24. Report On The Situation Of Constructions

It’s why some of the digital cities rhetoric is turning more and more to evangelism, partnering with civic authorities, trying to influence the actual owners of bricks and mortar and street furniture. Explaining it. Giving the gift of the digital city to our ruling classes. Which is many places isn’t getting further than, say, publicly posted building permits in New York City having QR codes printed on them. Which will be great until someone steals the permit to make a crack pipe out of it.

Those RFIDs won’t be ours. They’ll be corporate agents of one kind or another. There’s an artist who’s recently made small ripples by cementing USB sticks into the exteriors of buildings, but any intervention will remain on that fairly tiny scale.

Any physical intervention.

23. Whose Streets

As I was working on the first draft of this, students were tearing through central London en masse and yelling “Whose streets? Our streets!”

Journalist Laurie Penny was out in the middle of them with a phone, reporting in through Twitter. I was keeping an eye on Twitter as I wrote this, actually, so I could shout at Laurie (who has the self-preservation instinct of a lemming dipped in vodka) occasionally. (She recently cited me in an interview as a provider of “avuncular advice.”  She did not add that she never fucking listens to it.)

And it occurred to me that they’re not our streets. In the sense that we can’t build in them.