dConstruct 2013: “It’s the Future. Take it.”

It puzzles me that technology so easily becomes the dominant metaphor for explaining society, and not the other way round. "Self-organise like nanobots into the middle," exhorts dConstruct host Jeremy Keith as we assemble for the afternoon session at the Brighton Dome. We shuffle obligingly to make room for the latecomers, because everyone here accepts … Continue reading dConstruct 2013: “It’s the Future. Take it.”

Keep the campfire burning: a thread of whimsy from Baden-Powell to Berners-Lee

As a child I hated Cubs. All that running around and shouting, the church parades, and camping on a damp field at the edge of Danbury Common. But in a twist of fate I find myself parent to three boys far more enthusiastic than I ever was; my oldest recently got a badge marking seven … Continue reading Keep the campfire burning: a thread of whimsy from Baden-Powell to Berners-Lee

At Future Everything: nobody likes a smart arse, even when it’s a city

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, opening line Why did Glasgow win the right to host the Technology Strategy Board’s £24 million Future Cities Demonstrator? Project Leader Scott Cain reels off a set of doom-laden statistics: a looming crisis in affordable warmth; … Continue reading At Future Everything: nobody likes a smart arse, even when it’s a city

“That even space travel is now a reality”

And now for today's news from the Department of Serendipity. Quote Investigator digs diligently, delightfully and with positive results into the provenance of William Gibson's lumpily doled-out future|present. But the bit that stands out for me is Ralph Thomas' 1967 criticism of Marshall McLuhan... McLuhan suffers also from a mixed-up time sense. He believes the … Continue reading “That even space travel is now a reality”

The Dissolution of the Factories, or Lines Composed a Few Days After Laptops and Looms

In the corner of an attic room in one of Britain's oldest factories a small group are engaged in the assembly of a Makerbot Thing-O-Matic. They - it - all of us - are there for Laptops and Looms, a gathering of people whose crafts cross the warp of the digital networked world with the … Continue reading The Dissolution of the Factories, or Lines Composed a Few Days After Laptops and Looms

The past is a platform from which we launch into the future*

In my dayjob, mobile media, we spend a lot of time talking about platforms. Curiously we like to think of these platforms as eternally new and shiny. “Legacy” is is not a windfall from the preceding generation. It's a perjorative term. Sometimes we even set our old platforms on fire, which is strange, because, as … Continue reading The past is a platform from which we launch into the future*