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Metamechanics
Working out how 

the internet works
John V Willshire
@willsh
Smithery, London
#IAMW16

Barcelona
culture
Things
People
prototype
strategydesign
Jean Tinguely
Swiss Artist &
Scupltor
1925-1991
http://www.vernissage.tv
Most famous for his
kinetic sculptures…
if you stare
long enough,
you see how
they work
Like a lot of the
exhibits here in the
Cosmocaixa museum
Stare at it,
see how
it works
Humans
love
spotting
patterns
in repeat
behaviour
Mechanics
“the behavior of physical
bodies when subjected to
forces or displacements, and
the subsequent effects of the
bo...
Mechanics:
What happens
to things
when
things happen
to them
What makes the
internet go round?
What patterns, what
mechanics can we spot?
Let’s think Small, then big…
“an aggregation of many individual
pieces of content”At home, I have Lots
of packs of cards
Content: what’s on the cards
Design Fiction Kit: Near Future Laboratory
Mechanics: that they are cards
Design Fiction Kit: Near Future Laboratory
artefactshop.com
We make these
Artefact
cards are
high quality
blank cards
for working
on projects
Deal
Shuffle
Order
Stack
Turn
Spread
Rearrange
card Mechanics are
about movement
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9dIQOrVhM5E - Prof. John Wood, TED, on Synergies
“The Creative Qua...
“We are currently witnessing a 

re-architecture of the web, away
from pages and destinations,
towards completely personal...
“an aggregation of many
individual pieces of content”
“an aggregation of many
individual pieces of content”
The mechanics of
cards allow us to
design quickly using
mechanics akin to
the internet
Let’s zoom out…
but this year…
Two separate
friends
recommended
I read these
two books
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
What if these
two models fit
together?
FAST
SLOW SLOW
FAST
Does fast move fast,
and slow move slow?
The most interesting part of the
hybrid model is the gearbox
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
S5
S4
S3
S2
S1
THE
GEARBOX
slowFast
slowFast
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
S5
S4
S3
S2
S1
The slow
drift east
cronuts
for lunch
We can see conventional
relationships of fast and slow
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
S5
S4
S3
S2
S1
Lighting
displays based
on actions
But start to see how the internet
allows us to create new...
P1 P2 P3 P4 P5
S5
S4
S3
S2
S1
product
futures as
marketing
But start to see how the internet
allows us to create new things
Internet Mechanics:
continually moving,
always unexpected,
often unintended
http://www.vernissage.tv
“Working out how
the internet works”
This isn’t really the
right thing to aim at…
Stare at it,
see how
it works?
Stare at it,
see how
it works?
“We wanna
see the
patterns…”
Pattern match
that, kids
People keep
getting in
the wayhttp://www.vernissage.tv
And the
internet
helps
people keep
get weirder
“In science, when human
behaviour enters the
equation, things go nonlinear. 

That’s why Physics is easy
and Sociology is ...
Strategy is dead.
design appropriately.
Strategy is dead.
design appropriately.
Where once a strategy would hold
for years, we are now witnessing a
world in which...
OODA Loops
Observe
Orient
Decide
Act
Observe
Orient
Decide
Act
Observe
Orient
Decide
Act
A metastrategy, a
strategy of
strategies: do the
most appropriate
thing for your
circumstances
Design WITH the
mechanics, not
AGAINST them
Kareisu
(empty Chair)
</happyending>
?
Jean Tinguely
Study for The End of the World 2
self-destructing
machines
These are all
products of
the internet.
For all the
good the
randomness
brings, other
stuff is made
possible
too…
self-destructing
machine?
what if the internet is a
Thanking y’all
John V Willshire
@willsh
#IAMW16

Barcelona
smithery.co
artefactshop.com
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated
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Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated

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My talk from day one of IAMW16 in Barcelona, exploring what the mechanics behind the internet are, why we look for them, and why we might be looking for the wrong thing.

