You can't make me stop loving Warren Ellis. You just can't.
Here we are at the beginning of a conference about things. Which sounds vaguely like the top of an episode of COMMUNITY. Ladders 101, Advanced Breath Holding, Conference About Things. But we mean the Internet Of Things, which is the phrase we use to point at the idea of networked environments and objects. This contains the idea of “smart homes.” “Smart” is a loanword for us, one of those invasive American things, like squirrels or a preference for anal sex, that’s sneaked into English off a cargo boat and eaten the native counterpart. Smart means clever now. Smart used to mean well-dressed, back in the days where living in crappy blue jeans and a t-shirt off CafePress was a sign of concern and a cry for help rather than a uniform for an entire class. Language has taken a turn. The term “Internet Of Things” is a desperate attempt to make a pointer for a field that barely exists yet. We do this a lot these days. We use the word “television” to point at a field of industry that doesn’t particularly use television sets anymore. We use the word “telephone” for a class of mobile devices that we very rarely use telephonically anymore. And we act like the term “Internet Of Things” makes sense for the field we’re trying to define. And, unless the modern internet was originally biological in nature, it was always an internet of things. I always got my internet out of boxes of various kinds. Didn’t you? If you think Internet of Things is a good name, did you previously obtain your connection through whalesong or echolocation? Did you pour Soylent on your Internet Lobe to get online? Did you send your packets by raven? It’s always been an internet of things, and you people have never been any good at naming stuff, and that’s how we ended up with “tweets.”
Quote from his keynote speech at Thingscon in May 2015, which I lifted from his newsletter, which you can subscribe to here. Seemed timely, what with Porn Fridges and other Internet of Things happenings going around.
#WarrenEllisLove #InternetOfThings #IAlwaysDoSendMyPacketsByRavenThanks