Agentware - Introduction

John Perry Barlow says that Cyberspace is what happens when you leave the landscape and move onto the map. I have been pondering the implications of this idea for over a year now, and I'm not sure I understand the statement fully or that I agree with it necessarily. I suspect that Cyberspace is not a map but a whole new landscape, and that the problem is that there is not yet an adequate cartography for this landscape.

If Cyberspace is any place you can interact with other intelligences without being in actual physical proximity, then I think that there are realms in Cyberspace which do have a reasonable cartography; Every one of us has experienced such a realm when we use the phone. It has discreet (source) addressing, it's a system with places or to people at places which can be shown on a real map. There are well developed directory services which support the whole system, one can navigate it purposefully, do electronic commerce on it, and so on. This is not however the case with respect to what we regards as the "real" Cyberspace, which is a much more challenging terrain. We all navigate the "real" Cyberspace without benefit of such an elegantly worked out mapping of people, places, and services.

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Agentware, a presentation by Dana Moore of AT&T.