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Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology

Book Description

We are facing a future of unbounded complexity. Whether that complexity is harnessed to build a world that is safe, pleasant, humane and profitable, or whether it causes us to careen off a cliff into an abyss of mind-numbing junk is an open question. The challenges and opportunities--technical, business, and human--that this technological sea change will bring are without precedent. Entire industries will be born and others will be laid to ruin as our society navigates this journey.

There are already many more computing devices in the world than there are people. In a few more years, their number will climb into the trillions. We put microprocessors into nearly every significant thing that we manufacture, and the cost of routine computing and storage is rapidly becoming negligible. We have literally permeated our world with computation. But more significant than mere numbers is the fact we are quickly figuring out how to make those processors communicate with each other, and with us. We are about to be faced, not with a trillion isolated devices, but with a trillion-node network: a network whose scale and complexity will dwarf that of today's Internet. And, unlike the Internet, this will be a network not of computation that we use, but of computation that we live in.

Written by the leaders of one of America's leading pervasive computing design firms, this book gives a no-holds-barred insiders' account of both the promise and the risks of the age of Trillions. It is also a cautionary tale of the head-in-the-sand attitude with which many of today's thought-leaders are at present approaching these issues. Trillions is a field guide to the future--designed to help businesses and their customers prepare to prosper, in the information.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Route Map for the Ascent of Trillions Mountain
  6. Preface
    1. TWO MOUNTAINS
    2. A FIELD GUIDE TO TRILLIONS MOUNTAIN
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Chapter 1: The Future, So Far
    1. TRILLIONS IS A DONE DEAL
    2. CONNECTIVITY WILL BE THE SEED OF CHANGE
    3. COMPUTING TURNED INSIDE OUT
    4. THE POWER OF DIGITAL LITERACY
  9. Chapter 2: The Next Mountain
    1. FUNGIBLE DEVICES
    2. LIQUID INFORMATION
    3. CYBERSPACE FOR REAL
  10. Interlude: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Platforms and User Interfaces
    1. YESTERDAY
    2. TODAY
    3. TOMORROW
    4. Chapter 3: The Tyranny of the Orthodoxy
      1. INFORMATION INTERRUPTUS
      2. THE KING AND THE MATHEMATICIAN
      3. LINKS TO NOWHERE
      4. THE WRONG CLOUD
      5. THE DREAM OF ONE BIG COMPUTER
      6. THE GRAND REPOSITORY IN THE SKY
      7. FUD AND THE BIRTH OF THE IMPOSTOR CLOUD
      8. THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE
      9. THE PEER-TO-PEER BOGEY
    5. Chapter 4: How Nature Does It
      1. THE INTERNET OF PLANTS
      2. NATURE HAS BEEN THERE BEFORE
      3. THE QUALITIES OF BEAUTIFUL COMPLEXITY
      4. AT THE INTERSECTION OF PEOPLE AND INFORMATION
    6. Chapter 5: How Design Does It
      1. BIRTH OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
      2. NOVELTY, BEAUTY, RITUAL, AND COMFORT
      3. HEARING HISTORY RHYME
      4. INSTABILITY AS THE STATUS QUO
      5. POST-INDUSTRIAL DESIGN
  11. Interlude: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Data Storage
    1. YESTERDAY
    2. TODAY
    3. TOMORROW
    4. Chapter 6: Design Science on Trillions Mountain
      1. BEYOND DESIGN THINKING TO DESIGN SCIENCE
      2. MAKE THE RIGHT THING
    5. Chapter 7: Architecture with a Capital “A”
      1. ARCHITECTURE AS ORGANIC PRINCIPLES
      2. ARCHITECTURE AS MODEL
      3. ARCHITECTURE AS “STYLE”
      4. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
      5. ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN SCIENCE
    6. Chapter 8: Life in an Information Ecology
      1. COMPONENTS
      2. CHALLENGES IN THE INFORMATION ECOLOGY
    7. Chapter 9: Aspects of Tomorrow
      1. BEYOND THE INTERNET
      2. SIMPLIFICATION
      3. DEVICES
      4. THE INFORMATION COMMONS
      5. THE WORLD WIDE DATAFLOW
      6. PUBLISHING
      7. SAFETY, SECURITY, AND PRIVACY
    8. Epilogue: Thriving in the Spacious Foothills
      1. SEIZE THE LOW GROUND
      2. MICROTRANSACTIONS AND THE RISE OF T-COMMERCE
      3. STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
      4. BIG DATA AND INFORMATION VISUALIZATION
      5. THE TRILLIONS BUBBLE
  12. Notes
  13. About the Authors
  14. Index