Chapter 2. A Growing Challenge

Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp, fled ere we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming.

—WILLIAM JAMES

Early Disruptions

THE AIRPORT SCENARIO PRESENTED IN Chapter 1 IS JUST A MUNDANE EXAMPLE OF A BIGGER ISSUE: context is a lot more complicated than it used to be, and it is only going to become more disrupted and detached from the physical clues we’ve relied on until now. For most of human existence, the context of people, places, and objects has been pretty straightforward. If you’re in a field surrounded by trees, that’s where you are. The field won’t magically transform into a bustling village square in the blink of an eye. If you pick up a tool, a hammer perhaps, it does what ...

Get Understanding Context now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.