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Re: <nettime> imho, another bad idea.
Bill Spornitz on 10 Mar 2001 20:08:46 -0000

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Re: <nettime> imho, another bad idea.

Your comments are very true. I am not writing to lament the existence 
of  unpleasant technological manifestations but the lack of 
imagination in the descriptions we are provided of the possibilities.

The classic mis-hype in this genre is the *fridge that keeps track of 
it's contents*. Will the milk carton know if it's full or empty? 
Sounds like a *bill of goods* to me. On the other hand, a bar-code 
system where the washing machine  could tell me how my teenage 
step-daughter wants me to wash her dance tights - the red ones in 
cold water, the blue ones in hot, don't wash them with the designer 
chemise... - you get the picture -  this would be extremely useful.

Okay - a more imaginative suggestion? In this case, we are talking 
about the confluence of GPS-style information and distributed 
communications. Certainly, the rise of civil disobedience taking 
place in the urban landscape provide an opportunity to develop 
software to manage and co-ordinate such operations - also the need to 
organize in small groups to avoid being nabbed for unauthorized 
gathering...and the police are all transmitting wireless GPS data...

A more prosaic solution? (from experience working at fishing camps in 
northern Manitoba) Guests at these camps are always in the company of 
camp employees, simply because it's too easy to get lost. This limits 
the amount of travelling they can do, and forces staff to do a lot of 
babysitting. GPS-commlink apparati would aid in setting these people 
free to roam, yet put them at one touch access for information on how 
to return. This kind of setup would be useful in many tourism 

I'm sorry, I just don't think that systems that exploit the ability 
to detect someone's proximity in order to sell them something are 
going to stand the test of time - sounds more like electronic 
panhandling to me.


ed phillips wrote:

>It makes no difference wether I want it or
>you think it is "imho a bad idea". If it is attractive
>to enough other people, it will invade your urban experience.
>Please give the culture critic an aspirin.

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