Education and Research


Beyond an Internet of Things

In the first half of the 20th century, visionaries imagined electronic access to all of human knowledge. The Internet and WWW initially focussed on text and born-digital materials. Since 2000, there has been a trend to digitize existing documents and increasing attention to an internet of things. This is pointing towards a new book of nature. Some see an upcoming trend towards brain-interfaces, whereby computing as we know it today will soon be obsolete. As a result interface design tends to focus on connecting: a) with an outside world, and b) directly with an inner world of thoughts.

This paper explores the need for another domain for interface design, examples of the inner world that have been expressed in historical documents and other resources in memory institutions. These can give us new access to earlier systems of thought and alternative systems of knowledge. There is a need to search for letters, symbols, images, schemas, charts as well as words. A creative future requires that we learn to access and see old records in new ways. An internet of things is a first step towards an internet that includes no-things: reflecting the threefold human body, mind and spirit.   

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