Comments 11

  1. Katherine J. Kaye

    Why would we *want* to scale this up? It would be hideously divisive, socially; easily manipulable (especially if TTP/TTIP pass); and become a political tool. Disney was a fascist, and his theme parks are exercises in mass manipulation. We don’t, thank $powersthatbe, live in Disneyworld. Yet.

  2. Tom Raggett

    Katherine, a fair question.

    Lots of investment in this type of approach at present, so interesting to see it actually work in practice, albeit somewhere I personally don’t want to visit.

    Divisive? I can’t agree. All technology, at least from the printed book onwards, has been accused of this. As an example, one quarter going on one half of the world can carry a supercomputer in its pocket, if it so chooses.

    To me the interesting thing about effective wearables (I don’t think there are any as yet) is that they might bring us back into the world.

    Take this progression: plays in the round, plays in theatres, movies, TV, mobiles. Our focus has gradually reduced to a few square centimeters in front of our face.

    Having, e.g. navigation instructions, tapped on your wrist or whispered in your ear could allow you to experience the world, augmented, rather than a slight blur interspersed with the glow from a screen.

  3. Katherine J. Kaye

    Tom, the progression you’ve made is a little class/age/gender/location biased. A different type of progression: plays in the round, work in the round, family life more or less in the round; gradual constriction on “the round”; increasing division between people with greater access to “the round” and people with less access; conversely, greater divisions people whose lives are wholly subject to larger conditions they cannot control and those who have the wealth and power to exert control.

    And who controls whose voice whispers in your ear? What do they tell you? Whose algorithms choose for you what you are to hear? As for who carries the supercomputers, yes, I get how brilliant mobile technology is: but I have serious reservations with regard to who controls those networks, and how. We have just gone through a lengthy attempt by a few comms giants to control internet access via billing systems, in the USA. You have more confidence – I think, I might be wrong – in the benignity, robustness, and democratic controls of systems than I have. The UK has yet to produce a large IT system that works (passports and the NHS being two of several debacles).

  4. Tom Raggett

    Katherine, I have negative belief that anyone is acting in my best interests. They aren’t. That’s why I’ve had my own self hosted blog / publishing system since I could.

    The point of a computer is: you can do anything with it. No control required. You can choose to submit, but you don’t have to.

    I am not class, age, gender, location biased. Any discussion that starts with anything but humans fills me with horror. Cis / trans as the start of a discussion makes me sick.

    The UK Passport service, if you can pay £200 for it is a model of how bureaucracy can work brilliantly. I’ve been through it twice in Victoria.

    As per who chooses what I hear: I do. As I do on Twitter, Facebook, through my news feed and who I choose to block.

  5. Katherine J. Kaye

    Oh, Tom, I know you aren’t biased. I just can’t see my way past my ladies in my fieldwork, who work by firelight, who have no electronic access to anything, whose husbands beat them for any number of reasons, and who are “old” at 50. I don’t do the whole victim/identity politics thing either: it’s awful. I think life for women and girls in many rural areas remains grim, access to wearables or mobile phones or electricity is restricted/nonexistent, and I just can’t extrapolate beyond those data. It’s me, not you.

  6. Tom Raggett
  7. Amanda Flood

    From my perspective, the scary statement in that article is ‘nothing of the present exists’.

    Since when did we become so fragile that we need to sit back and have every whim anticipated?

    Without a search or goals, or difficulties to be overcome, we run a serious risk of becoming seriously overinflated.

    See the article on the millennial generation I just shared.

    I’d like to know your views as a tech proponent.

  8. Tom Raggett

    Amanda: as you’ll likely have read, my hope for this phase of technology is that it allows us back *into the present* away from our small screens.

    Of course we can abstract and manage the real world away too much using technology, but the vast majority of people won’t.

  9. Amanda Flood

    I am a purist and would prefer that no crutch was required 🙂

    The whole thing makes me think of the spacecraft humans in Wall-Ee, or the plugged-in illusions of the first Matrix film. A computer-led red pill is still not the red pill :0)

  10. Amanda Flood
  11. Amanda Flood

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