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What does it mean to say that I am a phenomeno-technical thinker?

Firstly, it means that I comfortably inhabit the space between cheekiness and philosophy. More to the point, I adapt the term from historian Gaston Bachelard, who wrote of phenomenotechnique.

Very briefly, Bachelard argued that the world reveals itself as observable phenomena through the instruments we use. Instruments are more than just physical technologies, they are also techniques, concepts and ways of seeing. The world is not passively represented by these instruments, it also reshapes them -- knowledge is an ongoing process as phenomena recur.

I use the term phenomeno-technical to emphasize my recent interest in the ways research infrastructures are shaped by their objects of study.

You can see an example of this research in my paper 'Historical Ontology and Infrastructure,' co-authored with Jessica Beth Polk.

Past Thinking

I began thinking very early in life.

I used to say I was a post-computational thinker. This was a reaction to the National Science Foundation defining 'computational thinking' in very narrow terms.

When I got over that (and NSF started doing a better job), I decided I was a sociotechnical thinker. This captured my efforts to understand institutions, social organizing, human practice and technology together. Eventually, I realized that the concept 'sociotechnical' didn't encourage me to think about what scientists often consider most important i.e., their objects of study and phenomena. Thus I started thinking ...

...phenomeno-technically. The term is an offense to decent language, but it does the job for now.