approach, Schuler proposes a new model of social change that integrates theory and practice by showing how information and communication (whether face-to-face, broadcast, or Internet-based) can be used to address urgent social and environmental problems collaboratively. Each of the patterns that form the pattern language (which was developed collaboratively with nearly 100 contributors) is presented consistently; each describes a problem and its context, a discussion, and a solution. The pattern language begins with the most general patterns (“Theory”) and proceeds to the most specific (“Tactics”). Each pattern is a template for research as well as action and is linked to other patterns, thus forming a single coherent whole. Readers will find Liberating Voices an intriguing and informative catalog of contemporary intellectual, social, and technological innovations, a practical manual for citizen activism, and a compelling manifesto for creating a more intelligent, sustainable, and equitable world.

    • Hardcover $70.00 £51.95
    • Paperback $40.00 £30.00
  • Shaping the Network Society

    Shaping the Network Society

    The New Role of Civil Society in Cyberspace

    Douglas Schuler and Peter Day

    How computer professionals and communities can work together to shape sociotechnical systems that will meet society's challenges.

    Information and computer technologies are used every day by real people with real needs. The authors contributing to Shaping the Network Society describe how technology can be used effectively by communities, activists, and citizens to meet society's challenges. In their vision, computer professionals are concerned less with bits, bytes, and algorithms and more with productive partnerships that engage both researchers and community activists. These collaborations are producing important sociotechnical work that will affect the future of the network society.

    Traditionally, academic research on real-world users of technology has been neglected or even discouraged. The authors contributing to this book are working to fill this gap; their theoretical and practical discussions illustrate a new orientation—research that works with people in their natural social environments, uses common language rather than rarefied academic discourse, and takes a pragmatic perspective. The topics they consider are key to democratization and social change. They include human rights in the "global billboard society"; public computing in Toledo, Ohio; public digital culture in Amsterdam; "civil networking" in the former Yugoslavia; information technology and the international public sphere; "historical archaeologies" of community networks; "technobiographical" reflections on the future; libraries as information commons; and globalization and media democracy, as illustrated by Indymedia, a global collective of independent media organizations.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $23.00 £17.99

Contributor

  • Eat, Cook, Grow

    Eat, Cook, Grow

    Mixing Human-Computer Interactions with Human-Food Interactions

    Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, Marcus Foth, and Greg Hearn

    Tools, interfaces, methods, and practices that can help bring about a healthy, socially inclusive, and sustainable food future.

    Our contemporary concerns about food range from food security to agricultural sustainability to getting dinner on the table for family and friends. This book investigates food issues as they intersect with participatory Internet culture—blogs, wikis, online photo- and video-sharing platforms, and social networks—in efforts to bring about a healthy, socially inclusive, and sustainable food future. Focusing on our urban environments provisioned with digital and network capacities, and drawing on such “bottom-up” sociotechnical trends as DIY and open source, the chapters describe engagements with food and technology that engender (re-)creative interactions.

    In the first section, “Eat,” contributors discuss technology-aided approaches to sustainable dining, including digital communication between farmers and urban consumers and a “telematic” dinner party at which guests are present electronically. The chapters in “Cook” describe, among other things, “smart” chopping boards that encourage mindful eating and a website that supports urban wild fruit foraging. Finally, “Grow” connects human-computer interaction with achieving a secure, safe, and ethical food supply, offering chapters on the use of interactive technologies in urban agriculture, efforts to trace the provenance of food with a “Fair Tracing” tool, and other projects.

    Contributors Joon Sang Baek, Pollie Barden, Eric P. S. Baumer, Eli Blevis, Nick Bryan-Kinns, Robert Comber, Jean Duruz, Katharina Frosch, Anne Galloway, Geri Gay, Jordan Geiger, Gijs Geleijnse, Nina Gros, Penny Hagen, Megan Halpern, Greg Hearn, Tad Hirsch, Jettie Hoonhout, Denise Kera, Vera Khovanskaya, Ann Light, Bernt Meerbeek, William Odom, Kenton O'Hara, Charles Spence, Mirjam Struppek, Esther Toet, Marc Tuters, Katharine S. Willis, David L. Wright, Grant Young

    • Hardcover $40.00 £30.00