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Meeting the future in the past-using counterfactual history to imagine computing futures
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7662-9687
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.
2018 (English)In: ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Association for Computing Machinery , 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The future is inherently hard to predict, yet we know there are various factors that will limit the future of computing (scarcity of materials, energy shortages and various biophysical limits) in both substantial and disruptive ways. When we look at the past and at mainstream projected computing futures, all we see is exponential growth. While it is easy to reject such trajectories, it is much harder to imagine and propose credible, preferable and evocative alternatives. Breaking away from default modes of thinking about computing is difficult but possible, and we here present a methodology-counterfactual history-that can help us imagine alternative scenarios for computing. We argue that by learning from counterfactual pasts ("what-if scenarios"), we can more easily liberate our ideas from various preconceptions that hamper them and box them in. This makes it possible to generate and entertain a more diverse "portfolio" of ideas about the future and help us better prepare for meeting future challenges.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery , 2018.
Keywords [en]
Computing within limits, Counterfactual history, Defamiliarization, Computer applications, Computer programming, Energy shortages, Exponential growth, Future challenges, What-if scenarios, Financial markets
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-247218DOI: 10.1145/3232617.3232621Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85058225651ISBN: 9781450365758 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-247218DiVA, id: diva2:1303186
Conference
2018 Workshop on Computing within Limits, LIMITS 2018, 13 May 2018 through 14 May 2018
Note

QC 20190409

Available from: 2019-04-09 Created: 2019-04-09 Last updated: 2019-04-09Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, ElinaPargman, Daniel

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf