Where we're going [Howard Rheingold. Photo by Oscar Espiritusanto] Note: This is part part 2 of two parts. You can see Part 1, Where we've been here. This title is just slightly misleading. Howard really offered no predictions of where people and technology is heading in the Conversation Age, and I didn't try to get him him to make forecasts. While his writings have displayed more than a little prescience, he is more of a thinker than a futurist. But he did offer some interesting observations about at least one emergent technology and some useful insights into his students at Stanford and UC Berkeley and from there you might draw some conclusions yourself. Q. You were an early champion of virtual reality, which may not have taken off as quickly as you forecast. Do you think it is still likely to evolve? How do you see it being incorporated into social media moving forward? You win some, you lose some. I can't really take credit for being prescient without taking blame for foreseeing events that have yet to come to pass -- may never come to pass. To be fair to myself, I did note that truly photorealistic immersive virtual worlds would not exist until sufficient affordable computation power came along, some time in the early 21st century. And people like Jeremy Bailenson at Stanford have been doing some extremely valuable social science research using today's version of virtual reality. There are some fundamental unsolved problems. If you can move your perceptions around a limitless virtual world, what keeps your body from slamming into the wall when you try to run toward the horizon? In regard to social media, I've spent enough time in Second Life to see exactly how seductive to a small portion of the population an immersive virtual world with photorealistic or Photoshop unrealistic avatars that can not only navigate and communicate but build and exchange landscapes, buildings, objects with behaviors can be. But it's work to create an avatar and learn how to navigate it and where the action is. In an infinite land
Where we've been [ [Howard Rheingold in his backyard giant sunflower patch. Photo by Shel Israel] Howard Rheingold is a founding father of the Conversational Era. He has spent much of his past 40 years exploring the impact and promise of the convergence of technology and the human brain. He is a student of the many people, incidents and trends that have brought us to today, and as a prolific thinker, writer and speaker, he has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge and thought. He's not sure just how many books and articles he has authored or collaborated on, since 1970, but Amazon offers 72 titles with his byline. Two of these books, The Virtual Community  and Smart Mobs  have profoundly influenced my thinking and writing over the past half dozen years and if you happened to be into social media he is among the early pioneers who blazed the trail the rest of us have followed. He has been a friend & colleague of many of the thinkers and doers who have delivered us to today and in many cases he can say he had been there and part of the collaborating team that did that. He has also been often prophetic in seeing the seeds that began as visions and have since become reality. Arizona-born in 1947, he graduated Reed College in Portland, Oregon, then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he became an integral part of America's most controversial Renaissance Era. He drank the original KoolAid. He also dabbled at Xerox PARC, the legendary tech experimental tech center where, among other innovations, the personal computer's graphical interface was developed. He started writing professionally in 1970 and has rarely stopped for long. He was editor of the Whole Earth Catalog Millenium Edition, an almanac that supported the counter-culture lifestyle. Founded by thinker-enterpreneur Stuart Brand, Whole Earth Catalogs were a grassroots compendium of alternative lifestyle resources. A young hippie fruitarian of that time named Steve Jobs would later describe the Catalog as both the forerunner to the
Meet Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, who recently told Neil Cavuto on Fox Business: "The Republicans and I want something done on health care as well. But we would rather see a number of incremental steps taken over the next twelve months that
Windows only: PortableApps.com—the folks who convert just about every popular application to a portable one you can carry with you on your thumb drive—have just released Google Chrome Portable 3.0, the portable version of Chrome's latest stable release.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - European astronomers announced they had found 32 new planets orbiting stars outside our solar system and said on Monday they believe their find means that 40 percent or more of Sun-like
We meet Britain's digital inclusion champion, Martha Lane Fox, and find out why everyone loves Arduino with the hackers and modders of Tinker.it. And Vic Keegan gives his thoughts on what went wrong after…
China has launched a campaign to crack down on online games operating illegally and featuring content deemed to be unhealthy, state media reported Friday, in the nation's latest Internet clean-up effort.
The People's Music Awards, The first and only global unsigned music awards and competition, dedicated to the promotion of new and unsigned bands. Listen to new and unsigned bands and listen to and vote for the best new and unsigned music in the world!
Adobe has promised betas of a mobile-ready Flash 10.1 for Windows Mobile and Palm Pre late this year, and early next year for Android, Symbian, and BlackBerry phones, as well as NVIDIA-powered netbooks. The only hold-out? The iPhone, of course.