I think my friends are getting tired of listening to me go on and on about Peter Morville's Ambient Findability. I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago, but it's still with me, coloring the way I think about information and networks. Here's my favorite passage describing what might happen as we continue to overlay information onto the physical world:
As we build our Internet of objects, the permutations of sociosemantic metadata will create new avenues of findability. Where has this object been? Which objects were in close proximity to this object? Who touched my object? Where are they now? The era of ambient findability will overflow with metadata, as every object and location sprouts tags: social and semantic, embedded and unembedded, controlled and uncontrollable. Imagine the sensory overload of a walk in the park. Every path shimmers with the flow of humanity. Every person drips with the scent of information: experience, opinion, karma, contacts. Every tree has a story: taxonomies and ontologies form bright lattices of logic. Desire lines flicker with unthinkable complexity in this consensual hallucination of space and non-space, a delicious yet overwhelming sociosemantic experience. (from Section 6.4, A Walk in the Park)
I love how evocative this passage is; it's the first description I've read that really gets at how awesome and beautiful information can be. It reminds me a little of Philip Pullman's dust in His Dark Materials and the way avatars in Second Life interact, too.