Rob van Kranenburg on Tue, 28 Sep 2004 19:07:37 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Who shares this sense of both urgency and agency?

     [speaking of urgency. this message has been delayed several times 
     by ulusive bugs that cropped up in nettime's server migration --
     apologies, the mod squad]

Meeting Sampo Lume Centre, Helsinki, August 20, 2004


Urgency because the inevitability of ubicomp connectivity can be clearly=20
argued from both the dominance of distributed and pervasive computing as=20
code and interface driving models and the real promise this time (at least=
believed by business) of enhancing productivity through IT with 'turning=20
your supply chain into a value centre' and anti theft and job reducing=20
retail reasonings that fuel RFID.

Our basic problem with pervasive computing/ubicomp/Things That Think/=20
Disapearring Computer/Ambient Intelligence/ is that it sets forward as its=
very reason for existence its disappearance as some thing perceivable as=20
techn=E9. We know that technology always disappears into the fabrics of=20
everyday life, as Weiser states, but this is the first time that a=20
technology is delibaretely claiming this as its reason for being=20

If we take the case of electricity we see a very diverse field of=20
projects, ideas, probes and experiments to have disappeared into our walls=
and floors only to hand us the most blackboxed of interfaces: an on/off=20

Ubicomp will fuel a drive towards blackboxed interfaces that seemingly=20
allow for a hightened interactivity but axiomatically hide all procedural=
knowledge, protocol, and code.

At the very moment when the internet is empowering lowlevel users, an=20
internet of things is being rolled out -spearheaded by RFID - that will=20
empower only those who know at which intersections the readers should be=20
put so as to gather maximum data.


The sense of agency that we experience stems from our perception of this=20
coming internet of things, this connectivity, as perhaps not a hybrid=20
space, but a rather strange new situation in which we ( as in we all) are=
dislocated, dislodged and at loss. This is very good. It means that we can=
leave behind 20th century monkeys on our backs. We all are blind in this=20
ubicomped environment. All means also IBM, Nokia, Philips. Any model of=20
business can easily go down in an environment that deals not with products=
and services that are currently harnassed in money making frameworks. Thus=
we can set ambitious goals, invent new terms, create new models of making=
money and giving it away, get rid of any notion of individual making and=20
legal and other claims to any kind of particular individual production,=20
make serious demands on the existing structures of power that harnass the=
energies with which we work, and claim a networked discourse (that we have=
to create) of a global mix of small and big media centres. This discourse=
should be simple, concrete and courageous. We need stories, good stories.=
As de Certeau says: There is some much belief, and so little credibility.


As it is very difficult to educate and empower a large public on emerging=
technologies and not to frighten it into apathy, we need a clear spearhead=
to front our main umbrella under which we will loosely organize:=20
transparancy/optimum visibility towards disappearance/black box.

This spearhead will be: wireless. Wireless as a social basic human right=20
of access to, as in water, food, shelter.

Jose-Carlos Mariategui, Rob van Kranenburg, Gunalan Nadarajan, Shuddhabrata
Sengupta, Geert Lovink.

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