Sean Rintel

About Me

Social communication technology researcher
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are" -- Anaïs Nin

I work in the Human Experience and Design (HXD) group at Microsoft Research, Cambridge UK. You can see how I got here in my bullet-point biography.

I research how the affordances of technologies interact with language, social action, and culture. I'm fascinated by people's ability to create expressive social value both when technology works and when it doesn't.

I've written about the technologizing of interaction in contexts such as video calling in personal relationships, ambient audio technologies to support independent living, IRC openings and non-responses, social media in the workplace, crisis memes and error mascots. I am currently interested in engineering culture. I am also a passionate advocate for digital access, freedom, and privacy.

  • Social Science

    Social order is a practical achievement

  • Human Computer Interaction

    Design resources, not features

  • Internet Culture

    Amplify ALL the memes!

  • Whimsy

    Math may not be my strength

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