23.28, Wednesday 15 May 2002 Link to this post

I'm getting a little excited here -- it's 50/50 the coffee and the sessions I think. I'm finding I'm developing a kind of grand theme to bring out of the conference. Yesterday was about metaphors to apply to the present day, emergence, cities, and so on. I ended up with a starting point: the secret properties of current successful technologies. Today has been about reinterpreting yesterday's sessions and today's new sessions in the light of that: what are the secret properties? And more importantly, how can we ensure a rich environment so these secret properties are there (given we can't automatically produce these ad hoc processes)? But today was more than that: there were also games (a form of secret property I've not thought about for a while); biology and swarms as tools for the future of computing giving new metaphors. How can these help to improve the quality of the rich environment (or "loam" as Jones termed it [he's also keeping a good stream of notes on his weblog]). So that's the context my ETcon notes should be read in. That's the narrative of the last two days.

I'm talking, IMing, listening and Googling so much at the moment that interpretation and perculating (the most important thing) have been put on hold for the moment. Each new piece of information is being filed with a short association in stream of consciousness notes, trying to externalise and backup this knowledge. They're not going to make an enormous amount of sense at the moment I'm afraid, but I'm hoping that [using them] by the end of this conference I'll have built up a coherent view of exactly what this is all about -- emerging technology.