Published in: Design

Working Out How The Internet Works - Metamechanics @ #IAMW16 - annotated

  1. Metamechanics Working out how the internet works John V Willshire @willsh Smithery, London #IAMW16 Barcelona
  2. culture Things People prototype strategydesign
  3. Jean Tinguely Swiss Artist & Scupltor 1925-1991
  4. http://www.vernissage.tv Most famous for his kinetic sculptures… if you stare long enough, you see how they work
  5. Like a lot of the exhibits here in the Cosmocaixa museum
  6. Stare at it, see how it works
  7. Humans love spotting patterns in repeat behaviour
  8. Mechanics “the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment” Wikipedia
  9. Mechanics: What happens to things when things happen to them
  10. What makes the internet go round?
  11. What patterns, what mechanics can we spot? Let’s think Small, then big…
  12. “an aggregation of many individual pieces of content”At home, I have Lots of packs of cards
  13. Content: what’s on the cards Design Fiction Kit: Near Future Laboratory
  14. Mechanics: that they are cards Design Fiction Kit: Near Future Laboratory
  15. artefactshop.com We make these
  16. Artefact cards are high quality blank cards for working on projects
  17. Deal Shuffle Order Stack Turn Spread Rearrange
  18. card Mechanics are about movement
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9dIQOrVhM5E - Prof. John Wood, TED, on Synergies “The Creative Quartet” - Prof. John Wood 1 2 3 45 6
  20. “We are currently witnessing a re-architecture of the web, away from pages and destinations, towards completely personalised experiences built on an aggregation of many individual pieces of content…” Paul Adams, Intercom @padday
  21. “an aggregation of many individual pieces of content”
  22. “an aggregation of many individual pieces of content”
  23. The mechanics of cards allow us to design quickly using mechanics akin to the internet
  24. Let’s zoom out…
  25. but this year… Two separate friends recommended I read these two books
  26. 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
  27. What if these two models fit together?
  28. FAST SLOW SLOW FAST Does fast move fast, and slow move slow?
  29. The most interesting part of the hybrid model is the gearbox
  30. P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 S5 S4 S3 S2 S1 THE GEARBOX slowFast slowFast
  31. P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 S5 S4 S3 S2 S1 The slow drift east cronuts for lunch We can see conventional relationships of fast and slow
  32. P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 S5 S4 S3 S2 S1 Lighting displays based on actions But start to see how the internet allows us to create new things
  33. P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 S5 S4 S3 S2 S1 product futures as marketing But start to see how the internet allows us to create new things
  34. Internet Mechanics: continually moving, always unexpected, often unintended http://www.vernissage.tv
  35. “Working out how the internet works” This isn’t really the right thing to aim at…
  36. Stare at it, see how it works?
  37. Stare at it, see how it works?
  38. “We wanna see the patterns…”
  39. Pattern match that, kids
  40. People keep getting in the wayhttp://www.vernissage.tv
  41. And the internet helps people keep get weirder
  42. “In science, when human behaviour enters the equation, things go nonlinear. That’s why Physics is easy and Sociology is hard.” @neiltyson
  43. Strategy is dead. design appropriately.
  44. Strategy is dead. design appropriately. Where once a strategy would hold for years, we are now witnessing a world in which a strategy can’t even hold for the time it takes to formulate one. Everything keeps changing.
  45. OODA Loops Observe Orient Decide Act
  46. Observe Orient Decide Act
  47. Observe Orient Decide Act A metastrategy, a strategy of strategies: do the most appropriate thing for your circumstances
  48. Design WITH the mechanics, not AGAINST them
  49. Kareisu (empty Chair)
  50. </happyending>
  51. ?
  52. Jean Tinguely Study for The End of the World 2
  53. self-destructing machines
  54. These are all products of the internet. For all the good the randomness brings, other stuff is made possible too…
  55. self-destructing machine? what if the internet is a
  56. Thanking y’all John V Willshire @willsh #IAMW16 Barcelona smithery.co artefactshop.com

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