Swedish ethnologist Erik Ottoson of Uppsala University studies how people browse at flea markets, wander through malls, window shop, and even dumpster-dive, to understand the psychology of "searching." Specifically, Ottoson focuses on "serendipitous searching," what he defines as "open browsing for anything that awakens the person's interest." It would be interesting to compare Ottoson's research on real world searching with serendipitous searching online. From his PhD thesis, titled "Seeking One's Own: On Encounters Between Individuals and Objects":
The people in the study are not just looking for certain things – they are also seeking to come to terms with what they are actually looking for. Ideals of what is beautiful, useful and reasonable materialise in conjunction with the experience of what is available and what is absent or out of reach. It is suggested that this mode of looking for goods is not only about purchase deliberations, but more importantly is a specific way of interacting with the world and making places meaningful. It can be viewed as a way of creating and moderating anticipation, and thereby cultivating affect. Searching for things thus becomes an experiential horizon.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]