Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
An interesting argument that I don't think can really be sustained but which is nonetheless certainly worth a look. According to the author, references to ubiquitous computing are focused on a certain vision of 'tomorrow', suggesting that it is not yet here. But it is here, he writes, it's just not evenly distributed (how original *sigh*). The city-state of Singapore, he writes, is fully wired, as is, arguably, the Republic of Korea. What these examples tell us is that the tomorrow-land of ubiquitous computing is not some seamless fully interoperable utopia, but a messy infrastructure of hacks and kludges; he writes about the auto maintenance system in Ghana as an example. While his argument stands against a certain version of ubiquitous computing - the pristine Semantic Web oft-criticized in these pages. But for the rest of us, the idea of 'more evenly distributed' (messy or otherwise) is at the heart of ubiquitous computing - indeed, there's not much point to it otherwise. Found on Dourish's website (do look, lots of stuff here) - no blog or RSS (tsk!) so its discovery was accidental. Dourish has been too busy doing other things, like patenting tagging.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jan 20, 2022 12:15 p.m.