Histories of information, which became abundant during the web boom, emphasized long-term change in literacy, not in the environment. A comprehensive environmental history of information has yet to be written. As a way to begin, then, consider instances of environment in the history of information and of information in the history of environment, which seasoned historians are now exploring. This book simply seeks to connect environmental histories with future prospects for augmented cities.
When the rise of the web challenged the dominance of print in the early 1990s, the history of information became a widely read genre. Much of this concentrated on the history of reading, which was then almost synonymous with print. Twenty years later, after a great diversification of mobile and embedded technologies has infused information media into everyday life;, there is little talk of dematerializing into cyberspace.
The more that information technology permeates everyday life, the more inescapably it alters personal and cultural sensibilities. Those can be just as telling as a culture’s art or politics. They invite new kinds of histories.
Image: John Orlando Parry, Flyposting (1836), via Wikimedia Commons