New Column Kicks Off
Starting today, I have a ~weekly column at Fast Company, covering technology, ethics and the environment, and innovation, all from a futures perspective. My editor, Noah Robischon, asked me to kick off the column with a topic near-and-dear to my heart: what happens to social relationships when we live in the era of immersive visible data.
...The more top-down control there is in the digital world, the less spam and malware we'll see -- but we'll also lose the opportunity to do disruptive, creative things. Consider Apple's iPhone App Store: Apple's vetting and remote-disable process may minimize the number of harmful applications, but it also eliminates programs that do things outside of what the iPhone designers intended.
Blended-reality technology could play in a limited, walled-garden world, but history suggests that it won't really take off until it offers broad freedom of use. This means, unfortunately, that ads, spam, and malware are probably inevitable in a blended-reality world. We're likely to deal with these problems the same way we do now: Good system design to resist malware, and filters to limit the volume of unwanted ads. All useful and necessary, but there's a twist: Filtering systems for blended-reality technologies may allow us to construct our own visions of reality.
All familiar stuff to long-time readers of Open the Future, but hopefully a nice bit of provocation for the Fast Company audience.