The full citation is below, and I welcome any feedback.
Graham, M. 2011. Cloud Collaboration: Peer-Production and the Engineering of the Internet. In Engineering Earth. ed. Brunn, S. New York: Springer, 67-83.
The Internet surrounds us like air, saturating our offices and our homes. But it’s not confined to the ether. You can touch it. You can map it. And you can photograph it - Andrew Blum 2009
A nicely written quote about invisible geographies, hybrid physical/virtual spaces, and urban data streams from the City of Sound blog:
“The way the street feels may soon be defined by what cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Imagine film of a normal street right now, a relatively busy crossroads at 9AM taken from a vantage point high above the street, looking down at an angle as if from a CCTV camera. We can see several buildings, a dozen cars, and quite a few people, pavements dotted with street furniture.
Freeze the frame, and scrub the film backwards and forwards a little, observing the physical activity on the street. But what can’t we see?
We can’t see how the street is immersed in a twitching, pulsing cloud of data. This is over and above the well-established electromagnetic radiation, crackles of static, radio waves conveying radio and television broadcasts in digital and analogue forms, police voice traffic. This is a new kind of data, collective and individual, aggregated and discrete, open and closed, constantly logging impossibly detailed patterns of behaviour. The behaviour of the street.”
“computers will die. They’re dying in their present form. They’re just about dead as distinct units. A box, a screen, a keyboard. They’re melting into the texture of everyday life…even the word ‘computer’ sounds backward and dumb” (Greenfield 2006: 93).I recently finished reading Adam Greenfield’s Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing. This collection of 81 brief theses outlines how ubiquitous computing has changed and will change society, and explores the ways in which its emergence can be shaped. The term everyware refers to a paradigm of “invisible computing” that is coming into being: computing that is not linked to specific personal devices, but is everywhere, not just in all places, but also in all things.
The book concludes with some suggestions for ways that everyware should be designed and structured in order to avoid some of the most worrying aspects of ubiquitous computing. The prescriptions are all well thought out, but it is hard not to get the sense that many of these ideas will never actually be implements by the engineers who knowingly or unknowingly are designing systems that will fundamentally alter the human experience. For example, we are told that “everyware must be deniable.” Few would disagree with this statement, but one struggles to imagine just how feasible this idea is. Isn’t the whole idea behind everyware that it is everywhere? This is perhaps then the most concerning aspect of this book. Although a clearly deterministic argument is being made, it is difficult to see how the logics of convergence and cheap and accessible information technologies, for better or worse, will not bring about some form of ubiquitous computing in the future.