TagAdam Greenfield

Adam Greenfield on Everyware

Jon Lebkowsky talks to Adam Greenfield about ubiquitous computing:

WorldChanging: We normally think of surveillance as a bunch of guys that are watching monitors that are linked to cameras that are placed around, but what we’re really talking about here, is a bunch of sensors that are gathering data where the patterns can be analyzed, and you don’t have to depend on having a human looking at a million different monitors, right?

Adam Greenfield: You sure don’t. It’s inferential. And to me, one of the scariest things about it is that it’s sort of imperceptible, right? These are systems that are embedded, they communicate wirelessly, they’re not perceptible to immediate, ordinary analysis. When you walk into a room, you might have no idea that they’re operating. But they’re collecting information, and inference is being made, machine inference is being applied to the fact patterns that they’re gathering. And then this becomes actionable. Once that exists, then people can make determinations about their behavior based on it. And to me that’s scary.

Full Story: World Changing: WorldChanging Interview: Adam Greenfield

The Sudden Stardom of the Third-World City

This brings us to the most perverse suspicion of all. Perhaps the Third-World city is more than simply the source of the things that will define the future, but actually is the future of the western city. Perhaps some of those tourists who look to the Third World for an image of their own past are reflecting uneasily on how all the basic realities of the Third-World city are already becoming more pronounced in their own cities: vast gulfs between sectors of the population across which almost no sympathetic intelligence can flow, gleaming gated communities, parallel economies and legal systems, growing numbers of people who have almost no desire or ability to participate in official systems, innovations in residential housing involving corrugated iron and tarpaulin. Is it going too far to suggest that our sudden interest in books and films about the Third-World city stems from the sense that they may provide effective preparation for our future survival in London, New York or Paris?

Full Story: Rana Dasgupta.

(via Abstract Dynamics).

I hadn’t really thought of it quite like this, but yes I think some of my own interest in 3rd world megalopolisis is in gaining some insight about what the future may look like for all of us.

See also: Feral Cities, Grim Meathook Future, Biopunk: the biotechnology black market, and Adam Greenfield’s Design Engaged 2005 presentation (does anyone have better notes for this?).

Adam Greenfield’s Everyware

Update: Adam tells me the book’s been delayed. Should be out soon though.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my friend Adam Greenfield has a book on ubicomp coming out: Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing. Actually, it was supposed to be out on the 18th, but Adam hasn’t mentioned the release on either of his blogs, and I haven’t been down to Powell’s to check yet.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this book, because a. I don’t know much more about ubicomp than what I read in Smart Mobs. b. I’ve enjoyed Adam’s perspective on design/urban/tech issues at V-2 for the past few years, and his writing is always clear and enjoyable.

Here are a couple of interviews with him:

1. Interview from a French magazine.

2. Interview with Rebecca Blood:

I’ve been saying for about three years now that the first real business opportunity of the full-fledged everyware age is gonna be zones of amnesty — cafes where you can explicitly go to be offline and inaccessible. Maybe I’ll start a chain called Faraday’s Cage, or something. (It seems that a few coffeehouses and the like are actually starting to institute similar measures, at least during peak hours.)

Late update: I forgot this Podcast interview.

Ten Chapters on Tchkung

Adam Greenfield has posted his review of a 1994 Tchkung show. I saw them a few months ago, 8 years after this review was written, and it still holds true.

What did I want them to do with that energy? What might I have done with it myself? Alternately, what might I have done if only it was asked of me in that interval before the showbuzz wore off? Part of the problem here is that Tchkung is playing with fire, in more ways than the merely literal. The piercing, the firebreathing, the dervish-dancing, the relentless rhythms: these are all shamanic techniques for the alteration of consciousness, and there is no doubt but that they work. In their original contexts, they are all used by people undertaking specific initiatory journeys, when guided by others steeped in the traditions of their use. Of course, none of these conditions obtains at a Tchkung show. What happens when you put several hundred people into a suggestible state, in an environment filled with extraordinarily powerful signs of no fixed meaning?

v-2: Ten chapters on Tchkung

See also: Tchkung’s Post World Manifesto

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