June 2015. Santa Clara, CA.
Eighty-three thousand people (plus an untold number who remained in the lot) turned out to witness the last hurrah of a peculiar American movement: The Grateful Dead. Most of their movements were captured by accelerometers located in their pockets. Mothers across the midwest were ahead of their time calling Dead fans “users;” now any number of Internet corporations treasure them as such. The feeds from the phones generated untold impressions.
On the Caltrain extension line running out to Levi’s Stadium, the ridership was almost exclusively composed of “heads.” That particular train is a slow one, taking the long way around Google’s massive new airfield and the adjacent Lockheed Martin campus. In a nod to this nomad community’s enduring reverence for togetherness (and technology), some of the passengers were passing smartphones hand-to-hand, sharing the livestream of the concert, which had just started…
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