Bruce Sterling, Ubiquitous Computing and Sustainability

The Guardian has an interesting interview with sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling.

He talks about favorite Sun themes of the participation age – everyone and everything on the net all of the time, and how these ideas interact with sustainability.

He also hits on one of my favorite themes, which is how we are going to have to get create with technology in order to move forward to sustainability instead of backward to sustainability (remember, a few million people living in caves is sustainable, but probably not what we have in mind for our grandkids).

The crux of Sterling’s concept:

“My own theory, which has gone into Shaping Things, is the key element is the identity for objects. It’s putting tags on things that allow them to interact with digital networks. That is the key concept around which other things accrue. My goal in this is sustainability. I want us to invent a better way to put our toys away. We are emitting too much junk. Google is good at sorting garbage. We could do something similar if we tagged our garbage, basically, everything we make.

“Ideally, we need to tag an object before it exists. We need to tag the blueprints and then the manufactured object. Then, when it’s junk, we need to read it, know where it goes, have it ripped apart and recycled.”