I thought Manovich's most interesting assessment was that technology has led us in a direction where our creations, especially with computers, guide us through a selection process- thereby limiting the potential for creativity. The ability for people to simply click 'cut' and 'paste' as Manovich puts it, limits creativity because the action is lacking in thought or effort.
I think on a lot of Levels, Lev is right. Out of the box problem solving isn't really an option for most end users in the computer world. Everything about computers is based on rigid, mathematical structure that progresses into computer languages that operate within a strict set of rules. How can one really think out of the box when the box contains the entire operational universe for a thing?
Certainly people can be clever with their programming, offer new service packs that solve old problems and create new opportunities, but somethings are rigid. I cannot change my browser (at least not in anyway I know) to operate with circles instead of squares for windows - or what about spheres? Three-dimensional objects are still a fantasy when it comes to monitors on the consumer market.
We can have the illusion of 3-d, with graphics shading and nice optical design tricks, but a truly 3-d object is still a computer dream.
Lets forget about viewing for a moment. Computers lack creativity of previous generations of media- perhaps computers are still too new - but I have never heard of a computer that had a foray into Smell-O-Vision or really readily available PCs that operate outside of the confines of a mouse and keyboard.
Even touch pad machines still project a keyboard of some kind, and voice recognition, though not a new technology, still operates along the lines of menus similarly based like clicking through with a mouse.
I think Manovich's assessment is accurate- but only for a time. As this technology develops and evolves, the scope of abilities that it can perform will grow exponentially with it. Hopefully someday we'll look back and wonder how we got by with our archaic keyboards and optical mice.
(ps sorry for the boring post- I'm running low on free time today)