BoingBoing: Bruce Sterling SIGGRAPH 2004 speech "When Blobjects Rule the Earth"
Our material culture is not sustainable. Its resources are not renewable. We cannot turn our entire planet's crust into obsolete objects. We need to locate valuable objects that are dead, and fold them back into the product stream. In order to do this, we need to know where they are, and what happened to them. We need to document the life cycles of objects. We need to know where to take them when they are defunct.
In practice, this is going to mean tagging and historicizing everything. Once we tag many things, we will find that there is no good place to stop tagging.
In the future, an object's life begins on a graphics screen. It is born digital. Its design specs accompany it throughout its life. It is inseparable from that original digital blueprint, which rules the material world. This object is going to tell you -- if you ask -- everything that an expert would tell you about it. Because it WANTS you to become an expert.