March 10, 2006

“Fixation on Words”

Category: Anthropology,Politics,Tech — @ 10:53 am

Anne Galloway, as usual, has a nice discussion on her blog, this time around, using Bruce Sterling’s recent keynote at the Emerging Tech Con, to get at the question of power, empowerement, and dispowerment of words

Bruce Sterling has posted his Emerging Tech talk and I’m still fixated on his fixation on words. This whole rationale behind coining neologisms interests me, and particularly how he understands terms like ‘internet of things’, ‘spimes’, ‘theory objects’, ‘everyware’, ‘thinglinks’ etc. are being mobilised to replace (with varying successes) what he considers to be no-longer-adequate terms like ‘ubiquitous computation’. I think he understands perfectly well how much this is all language games and image wars, and he’s playing for all it’s worth.

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