Ephemeralization

This WIRED article resonated with the New Media Seminar I’m taking at Virginia Tech.

Big Data: One Thing to Think About When Buying Your Apple Watch | WIRED.

I hadn’t heard of  the term ephemeralization coined by Buckminster Fuller before, which is the promise of technology to do “more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing.” Fuller cites Ford’s assembly line as one example of ephemeralization.  Ali Rebaie, the author of the WIRED article, writes that the Big Data movement is another form of it.  Our ability to analyze huge datasets has lead to designing more efficient technology.  All in all, Fuller seems to fit right in with the others we have been reading in the seminar.

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2 thoughts on “Ephemeralization

  1. I love the lead in about the nesting dolls (Matryoshki) and the trace. And of course, “doing more with less” has all kinds of appeals. But in terms of learning and how we understand what we are doing and making, I wonder if we shouldn’t (always) think more carefully about the implications of “the trace” and our dependency on it. It’s so interesting (and somewhat consternating) that big data and the increasing efficiency of design form conceptual funnels that open in opposite directions. Lots to think about here!

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