Conversation with Google ATAP / Shaping Things 2.0 vs Web3.0

Was interviewed recently by Anastasiia Mozghova for Google ATAP’s twitter feed, where it’s being published as a thread in two parts (part one here).

It centred around ambient computing and work I’ve been involved in around that subject in the past – particularly looking at notions of ‘social grace’ in computing.

This was a concept we discussed a lot in relation to Soli, the radar sensor that Google ATAP invented. I was involved in that project a little at Creative Lab, then more peripherally still (as kind of a cheerleader if anything) at Google Research.

That concept of social grace, for me, begins in the writing of Mark Weiser and continues amplified in Adam Greenfield‘s “Everywhere” – which still has some very relevant nuggets in it, IMHO, for a book on technology written in 2006 (16 years ago at time of writing!)

I also mention another classic – which is fast coming up on it’s 20th anniversary (next year?) – Bruce Sterling’s Shaping Things.

Its eco-centric vision of ‘spimes‘ rhymes (sorry) with the current hype around web3, tokenisation, etc etc – but while that is obsessed with financialisation, Shaping Things instead hints at using data sousveillance means toward resource responsibility, circularity and accountability ends in design and manufacture.

Time for a second edition?

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