Paul Baran fundamentally changed the way we organize computational data by modifying the accessibility of information that spans across time, space, and place.
He wrote “On Distributed Communications” as a way to organize and move information across computational networks developing three structures: centralized, decentralized, and distributed, creating a method of relationship to move information successfully in a complex environment without any loss of data. This discovery is essential to the development of current digital communication platforms.
Moreover, this method of logic is famous for designing systems in complex environments to synthesize large amounts of information now distorted by the Internet of Things (IoT), a state of being in which “computation and data are embedded in, and distributed through, our entire environment”. It’s the centralization of everyday life and appears at three scales of bodies (quantified self), our homes (smart home), and our public spaces (smart cities). This centralization has disengaged the process of reflection that stands between design and fulfilment in the design of everyday life.
IoT doesn’t take a singular form and is a powerful tool in the exploration of connection. IoT provides humans with the power to explore the conceptual order and pattern which by a problem presents itself by closing a “fitness gap”. Fitness is a form of reliability on the inner organisation and on internal fitness between pieces, it is made of to control its fit as a whole to the context outside (Alexander, 1973, p 8). By not presenting a meaningful and quality form the “fitness gap” increases heuristics to fill the context which leads to an unintended meaning and therefore consequence. The fitness gap is the failure to empathize with the presented form and misplaces the social form in other worlds. Reducing the fitness gap increases meaning, therefore, creates social worlds which are different yet intersect on a broad scale with other worlds.