September 29, 2014 2 Comments
Matthew Wilson’s article in Society and Space 32(3), “Continuous connectivity, handheld computers, and mobile spatial knowledge”, is available open access until October 26, 2014. In the article, Wilson examines what he calls the ‘logic of continuous connectivity’ and its implications for development of collective, spatial knowledge.
Jonathan P. Allen, Professor of Management at the University of San Franciso offers the following comments on the piece.
Matthew Wilson’s paper introduces a new concept, “continuous connectivity”, to analyze the emergence of a new digital culture where people are always connected to a network. The main contribution of continuous connectivity is to open up for investigation both the origins of an always-connected culture, and the implications of this relentless connectivity for a future of shared, highly intimate information.
The paper ends with the phrase “the presumed normalcy of life always connected” (p. 552), which I think perfectly captures the need for this kind of contribution. A modern digital culture of continuous connectivity, as defined by Wilson, may appear natural to those most deeply immersed within it, but this particular form of cultural practice is a human accomplishment with historical roots, requiring continual maintenance as its rougher edges rub against other facets of human existence.
Despite its unproblematic appearance, a careful look at our current digital culture reveals that some rather unbelievable things have been commonplace. Continuous location tracking by government authorities has become tacitly accepted, or widely ignored. Personal location information is shared with friends, but also with strangers such as potential romantic partners. Product codes are openly scanned in local stores, to be purchased through a remote business online.
Continue reading here.