[-empyre-] continuous vs ubiquitous

Wade Roush, in his recent article, Social Machines, in Technology Review,
calls what is happening ³continuous computing,² as over against ³ubiquitous
computing² with its implication of invisibility. There¹s really nothing
invisible about what¹s going on at all.
In fact today¹s social software boom ³rests on common devices such as mobile
phones, computers, digital cameras and portable music players ² ­ all quite

Interesting point to bring up Helen, especially regarding your comment following the one above about the commodification of the social. because of this process of commercialization that you point to, i'm weary of accepting claims that the use of devices like cell phones represents a visible activity in terms of computing. i haven't read Roush, so perhaps he explains this, but based on the rhetoric of ubiquitous computing proponents, like John Seely Brown, the point of such technology is for people to interact with computers without having to do the computing, i.e. it becomes "invisible" to them. i can see your point that the use of this technology is so visible through the devices themselves being present in our social vision, but i think one could equally say that they're "invisible" despite their mass - or because of it. that's kind of the point of ubiquity, no?
Thinking of ubiquitous computing in terms of it penetrating all aspects of life (travel, communication, writing, etc), a magazine is an inundated with computing as a mobile phone, in terms of how it was produced and distributed. the "invisibility" is descriptive of _how_ they're used - most people using IT do so as consumers, not producers or even hackers.
i think i may be arguing oranges to apples, but i think your point about market values determining the viability of social software possibilities is what i'm reacting to. i think you're largely right, which is why i take the promise of "invisibility" offered by ubiquitous computing seriously. i think the realm of the possible is being largely overdetermined by interests that are short sighted and oppressive, and ultimately destructive. and i think this is happening by rendering things invisible through ubiquity. all while somehow, magically almost, managing to maintain the myth of economic and intellectual scarcity.
Thanks for a great month of discussion!

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