Dispatches from the Age of Networked Matter

Several of our Hieroglyph collaborators – Madeline Ashby, Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker and Cory Doctorow – have contributed original stories to the anthology An Aura of Familiarity: Visions from the Coming Age of Networked Matter.  The collection is published by the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a non-profit think tank in Palo Alto, CA that focuses on strategic foresight and helping organizations plan for and create the futures they want.

IFTF’s Ben Hamamoto describes the Coming Age of Networked Matter as:

The coming Age of Networked Matter is a world where everyday objects will blog, robots will have social networks, microbes will talk to kitchens, and forests will “friend” cities.

Doctorow adds:

…a confluence of breakthroughs in physics, engineering, biology, computation, and complexity science will give us new lenses to observe the wondrous interconnections surrounding us and within us. In the future we’re moving toward, we won’t only observe complex systems, we’ll also modify and even create them in vivo and with purpose. It will be an era of huge possibility, daunting pitfalls, and high weirdness.

Visit the Institute for the Future website to read the stories, watch animated interviews with the authors and find out how to win a limited edition print copy of the book and a t-shirt.  Each story will also premiere on BoingBoing (the consistently stellar group blog co-edited by Doctorow), so watch your interwebs closely!

Check out the trailer for Madeline Ashby’s story “Social Services”: