Just found (from a huge pile of my forgotten files) this 2-year-old presentation I made about how the age of PC was going to end. It’s exactly what has happened in the last two years.


Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?


We have a habit of thinking that the deepest insights, the most mystical, and spiritual insights, are somehow less ordinary than most things—that they are extraordinary.

This is only the shallow refuge of the person who does not yet know what he is doing.

In fact, the opposite is true: the most mystical, most religious, most wonderful—these are not less ordinary than most things—they are more ordinary than most things.

It is because they are so ordinary, indeed, that they strike to the core.

— Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building, page 219


If you haven’t already read it, you probably want to spend some time to read Mat Homan’s thoughtful (and long) piece on what is happening with the new Google. (just click the title link above)

But while Google was busy holding up the sky, the ground beneath its feet shifted in ways it didn’t anticipate. Our searches have evolved from the merely factual to the deeply personal. We want to find a nice hotel or a good restaurant or a particular person. We want to know what’s happening right now, right here. And increasingly, we turned to smaller, fragmented, platforms to get that stuff.

Here is my version of it:

The Web

The old Google is all about the search, and essentially, the World Wide Web. Google is the search engine and it rules the Web by its ranking algorithms. Everything else the old Google had been doing was to either get more people to use the Internet (which was, largely, the Web) or make people use it more. The logic is simple: the more people browse the web, the more they search, and the more advertisements they will click on.

GMail and Chrome, the rock-star products of the Google as we knew it, have made the Web apps as good as their desktop counterparts, if not even better. They are good. They are free. They made me a huge fan of Google and I have been using them ever since they were released. As a result, the browsers become faster, enabling more sophisticated Web apps that make use of the extra horsepower.

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From Gamification to Exploitationware

Several days ago, I listened to a Hypercritical episode in which John Siracusa mentioned about Cow Clicker, a game designed to be a satire of social network games by GaTech professor Ian Bogost.

Cow Clicker logo

The story of Cow Clicker on WIRED is a funny and thought-provoking one. In fact, the very first post on this blog is exactly about “gamification”, though I did not know about the word at that time.

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