On the Failure of Oracles: Reflections on a Digital Life
[No abstract] Opening paragraph:
Across the globe, as the sun rises, people begin each day with a routine that marks 21stcentury life as very different from any other century. Before they get dressed, before they are even fully awake, most people start their morning by gazing at rectangular oleophobic panes of illuminated glass. Every day, a new world is painted in millions of individual organic light-emitting diodes which are embedded in a substrate under a layer of glass that is harder and thinner than any previously created. The screen is brighter than any reading surface we have ever known. The first thing we do each morning is to point this blaze of dazzling light straight into our eyes which carries the retina-quality notifications of the digital straight into our foggy brains. Before we are even fully conscious, the digital has disclosed a world to us, a stream of information and data, rivers of news, rivulets of reminders and lists.