How difficult it is for us to grasp that Socrates in the Phaedrus speaks out harshly against writing, pencils and any other form of outsourcing our human memory to the environment, any kind of environment. How hard it is for us to see that that pen over there (do you still know what it looks like?) - once caused so much trouble? Actually, that is quite difficult. Anything we grow up with is not technology to us. It simply is. Moving as we are into the territory of Ambient intelligence (AmI), you see that we have between five years and a decade to make up our minds about what connectivities we really want as human beings on this planet.
After that these connectivities will disappear- as Mark Weiser so gently put it in his founding text ‘The Computer for the Twenty-First Century’5 into the “fabric of everyday life”. Weiser was the first – in 1992 – to realise we were riding around in a Rolls Royce, accessing the vast dreamlands of the internet through keyboards and the mouse. These computers had been conceived as early as 1964 when computers, like the CRAY 2, looked like giant machine rooms and consoles had eye-trackers and two round huge screens on wheels. That mouse is still around. Weiser suggested to take the chips, the sensors, the boards, the switches out of that piece of lone hardware and disperse it into the objects and the space surrounding us; as smart textiles into clothes/wearables, as smart materials into walls, floors, buildings, as smart objects into a vast virtual realm, logistics heaven.