Week 13: Objects that Blog. The Internet of Things.

Watch this video first:

What a strange reading by Julian Bleecker (2006) this week. At first I was confused, then I was curious, next I was bored and finally I got it. It isn’t just about my car telling me the fastest route through traffic, it is about objects forming agency and having the ability to form change. Bleecker uses the example of letting poultry telling us where the H5N1 virus takes charge. Discovering information such as this would lead to so much more learning about this world that we live in.

He describes a ‘blogject’ as an ‘object that blogs’ which comes across as a bit nutty. If you really think about it, are these objects giving an opinion? In a way they are, they are reporting on what they know. Which is what they are technically monitoring at the current time. Have you lost me yet? I don’t blame you if you have. This is a strange topic, but I do believe in a number of years this idea of objects blogging will be more viable (or maybe I just don’t really understand it). At current it seems that airplanes blog, well according to Bleecker they do. I wouldn’t have thought that because their routes are traced and they predict weather, that they are technically blogging. It is possible I should reconsider exactly what a blog is, because at current I think to blog is to communicate with others online, voicing opinions and thoughts. Come to mention this, now I get it.

There is a lot of possibilities in this concept of blogjects, the future could hold anything. Our fridge could be telling the freezer to ease off on the temperature as ‘it’s getting a bit nippy up here’ or the car booking itself in for the next service. I find it quite exciting that objects can ‘talk’ and have the potential to communicate, there is so much more we can learn about the world.

This is my last post for the global networking subject I am undertaking at UOW, I will be sad to finish these blogs but I certainly won’t stop blogging. Expressing my ideas, thoughts, moods and what have you in blog posts enables me to think in depth and analyse myself. ‘Is this right? Is this wrong?’ I ask myself before I hit post. Then I realise it is my own blog and my opinion is neither right or wrong, it is just my opinion. Having the freedom to express myself is liberating, Internet you have been kind to me and I hope this will continue…let there never be a day where trolls attack my page!


Bleecker, J. (2006) ‘Why Things Matter: A Manifesto for networked objects’ [URL: http://www.nearfuturelaboratory.com/files/WhyThingsMatter.pdf%5D



7 responses to “Week 13: Objects that Blog. The Internet of Things.

  1. Thanks for the interesting reads every week.

    This is an excellent topic of discussion to consider. Obviously we’re the ones using objects that are connected to a form of network, but it starts to become a little different when we theorise whether eventually we’ll have the technology to allow objects to automate processes based on data collected or received.

    I’m almost certain this gets brought up far too often, but at this rate people might be right to suspect whether or not machines can gain autonomy and take over. That would be a pleasantly ironic surprise.

    Jokes aside, just how much of our lives should we automate? Once we’ve removed menial tasks such as defrosting our dinners or closing the windows when it rains, surely our tech would be advanced enough to automate several workplaces that we aren’t able to now, which is both a fantastic and terrible thing depending on how you look at it. Will we eventually be left with nothing to do?

    Another thing I’ve noticed too is that most ads or concept videos feature people living incredibly active and healthy lives that happen to be integrated with technology. Based on today’s attitude of generation y towards integrating technology into their lives, I doubt the future will be so elegant. This is another thing I’d like to see more of when people show off possible technology for the future.

  2. Yes I agree, slightly strange topic this week. It seems so unimaginable but then again, that is the beauty of the Internet. You can never really predict what will happen and what you will be communicating with next… A toaster? Really? It is somewhat creepy. It just shows that everything is vast changing and because of this there is a sad decline in face-to-face communication. Years down the track people will probably forget how to talk! Strange.

  3. 50 billion objects connected to the internet by 2020? Amazing. Come to think of it, I already have my phone, iPad, Laptop and printer connected – that’s four of the potential six mentioned in the video and I’m sure I’ll have more by the set date. That is whack!

    I was talking to my Dad about blogjects and it turns out cars already do it! The Nissan GTR sends info back to Nissan in live time so they know if it’s being used inappropriately for warranty services, it also alerts if there’s an issue and it’s being ignored. So the car is constantly blogging to Nissan – this is a little intrusive in my opinion. Why? Because you pay $170k for a car that stalks you!

    The internet is sending us bonkers and the lack of privacy is becoming increasingly concerning. I do question myself as to whether or not social boundaries are not being adhered to.

  4. The reading was very interesting in many ways, but i did get the feeling the social interaction side was not the main advantage of a ‘blogject’. As you and the video have said its more the updates that they objects give that improve our lives more. The most interesting part was his example of a flock of pidgins which can upload the toxicity levels in the air, their location and their history. Just the thought alone of animals becoming digitally aware or giving them the ability to blog would be a significant achievement. With that said and the same with the author, i did get a sky-net type of vibe throughout the article once he said they would achieve first class status among humans.

  5. I’m not sure I’m a fan of everything being so connected to the Internet. Sure there are advantages but at the moment it is impossible to sit through dinner with friends without somebody checking Facebook. How much worse will it be when they are also updating their shirt?

    There is also privacy concerns. The poster above mentioned the GTR. If I pay $170k for a car and want to do a giant burnout, I don’t want Nissan tracking this and telling me it is inapropriate. More seriously if your shoes track your running path, what happens if this information about your daily routine falls into the wrong hands. Easy work for a criminal if they know you will be 5km away at 3.30 every Tuesday.

  6. “If you really think about it, are these objects giving an opinion?” This is a thought I kind of struggle with. Without real world interaction, these objects couldn’t learn what it is they know and as you mention, they are blogging what they are monitoring at the current time. Therefore it feels as though what they are blogging is not in fact opinion, but rather regurgitation of information, albeit in ways that perhaps the standard human being wouldn’t necessarily be able to piece together. The future of blogjects is exciting though, as the potential personalisation and intimacy on offer from objects is huge. Who else knows me better than the objects in my own home – the times of day I start to get hungry, what programs I enjoy the most when feeling certain ways, what time I usually crawl into bed … these are all things that the objects I interact with daily would know best! To empower objects to communicate and voice thoughts as blogging does is really a thrilling thought.

  7. Great video but i completely disagree with everything in it. I hate how it makes it seem that we NEED this network and we need to be constantly connected and we need our running shoes to tell to connect to this internet to track our process. However did people do this before the internet? oh yea THEY WROTE IT DOWN! remember pens and paper? what was wrong with that?

    I think people forget that for thousands of years we all lived quite well without all of this technology. Im all for it however i don’t like how we sometimes forget that all these extravagant apps and devices are not life or death, there not all necessary and we don’t all need them to live. We have become way to dependent on the network and need to remember how we used to live. Go outside and see the real world, meet a real person and have a real conversation. Crazy as it seems there is a life outside of our computer screens, one that is a lot more dangerous, exciting and authentic !

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