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07/03/08
Careers in Chemistry. Future Trends 6. Future tools
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:59 pm

Just can’t help sharing a reference to a neat
book “Shaping Things” by Bruce Sterling MIT
Press 2005.

We have moved from an age of artifacts,
made by hand, through complex
machines,
to the current era of “gizmos.”

These, I profess, will be the tools we use and
the things we make, by the processes we
develop from the materials we innovate.

New forms of design and
manufacture are
appearing,
he writes.  The future will see
a
new kind of object —
we have the primitive
forms of them now in our
pockets and
briefcases: user-alterable, multi-featured,

and
programmable.  Sterling coins them
“spimes,”
these future
manufactured objects
with informational
support so extensive
and rich
that they are regarded
as
material instantiations of an immaterial

system.

Spimes are designed on screens,
fabricated by digital
means,
and precisely
tracked through space and time. 
They
are made of
substances that can be folded
back
into the production stream of
future
spimes.

World of technoculture

Products are widely available, commercially
available
objects, anonymously and uniformly
manufactured in massive quantities using
a
planned division of labor, rapid nonartisanal
assembly-line techniques
operating over
continental economies of scale and
supported by highly reliable
transportation
finance and information systems.

Gizmos are highly usable user-alterable
multi-featured objects, commonly
programmable, with a brief lifespan. 
Gizmos offer functionality so plentiful
that
it is cheaper to import features into
the object than it is to simplify it.  Gizmos
are commonly linked to network service

providers;  they are not stand-alone

objects but interfaces.

Unlike artifacts, machines and products,
gizmos have enough
functionally to actively
nag people. 
Their deployment demands
extensive, sustained, interaction, upgrades,

grooming, plug-ins, plug-outs, unsought
messages, security threats,…

Spimes are manufactured objects with an
extensive informational
support system.

Spimes begin and end as data.  They are
designed on screens, fabricated by digital
measures and precisely tracked through
space and time throughout their earthly
existence.

                                USED BY
Products                    Consumers
Gizmos                      End-users
Spimes                      Wranglers

                                TIMELINES
Artifacts                 pre-tool age to 1508
Machines               1508 - 1919
Products                1919 - 1989
Gizmos                  1989 - 2004
Spimes                  2004 - 2060
Biots                      FUTURE

 

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