Ever since Bruce Sterling’s up-close-and-personal polemic the other day, I’ve been all hopped-up on the [w:spime]. The idea of an object that knows itself â€” it’s history, where it’s been, where it should be, and can self-describe in a rich way is enthralling for some reason right now.I remember when I was managing a fairly large software development project and wanted to architect the system so that it could support “hot-swappable” modules. The reasons are arcane, but mostly having to do with a fascination I had at the time with Java’s built-in “reflection” capabilities. (The Reflection “API” allows the Java Virtual Machine to find out what its compiled, runtime object instances “are” in the sense that the JVM can find out about the methods and variables are of a class. Together with classloading, it would be possible for the JVM to load and then run methods against a class that didn’t exist at the same time that the JVM was started â€” I told you it was an arcane reason.) Why do I blog this? The description of Spime is pretty loose on Wikipedia, and I guess I’ll have to wait until I have a copy of [amazon_books:Shaping Things] to grok it more thoroughly. But, in the meantime, I’m thinking about edgy designed objects that report themselves, or expose their experiences in some fashion. This is the part of the MadProphet project being worked on in my seminar on Location-Based Mobile Media â€” the “experience” we’re working on is in-progress, so it’s not fair to report too much. But, I’m eager to find a way that the object can somehow collate a history of some sort that gives an indication as to its state-of-mind, where you translate instrumental registers of state-of-mind (where have I been? how long was I there? where should I be? have I been tossed about? am I inside or outside?), for experiential ones, couched in a bed of character-driven narrative, then disseminated in a way that gives the Spime/Object/Blobject/Blogject a sense of being. Maybe like Piedmonsters.
Nicolas Nova has some notes from a Bruce Sterling talk “Shaping Things To Come” in Munich here.
And we’re kind of chit-chatting about it around here.