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Re: <nettime> Philosophy of the Internet of Things
Rob van Kranenburg on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:22:25 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Philosophy of the Internet of Things

Hello Dan,

> I applaud you for having the gumption to stand athwart these
> developments yelling "Wait a minute" at a time when few are inclined
> to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge.

I built Council,
five years ago in order to be timely when it would explode, so I can be rightly accused of hyping it myself:)
But the ontological questions always are and were paramount. Every coding area needs it own toolset.

> Let me pause to ask a teaser question; if those embedded devices
> are immortal, are they angelic?  Let me first talk, though, about
> the wider world.

Beautiful question! I hope you can get to expand on the part of embedded devices for the Conference. If you don’t attend we will put all contributions online.

> When we opt for monocultures by choice we had better opt for tight
> central control.  This, of course, supposes that we are willing to
> face the risks that come with tight central control including the
> paramount risk of any and all auto-update schemes -- namely the
> hostile takeover of the auto-update mechanism itself.  

I totally agree. I wrote it down here
as i too believe that we must be serious about this cybernetics space that can only be inclusive if ‚everybody’ is included, so the key is to get the balance right between extreme centralization and extreme decentralization.

> The Gordian Knot of such tradeoffs -- our tradeoffs -- is this: As
> society becomes more technologic, even the mundane comes to depend
> on distant digital perfection.  Our food pipeline contains less
> than a week's supply, just to take one example, and that pipeline
> depends on digital services for everything from GPS driven tractors
> to drone-surveilled irrigators to robot vegetable sorting machinery
> to coast-to-coast logistics to RFID-tagged livestock.  Is all the
> technologic dependency, and the data that fuels it, making us more
> resilient or more fragile?

More fragile.
One more reason to build the system as a platform with as many stakeholders involved.
If I had a stop button I would push it.
But as you say there is no stopping the convergence of logistics and IPv6. Every day now we see more connectedness to the extent that what I wrote 7 years ago as a critical point is now re-articulated as if it was the most normal thing on earth:

Donald Light, director of Celent's Americas P&C insurance practice, "explains that the Internet of things (IoT) consists of three interdependent components: things with networked sensors, such as automobiles, machines, buildings and people; data stores, whether they are local or in the cloud; and analytics engines. In an IoT infrastructure, the sensors embedded in the objects collect and transmit data regarding their internal states or environment to the stores, where they are analyzed or fed into models and then fed back to the objects or users (see diagram) offering unprecedented opportunities for insurers that embrace the technology."

Internet of Things: Changing the Insurance Value Chain
Networked sensors increasingly are being embedded in machines, buildings, cars and other objects, offering tech-savvy insurers new opportunities to understand and price risk, according Celent.
INN Breaking News, April 23, 2014
Chris McMahon

"We are in the process of witnessing the realisation of such a new space. In places where computational processes disappear into the background - into everyday objects - both my reality and me as subject become contested in concrete daily situations and activities. Buildings, cars, consumer products, and people become information spaces.
How difficult it is for us to grasp that Socrates in the Phaedrus speaks out harshly against writing, pencils and any other form of outsourcing our human memory to the environment, any kind of environment. How hard it is for us to see that that pen over there (do you still know what it looks like?) - once caused so much trouble? Actually, that is quite difficult. Anything we grow up with is not technology to us. It simply is. Moving as we are into the territory of Ambient intelligence (AmI), you see that we have between five years and a decade to make up our minds about what connectivities we really want as human beings on this planet."

van Kranenburg R (2007) The Internet of Things. A critique of ambient technology and the all-seeing network of RFID, Network Notebooks 02. Institute of Network Cultures.
Available from: http:/ / networkcultures.org/ wpmu/ portal/ publications/ network-notebooks/ the-internet-of-things webcite. Accessed 21 August 2011

> Perhaps what is needed is for embedded systems to be more like
> humans, and I most assuredly do not mean artificially intelligent.
> By "more like humans" I mean this: Embedded systems, if having no
> remote management interface and thus out of reach, are a life form
> and as the purpose of life is to end, an embedded system without a
> remote management interface must be so designed as to be certain
> to die no later than some fixed time.  

> My personal definition of a state of security is "The absence of
> unmitigatable surprise.”  

Really necessary this view on security, as it is very difficult for most to grasp that in such a ‚system’ we move to distributing insecurity

Cheers, and a good week, Rob

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