Smart Spacetime
How Information Challenges our Ideas About Space, Time, and Process

`...a joy to read...'
--William Louth

`...magnificent; a tour de force of connecting the dots of many disciplines... Mark's combination of originality, synthesis and practicality knows no equal.'
--Paul Borrill

`Proud to say that I am a card-carrying member of the [Mark Burgess] fan club. And I think that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say that he's the closest thing to Richard Feynman within our industry (and not just because of his IQ).'
--Cameron Haight


Will our understanding of space and time change the future of IT?


Space and time have long been the province of theoretical physicists and science fiction writers, but space and time are far from theoretical or fanciful---they describe every process that happens in the world. They are the most practical concern of all---they are everywhere and always!


The modern scientific ideas of space and time have been handed down to us from a long history of philosophical ideas, and they have gone through many revisions. Yet many of those ideas have been turned completely upside down by Information Technology, and modern biology. Quantum physics and Einstein's Theory Of Relativity made us rethink them again in the 20th century, and have attached an almost mystical significance to spacetime phenomena---but have we really made too much of their strangeness, and take too narrow a view? Might the much-told weirnesses of quantum theory and relativity, in fact, have straightforward explanations? Will we meet them again in the growing computing cloud? Evidence amassing in the vast computer systems that power the Internet suggest that this may be the case, as similar phenomena begin to emerge from a far more mundane and accessible source.


`[Mark] flapped [his] wings around 30 years ago and the industry changed.'
--John Willis

`...our whole industry is transforming based on ideas [Mark Burgess]
pioneered'
--Michael Nygard

`[Mark Burgess] created the seeds from which the entire DevOps(Sec) and computer immunology movement sprung. The real proof is the number and diversity of tools that evolved from it. Many many people's lives improved from it, and many more can still.'
--Julie Tsai

`The work done by [Mark] on complexity of systems is a cornerstone in design of large scale distributed systems...'
--Jan Wiersma

`Some authors tread well worn paths in comfortable realms. Mark not only blazes new trails, but does so in undiscovered countries.'
--Dan Klein

Errata and clarifications

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