2 books

The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things, Bruce Sterling
“The cultural ambition of the IoT is to make wrangling the dominant form of world culture. They are cultural imperialists in this way: all previous forms of human culture must be reframed in terms of the wrangler hack. Forms of culture that can’t go there do not matter.”

“The classic wrangle is to give away, to bestow, in a lordly fashion, what the other guy most prizes in life. This doesn’t compete with him on the regulated playing field of capitalism. No, it disrespects him. It states that what he values most is contemptible to you. Whatever he sells is something that you can supply with ease, for nothing, while properly busy elsewhere.”

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“The Internet of Things rewards wrangling, not “creativity”. It shows little pious regard for time-honoured creative pursuits such as ballet, opera, poetry, theatre and art cinema. Those time-consuming, attention-demanding, creative pursuits are obliterated by the allure of handheld interaction. The Internet of Things does grant forms of cultural fame and influence, even lavishly, but only when those are channelled and expressed through itself, on its own terms.”

It’s only $4. You should read it. And watch this video (fantasy prototypes and real disruption… design fiction) if  you want more Bruce Sterling. Zinggggg…

Intertwingled, Peter Morville
We don’t understand complex systems, but we operate as if we do. This book is a bit of a downer, but the last chapter is hopeful. 2/3 downer (but still required reading) and 1/3 hopeful. Ends on a hopeful note. And culture. Hmmmm…

“All humans are hypocrites. All of us are complicit in the crimes of civilization.”

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Just work to be better (practice).

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Currently reading:
Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary, Dan Hill

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