On being and spime

Danish outfit Innovation Lab suggests four Internet trends, including one where the Internet dissolves into everything.

In the future you will be able to google your keys or virus protectyour underpants. Every manufacturer will be engaged in an ongoing dialogue with his customers. Thus the dairy could ask the consumer to evaluate the yoghurt the moment it's returned to the fridge. The colossal amount of connected objects will signify a fantastic potential for the construction of services to be exploited in a society moving away from being online towards being onsite.

Pervasive computing - ubicomp - isn't a new idea of course, but Innovation Lab concisely makes the point. The second notion here is "presence" - virtually of course - but notice how online simply becomes "onsite." Distance becomes a much less meaningful distinction.

One of my favorite thinkers about these issues is Clay Shirky, who is featured in this IT Conversations podcast, "Ontology is Overrated." An always-present universe of relationships, whether people to people or people to things, has enormous philosophical implications in my view.

See Bruce Sterling's notion of spime for another take on this future.

Yes, the title of the post is a riff on this work.

Hat tip: iPlot,