I recommended we read a paper on distributed cognition as part of the seminar on ultra-large scale systems. The paper I chose was Distributed Cognition: Toward a New Foundation for Human-Computer Interaction Research by James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, and David Kirsh (all at UCSD). The paper led to some interesting discussion about human computer interaction (HCI). Eric was particularly excited about it, as it directly relates to the FLUX workbench project, which he is in charge of.
I found the paper to be an interesting and informative read, but I would prefer to read the follow-up paper. The ethnographic studies they highlight emphasize the importance of considering the environment as part of the cognitive process, but they do not actually include multiple people in that environment. They explain how such a study does not exist yet, but that does not make me feel any better. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a paper which does do this study.