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The End of Cyberspace

Overview of my end of cyberspace project. Learn more at http://www.endofcyberspace.com
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Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

on 25 March 2010

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Transcript of The End of Cyberspace

History of Cyberspace Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live. (John Perry Barlow) The Term "Cyberspace" Cyberspace: A new universe, a parallel universe created and sustained by the world's computers and communication lines. A world in which the global traffic of knowledge, secrets, measurements, indicators, entertainments, and alter-human agency takes on form.... Accessed through any computer line into the system; a place, one place, limitless; entered equally from a basement in Vancouver, a boat in Port-au-Prince, a cab in New York, a garage in Texas City, an apartment in Rome, an office in Hong Hong, a bar in Kyoto, a cafe in Kinshasa.... (Michael Benedikt, Cyberspace: First Steps (1991)) Virtueller Raum (lit. Virtual Space) Cyberspace in Other Languages (C: information space) (J: electric brain space) (C: computer space) (C: virtual) (C: controlled space) (C: Net border space) Movies What the End of Cyberspace Means The End of Cyberspace The Big Questions Why did cyberspace make sense?What difference did it make?What comes next? Video Games Literary Sources Cyberspace = Frontier Knowledge has a

Material dimension;
Geographical dimension;
Social dimension...

and cyberspace missed all three. The Nature of Information What Cyberspace Would Bring: The End of... What's Happened Instead Logging into a BBS, with its bright, just-beyond primary color palette, artful ASCII text images, and that expectant cursor, signaled the passage into a foreign land. The excitement came as that land became more and more familiar, as I learned the languages and customs, and then had the real pleasure of convincing others to go abroad. (Peter Shoemaker) The "trip' of the modem helped punctuate... a combination of a sense of counter-cultureness and a sense of specific community. (Jim Benson) "I'd been expecting an exotic crystalline thing, a cyberspace deck or something, and what I got was a little piece of a Victorian engine that made noises like a scratchy old record player." (William Gibson) Going online "was often a laborious process, with a fair degree of unpredictability and randomness. But all this was part of the challenge--and the reward. Indeed, the sense of an arduous journey likely contributed to the romantic idea that cyberspace was foreign and far away, a frontier to be settled." (Andrew Shapiro) The Experience of Going Online GUI Present and Near Future When the only way to use a computer was to sit still and look through a little window (the screen) into a virtual space, the cyberspace metaphor worked best for us. But with cell phones, PDAs and geographical applications such as store-finders and the proposed "taxi" key for cell phones (which simply summons the nearest cab when you press it), we're no longer staring through a window into cyberspace. The window's been broken, and the cyber world has spilled out into our own space. (Karl Schroeder) Simpler UI + Complex Input Devices Getting online is hard
Connectivity is scare
Lawless frontier
Elite
PCs on desktops
Virtual communities
Global
Beige box
Alternate dimension Always on is the default
Connectivity is abundant
Village
Popular
Many devices, many contexts
Real communities
Local
Subtle design
Ambient dimension We’ve only explored one!

From cyberspace to overlay

Reality is the canvas
From opposing the sociability, materiality, and geography of information to working with it Conclusion The idea of cyberspace has a history, and we can see the end of its utility
Mobile devices and ubiquitous computing technologies create opportunities to work with the materiality, geography, and sociability of knowledge; and to lengthen the shadow of the future
Metaphors help shape our relationships with technologies and productsBuilding on the ethnographic foundation to explore the cultural histories / anthropologies of users Kids and Technology NetGens think of the computer as a door, not a box. When they are on, they have 5-7 IM windows open and multiple tabs into different communities. Each community provides a way of being, to express facets of their identity while engaging in an activity. Most activities are centered around objects to spin stories and hold conversations. They don't go to places, it's more likely they augment plazes in the real world. (Ross Mayfield) About Me Historian of science turned futurist
Cofounder, Palo Alto Strategy Studio and Future2.org
End of cyberspace: http://www.endofcyberspace.com Big Questions Where did cyberspace come from? Why did it seem so natural?
Why did futurists get this future so wrong?
What does the future hold? Will my kids talk about cyberspace? Mobile... Always-on... and Handheld Future Metaphors and Resources "Catalink" (Ross Mayfield) The Informated World (John Seely Brown) None (Jamie Boyle) Chattergoods (Cory Doctorow) The Infomesh (Schuyler Earle) Future Terms The World (Neal Gershenfeld) The Interactatron (Andy Clark) Reality Online (Luke Hughes) The Mesh (Dan Hunter) Ubiquitous Computing (Vint Cerf) Augmented Reality (Steve Jurvetson) uberDustenWissenshaftsVergnugen (Kris Pister) The Cloud Harry Potter and the Internet of Things Where Will This Play Out? Smart Home / Aging in Place The Shadow of the Future Interdisciplinary Research Spaces / Science Cities Biopolis, Singapore Seattle Public Library Bio X, Stanford Stata Center, MIT Mission Bay, UCSF Salk Institute Perimeter Institute Biocity, Turku Stata Center takes advantage of the fact that a lot of work is mobilized. It understands that people are carrying around their laptops, everything is wirelessly connected, and you can sit down anywhere and work. So it provides a huge amount of unassigned space that can be appropriated in ad-hoc ways as needed for particular purposes. The whole point of that is the space has variety so you can find a quiet space when you need it, or you can find a more public space when you need it. Serendipity really depends on that. You don't get much serendipity if people are all sitting locked in their private offices staring at their computer screens. So the idea is to make a kind of ecosystem of diverse spaces where people are just encouraged to sort of grab a workspace wherever they may need it -- grab a working cluster, cluster around a white board, cluster around a café table, etc. And they can do it without losing connectivity. (William J. Mitchell) Games, Pervasive Computing, and the Future Worldly games
Nudges
Game tools for good Why do games matter? Implications From the screen to the world
Games at leading edge of digital culture
Game tools for innovative products Games + Pervasive Computing + Nudges Attitudes
Experiences
Metaphors "When I got my Prius, it absolutely felt like I was piloting a large, rolling video game, seeing how to optimize the mileage." "When I first got my Prius 4 years ago, I was completely transfixed by the real-time MPG display. Multi-scale feedback! I could see my mileage per tank, in 5-minute increment, and moment-to-moment. I experimented with my driving style, trying to beat my "high score" each day." ===> In cyberspace: In the future: Thank You! Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
http://www.askpang.com
askpang@future2.org
Skype, IM, Flickr, Facebook: askpang Pervasive Computing Mobile, always-available games (except when the parents forbid them) are a fact of life for today's kids. These games often have character improvement as an explicit goal, not just beating the bad guys or honing your own skills.
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