The extended Acknowledgments
With Radical Technologies finally out and — to my amazement and deep satisfaction — receiving the most extraordinarily generous notices, I think it’s a good moment to pause, take a breath, and take stock of how it is that I’ve rolled up on these shores.
In the course of a life, if you’re very lucky, you run into people who through their words and deeds launch you on a completely new and better trajectory than the one you arrived on. There’s actually quite a bit more than luck involved, of course; one of my favorite definitions of “privilege” glosses it as a state in which your personal networks tend to help you achieve your ambitions, rather than suppressing or undermining them. But there’s unquestionably room in all of this for the operations of chance.
Looking back now, I can see a few clear and obvious inflection points in the journey that resulted in me being able to write and publish Radical Technologies, and without exception they were moments at which a specific individual human being intervened in my life in a conscious attempt to change my fortunes for the better. And what strikes me with particular force is how contingent all of these encounters were. They so easily could have gone another way — any other way. And had that been the case, it is overwhelmingly likely that my life as I know it wouldn’t exist.
What follows, then, is my (no doubt flawed and incomplete) attempt to name and thank these human beings for making the decisions they did. I want them, and you, to know that wonderful things happened in the aftermath of those choices.
Juliana Uruburu, Dwight Jackson, Dave Dunn, Tori Orr, Anne Galloway, Christina Wodtke, Jeffrey Zeldman, Andrew Otwell and Chris Heathcote: thank you for seeing what nobody else could, and for acting on what you thought you saw. You all have my profound and permanent gratitude. Adriana Young and Leo Hollis, of course, I’ve already thanked in the book itself. Maya Lin extended to me, at a critical moment, a gesture of big-sisterly kindness that she will have long ago forgotten, but which meant everything to me. And a few other people along the way, sadly no longer with us, who said or did things that changed the entire course of my existence. (Here I’m thinking primarily of Herbert Muschamp, who I miss all the time, and the great Red Burns at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, who took a gamble on letting me teach there when there was no obvious reason to do so. May their memory be a blessing.)
Adam Greenfield on TwitterMy Tweets
- A tale of three cities, or: The smart city as will and category error 7 September 2017
- US book tour dates, Fall 2017 (rolling updates) 27 July 2017
- The extended Acknowledgments 25 July 2017
- An index, 2017 4 March 2017
- Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, now available for pre-order 9 December 2016
Being discussed now
- Dark Matter | Ian Fitzpatrick on The City Is Here For You To Use: (very) provisional bibliography
- dmf on A tale of three cities, or: The smart city as will and category error
- Sketching From Ideas to Material – Near Future Laboratory on Providence in the FAIL of a Sparrow
- Upcoming Talks, Crits, Lectures – Near Future Laboratory on Update: Paris event added to fall schedule
- multibabirel.ch on On the ground running: Lessons from experience design