In light of our discussion today, I wanted to direct you to the Introduction to Hutchins book ‘Cognition in the Wild’ (intro available here). Notably, he says,
Three and a half years later, the project that became this book began in earnest. In the summer of 1984, I was still working for the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center in San Diego as a civilian scientist with the title Personnel Research Psychologist. By then I had participated in two successful and well-known projects. With these successes came the freedom to conduct an independent research project. I was given carte blanche to study whatever I thought was of most interest. I chose to study what I was then calling naturally situated cognition. Having a research position in a Navy laboratory made it possible for me to gain access to naval vessels, and my longtime love of navigation and experience as a racing yacht navigator made it easy for me to choose navigation as an activity to study afloat. I talked my way aboard a ship and set up shop on the navigation bridge. At the time, I really had no notion what an ideal subject navigation would turn out to be. When I began, I was thinking in terms of the naturally situated cognition of individuals. It was only after I completed my first study period at sea that I realized the importance of the fact that cognition was socially distributed.
I also mentioned in class today an account of the crash of Air France 447, which you can read here.