Morlock Elloi on Tue, 12 Aug 2008 10:12:12 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> [Augmentology] _A Warcry for Birthing Synthetic Worlds_

There is a looming feeling that most of the development stopped in the
last decade or so and what passes for development and "innovation" for
the unwashed is simply commercial proliferation. The raison d'etre
of startups today is to make Cisco or Google 0.1% richer. Some very
powerful concepts have not yet re-surfaced (like Veronica - it was
a fully distributed (because there were so many instances :) search
engine for Gopher sites. Gnutella mimicks some of it today, but there
are no mainstream apps.)

What may be interesting is potential influence of ever-increasing edge
computing power (things in end users' hands) and increasing bandwidth,
on the 20th century networking topology. If any.

Routing for example.

Is it technologically required that this mail to
moderator first travels from north america to Cologne, DE, subject
to good will of several governments and commercial entities, and
then gets picked by the moderator from who knows where? Is this
centralised (server-based) architecture today technologically or
commercially/politically mandated? Mesh self- and source-routed
networks worked well on limited basis in 2000. Today, with all
these gates crammed in tiny PDAs, access points, etc., it's totally
conceivable that routing could be done without centralised servers and
likely implemented at least in dense areas fully covered with wireless
(and let's not forget IR). Moving terabytes without ever touching an
ISP does not have technological barriers today.

Yet it's not happening. There is not much incentive for self-organised
networks these days.

The point is that technology is not the barrier. The demand is the
barrier. We simply cannot figure out WTF it is that we want from the
technology. Most of technology today is like dark fiber - sitting
there being available but of no use. There is really no new content
class, save computer games and consumer-generated drivel. It's no
wonder that 90+% of all bits moved is stolen content from 100 years
old industry - movies.

Web was big success primarily because it further automated the mail
order concept - everything else was a side-effect. For the next big
thing we will need something else to automate, and it seems that we
are running out of ideas. Automating captivity - virtual worlds etc. -
ain't it.

> While that may be true, HTML was nothing special in that regard. When it
> was invented, it was just another member of the large family of markup


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