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Nature of Digital Technology#

Yoo et al (2012) identified two fundamental properties of digital technology

  1. data homgenisation - all data is represented in binary.
  2. reprogrammability - algorithms are also represented in binary and those algorithms can be changed.

Do we really understand the nature of digital technology? If there is a lack of understanding, does that contribute to our inability to leverage it for our purposes?

What other properties are fundamental to digital technology? Are these properties always available for all digital technologies? If not, why not? Is this a problem?


Line of thought driven by the idea that digital technology is actually different in its affordances. That if these differences aren't understood then there are limits on how they can be leveraged for effective and appropriate purposes. Though obviously the nature of digital technology is not the only consideration.

Expanded in some blog posts (e.g. What is the nature of digital technology and into a presentation titled Digital technology ignorance and its implications for learning and teaching


Information Systems Literature#


Yoo, Y., Boland, R. J., Lyytinen, K., & Majchrzak, A. (2012). Organizing for Innovation in the Digitized World. Organization Science, 23(5), 1398--1408.