Review: The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things

The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things is an essay by the estimable Bruce Sterling that promotes his perspective on pervasive computing, big data, the giant companies that promote these and the effect of it all on society.  It’s thought provoking and refreshing with plenty to turn over in the reader’s mind.  It’s also thick with snippets that went directly into my quote file.

Sterling is largely interested in current trends in public and private surveillance.  He starts by working backword to see their causes – tech drivers and economic ones – and forward to see their effects.  Many have pointed out the changing role of consumers in a system where so many “products” are free, but Sterling captures some of the driving forces particularly clearly. His perspective is both polemic and entertaining.

Not all of his essay is convincing, of course.  He’s thin on the economic forces that sustain his favorite big data companies, for example.  However, as a perspective changer and food for thought The Epic Struggle is invaluable.

Strongly recommended.

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