Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Burkeman sets us thinking about virtual-physical merger

There's a lot of hype and, frankly, a lot of dreck, that comes out of South by Southwest - it has to be so when the program is 300+ pages.

There's some good stuff, too. And then there are those few pieces that make you go, "Wow, that really pulls this all together." Such is The Virtual and the Physical Worlds are no Longer Separate By Oliver Burkeman of the Guardian and featured on Paid Content.

Aside from being a very good piece of writing with just that touch of British disdain or snark (my students, please note), it's one of those rare pieces that really sets my brain racing and going, yeah, yeah.

The ah ha moment came about a third of the way in:

If Web 2.0 was the moment when the collaborative promise of the internet seemed finally to be realised – with ordinary users creating instead of just consuming, on sites from Flickr to Facebook to Wikipedia – Web 3.0 is the moment they forget they’re doing it. When the GPS system in your phone or iPad can relay your location to any site or device you like, when Facebook uses facial recognition on photographs posted there, when your financial transactions are tracked, and when the location of your car can influence a constantly changing, sensor-driven congestion-charging scheme, all in real time, something has qualitatively changed.
 I recommend you take it for a spin and see what you get out of it.

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