The decision to make the World Wide Web a free-to-all source of news had consequences no one expected, leading us down a path of advertising, analytics, targeting and profile auctions that leave us increasingly exposed to big data systems that know us better and better.
Here’s a video that presents an accurate picture of how all that works in practice – and be warned, it’s all a bit scary:
Robert Tercek has watched all of this develop – and, in his early days at MTV, helped it happen. Should we repent our ways? Can we? Here’s a clip:
We sit down again with John Allsopp to review and explore some of the themes explored in the first half of series one: the tensions between algorithms and flexibility, between the future and the past, between the human and the machine.
The smartphone is quite possibly the most important tool we’ve developed in the last two hundred years – a steam engine for the human mind. We use them to transform commerce, human connection, and play. The latest iPhones – iPhone 8 and iPhone X – point to where we’re going, where the device becomes so essential, and so much a part of ourselves, that they can intimately scan our faces to unlock their secrets.
A billion seconds – or 31 and a half years – seems long to us. In the 13.7 billion year history of the universe, it’s not even an eyeblink. But the first billion seconds, those were very special indeed, giving us the foundations of the universe we see today. Astrophysicist Dr. Katie Mack joins us to discuss beginnings, endings – and what we hope to discover about the dark parts of our universe over the next billion seconds.
Today, the majority of humanity lives in cities – yet we tend to be unaware of most of the resources and opportunities cities offer to their residents. ‘Sharing Cities’ expert Darren Sharp describes how ‘stuff, skills and spaces’ form the necessary inventory for any sharing city – and how that inventor can supercharge the lives of the residents in a sharing city. The cities to live in over the next billion seconds are the cities of sharing.
Dr. Andy Polaine helps companies design “living services”, the sorts of things that all of us interact with every day on our screens, through our smartphone apps, and behind the scenes. Should we trust those services? Andy offers some suggestions on how we can take a look ‘under the bonnet’ of the connected world.
Back in 2000, John Allsopp wrote A Dao of Web Design, about how we should think about the Web, its design, and its utility to us. Almost twenty years later we launch The Next Billion Seconds with a conversation about where the Web is going – and where it’s taking us.
Our conversation included a discussion about autonomous ‘self-driving’ cars – and will John’s four daughters learn to drive?
The answer seems to be in flux; in March 2018 a pedestrian was hit and killed by an autonomous vehicle, an accident that might set things back for years. I spoke with The Project about that sad event – watch the video here.