Virtuality And Physicality In A Computer-Mediated Environment – my PhD thesis on Medium

I’m uploading my 2005 PhD Thesis as a Medium list. Four chapters are up and there’s another three to go. Find it here.

I first became enchanted by computers in 1985. I had gone to university as a mature student to major in English and History, but it was the optional short course ‘Computers for Management’ that changed my life. It was there that I learned to code in Basic, played adventure games from cassette tapes connected to my Amstrad 6128, and began to grasp the enormity of what programming could do. Everything I have written, studied and thought about since then goes back to those heady days in a tiny computer lab run by the Geography Department at a time when nobody else in the Humanities Faculty had a clue about what was to come.

In 2005, almost twenty years and several books later, I submitted my PhD thesis, ‘A Journey of Integration’, tracking two decades of discoveries, imaginings and mistakes.

But this is the first time, so many years after completion, that my thesis has been made available. Why not before?

Two reasons, really. First, the thesis formed part of a PhD by Publication gained through previously-published work: it was submitted alongside copies of three books, four chapters, three websites and a supporting bibliography. For that reason it’s not as traditionally academic as most conventional theses and this made me reluctant to submit it to any scholarly journals. Ironically, however, other readers might consider it too academic for general readership. So, stuck in my usual uncategorizable backwater, I didn’t send it to any editors at all. Second, I wasn’t happy with the final chapter and always intended to revise it, but never got around to it.

But then, Medium.

I published the Introduction and first three chapters in 2020, and then was distracted by other projects and a certain global pandemic. Now, in 2022, I’m back to finish the task.
As I write, four chapters are already live and I’m working on uploading the last three.

I hope you enjoy reading the thesis and its accompanying books. I welcome your comments and thoughts about your own experiences of the last thirty years in technology.

Photo by Marcis Berzins on Unsplash from Chapter 3 ‘Overwhelming Physicality 1992-1995’