Over the past few years, together with comments at the Work, Interaction & Technology Research Centre (Christian Heath and Helena Webb) at KCL, Will Gibson at the Institute of Education and the optometrists Bruce Evans, David Thomson and Peter Allen I worked on research and knowledge exchange projects exploring the practical work of optometrists and developing communications training material. some of the research now has been written up and a few months ago a paper “Engendering Response: Professional Gesture and the Assessment of Eye Sight in Optometry Consultations” was published in Symbolic Interaction. This paper focuses on a particular procedure, the so-called Subjective Refraction that involves optometrist and patient in a sequence of interaction through which some of the characteristics of any corrective lens the patient might need, are determined. Some may recognise the test as the better/worse test as it is characterised by a procedure during which the optometrist alternates a patient’s vision by placing a lens in front of their eye as asking, “better with or without”. Our study here was particularly interested in the practice of placing the lens in front of the patient’s eye, a practice that we described as “professional gesture”. Although not specifically taught in optometric training the optometrists in our research deployed the lens by moving it in a particular way in front of the patient’s eye. The gestural movement of the lens in front of the patient’s eye followed almost exactly the same route through the air in all consultations that we filmed. Our analysis reveals that such a carefully designed gesture is required for the optometrist to be able to arrive at reliable and robust data about the patient’s sight. They need the patient to respond to a series of different stimuli presented in front of them without reflecting about it.
Here is a video-abstract on the YouTube channel of Symbolic Interaction in which the lead author of the paper, Helena Webb, discusses the content of the paper and shows the gesture.
Lots has been written about Apple’s problems with their Maps application. Apparently, motorists stranded in a National Park in Australia after relying on the app had to be rescued and many people complain or joke about problems with the app.
This morning, I received a Tweet via @CityJohn who used the app after arriving at Clapham South Tube station (South London). He opened the app and triggered the locate function only to be shown this map.
In his tweet @CityJohn writes:
I don’t know what possessed me but I opened up my Apple Maps app and search for Clapham Common and was shown this map.
As far as I can tell the map accurately locates Clapham Common and I decided to pass a picture of the map on to @CityJohn. I have no idea about or interest in the technical workings of Apple Maps but found it interesting how Apple Maps, not only in this case, has become a conversation starter on Twitter. We all know by now that the app is anything but perfect and there is no need to post more examples of its shortfalls. But by posting curious examples one is almost certain to receive a response from others.
So, not surprisingly, when checking on @CityJohn’s Twitter Stream there now is at least one other short sequence of a ‘Twitter conversations’, just like the one I had with him. Maybe it’s worthwhile creating a collection of such instances. Maybe, this is not everybody’s cup o tea though….
When I tweeted a review of Andreas Glaeser’s book yesterday that I had read on orgtheory.net a friend retweeted the post and added that “it’s only $8.55 on kindle”. Since I new the book was priced at £18.17 on amazon.co.uk I looked up the amazon.com site with my iPhone and noticed that it showed me a price of $29.10.
When arriving home I checked the book on my laptop and found a difference in price when I looked into the amazon.com site from when I was not logged in.
When logged into Amazon.com the price was $29.10.
When I log out of my account and search for the book again, the price goes down to $8.55.
This observation points wither to personalized pricing or to big differences in geographical pricing of books and probably other items. In any case it reminds me of the advice that Eli Pariser gives in his book an on his website The Filter Bubble, clean your cookies.