Spime and crowds

I've been looking around for more uses of the word spime, Bruce Sterling's made up word for made up objects.

In Wired he called spime the dumbing down of smart objects. It's wearable technology. 

Cory Doctorow, author of this boingboing piece, says it a tool:

[It's] location-aware, environment-aware, self-logging, self-documenting, uniquely identified object that flings off data about itself and its environment in great quantities. A universe of Spimes is an informational universe....

Among other useful things, this vast sea of spun-off data might be used to decode complexity. But I, too, have no idea how legal restrictions can be built into these objects. What's lawful does have a lot to do with intent. 

A close cousin to spime would appear to be an Internet of things, hacked-together prototyping, LEGO Mindstorms, or hardware sketching, though perhaps something more than ambient displays, those updated mood rings. The idea reminds me of the drive to reverse engineer the digital revolution, to go from "bits to its." It's the kind of dimensional thinking that raises a origami dragon from a flat sheet of paper.

Julian Bleecker's manifesto for networked objects, Why Things Matters has in mind another kind of dimension. Networked things are not merely representative, but are assertive:

Agency as I am using it here does not just mean a local "artificial intelligence" that makes Blogject [web logging objects] able to make autonomous, human-like decision or fashion croaky human-speech from text. Blogjects have no truck with the syntax of human thought. Things could not less about their Turing Test report card. Blogject intellect is their ability to effect change. Their agency attains through the consequence of their assertions, through the significant perspective they deliver to meaningful conversations.... They have semantic weight.

Could it lend new meaning to "crowd wisdom?"


Technorati tags: Bruce Sterling, Julian Bleecker, spime, pervasive computing, calm technology