Gardner Campbell points me to another very eloquent summary of what’s going on, from Wade Roush’s 10,000 Brainiacs: Let’s Write a Social Computing Story, Socially!, soon to be a Technology Review article. Try this bit on for size:
Walk around any college campus or visit any café with a Wi-Fi hotspot, and you’ll see that these new tools are already changing not only the way we interact, but the way we think, learn, and relate to our physical environments. And this change is accelerating. In fact, it’s spreading through world cultures so fast–and upsetting traditional notions of communication so radically–that even the last half-century of revolutionary technological change is beginning to seem calm by comparison.
Readers using Firefox see interlarded comments by mousing over hyperlinks, and are invited to contribute others for inclusion. Something happening here, Mr. Jones…
…need for a new term to describe the current moment in information technology. Continuous computing doesn’t simply mean computing continuously: few people, in fact, want or need to be jacked into the network at every moment of the day. Rather, it also connotes computing that’s continuous with our lives as humans, in all their messy, biological, biographical, social richness. Computers and software don’t have to disappear behind the scenes in order to blend more naturally into our existence. All they have to do is respect our real human needs—prime among them, the need to communicate.