[iDC] Against Web 2.0

Rob van Kranenburg kranenbu at xs4all.nl
Sun May 28 05:40:44 EDT 2006

Hi Juha,
hi list,

How to change the world, with my own, with my own two hands (Jack  
Johnson), that is my favorite topic too.

 From the readings on this list I gather that for most people Web 2.0  
doesn't hold so much intrinsic room for conceptual progress,  
theoretic insight and notions of a democratic network.

I hope that therefore we can shift the discussion to a terrain that  
lies way open still, rfid 2.0, Internet of Things 2.0, ubicomp 2.0,  
meaning that the discussions on the protocols, standards and  
deployment of sensor networks have up untill now been influenced and  
directed by the barcode standards organizions (EAN and UCC now  
GS1.com) logistics and retail, security and surveillance (military  
and anti-terror), a drive towards more lean processes in business,  
anti-theft (shrinking), and a management view that refuses to throw  
the dominant dashboard model of management ( i got all the data here  
before me in neatly visualized streams) overboard and opts for ever  
more control over where things are going by knowing where all your  
objects are all the time, where they are going and where did they  
come from (Bleeckers blogjects).

There is a beginning of artists working with RFID. If you check out  
we-make-money-not-art, the RFID section will highlight about 170  
projects already. Most of these either play or bypass the two notions  
that influence the debate sparked by rfid - privacy and EMF (Electro  
Magnetic Frequency will be pervasive with rfid readers being  
pervasive) - to the extent that Mark Baard in a recent article in  
Wired discussed artists as beta-testers for the industry, making it  
difficult to become critical design (Dunne & Raby).

This industry (wireless, umts, telecom, media) is faced with a  
deadlock. Technology as such is no longer capable of producing a  
techno-optimism and a high demand for stuff and devices. It no longer  
suffices to  put a new thing on the market. As all the things are  
networked, they no more stand alone and thus the all the possible  
spheres in which this networking takes place is no intrinsically part  
of the product too. The deadlock is that for an internet of things  
world to work, people (who are becoming information spaces  
themselses- no longer 'people' is in the analogue sense of the word)  
must distribute themselves as data in the environment in order to get  
realtime feedback anywhere, anytime, anyhow. Therefore, trust in the  
environment is key. But, as people are being constantly informed not  
to trust the environment, as it is insecure, unsafe and  
untrustworthy, this is not likely to happen. So, deadlock.

Interestingly, the players themselves, for example Philips, are not  
only very much aware of this but conceptually informed by Derrida,  
Deleuze and Guattari in order to go beyond the No Logo phase of  
branding by design to the very notions in literary theory and the  
gestural and intrinsic qualities of the body in performance. In his  
text An Inside Story to the EXperience Economy
Philips researcher Mark van Doorn hammers on the importance of these  
for the succes of Ambient Narratives and his interest in writing them  
into patents for Philips. Philips naturally is not the only  
organization making this shift towards ever more contextualized  
content. A Dutch telecom like KPN, for example, likes to think of  
itself as a Media organization.

Altough it is very tempting to see a sensorworld as kind of wide open  
territory, that is always dangerous as it has all the inhabitants we  
know ( just look around you now and try to ake all that stuff around  
in as being tagged with a digital connectivity). I do think we can  
safely assume that companies will try to drag their IP and notions of  
copyrights and patent into this hybrid territory. (Who owns the  
relationships that your underwear has?) Maybe it is a very  
interesting exercise to think about alternative business models in  
this wireless world. They could centre on micropayments and  
microcredits, from the notion of service and trust, it might be that  
we will have to set up our own MBA's, moving from the macho money  
making models ( a lot! fast! now!) to making money constantly over a  
longer period of time ( perfectly tuned to Mark Weisers first ideas  
on ubiquitous computing- selling services).

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is that there is a deep and very real  
need for theorists and designers to get involved in these issues  
before GS1 becomes another Microsoft in front of our eyes,

Greetings from rainy Ghent, Rob

On May 27, 2006, at 10:29 PM, juha huuskonen wrote:

> Hello everyone,
> Here is my contribution to the buzzword business -
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