----- Original Message -----
From: Jonas Söderström jonas@xkom.se
To: Peter Morville morville@argus-inc.com
Sent: Sunday, November 05, 2000 10:07 PM
Subject: IA 2000 note

Dear Mr. Morville,

Thank you for the splendid IA 2000 conference.

Since you encouraged us to send in notes etc, I thought I'd share this little piece with you (and hopefully others).

I lined up for the audience's microphone during the "IA in a wireless world" discussion, but a bit too late - time was up. This is, belatedly, the little piece of information I wanted to share.

There was some discussion on what the use of such mobile/wireless technology might be. Well, in Stockholm, it is used like this:

In Stockholm (as in most cities), it is possible to enter the Subway without paying, if you're determined enough and somewhat agile. You can rush past the ticket clerk, or jump over the gates, or sneak in through the "out" doors, for example.

To discourage this, the Subway employs arbitrary controls by a mobile squad of tickets inspectors, which once in a while enter a certain train or a certain station and demands tickets from everyone.

In Stockholm, you can now sign up for a collaborative service, which sends an SMS message to your mobile phone with the time and place, whenever the ticket inspectors are spotted. This makes it possible for fare dodgers to choose another line, or getting off the train one station early, etc.

The service is provided by a rather militant group of young activists, claiming that public transport should be free.

There might be a lesson here. I don't think anyone could have anticipated this ingenious but subversive use. Info enthusiasts tend to ignore possibilities of malicious use of new technologies altogether. Alarmists or apocalyptics tend to tell tales of big crimes, big disasters or big risks. Neither sees the small, ingenious things people come up with: the clever solutions to everyday problems, the adaptation of technology to meet personal goals, however pedestrian, or even low or petty.

Best regards,

Jonas Söderström
information architect
Cross Internet
Stockholm, Sweden
 
 


 
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