RFID: Human Agency and Meaning in Information-Intensive Environments

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

The chapter focuses on the impact of so-called “ubiquitous computing” on human cognition. She analyzes the consequences of “reality mining” by RFID (radio frequency identification) tags that are currently being embedded in product labels, clothing, credit cards, and the environment. The amount of information accessible through and generated by RFIDs is so vast that it may well overwhelm all existing data sources and become, from the viewpoint of human time limitations, essentially infinite. Hayles argues for understanding the constitution of meaning as a “multi-layered distributed activity,” as a result of “context-specific processes of interpretation that occur both within and between human and non-human cognizers.”

(Source: Beyond the Screen introduction by Jörgen Schäfer and Peter Gendolla)

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Scott Rettberg