Saturday, November 23, 2013

future of the net & its impact on birth and death of industries

Yesterday, I attended an interesting meeting between policy maker/implementors, and techie/geeky people to discuss this fine topic (again - previous meeting was blogged earlier here under the topic of collective intelligence

this time, we split into two groups first, and laid out our wares to each other as techies all in one room, and policies all in the other, and then came together.

1. Techie discussion was perhaps more far reaching - long term problems like the use of the Internet as a metaphor for organising other sectors (decentralisation, symmetry between clients and servers/peer progressive) for energy, government, education, crowd sourcing/funding, journalism etc etc...

Some v. interesting stuff on power-law distributions in networks, and how these impact the way power itself plays out across a web of organisations, and if we do adopt the internet metaphor for these other secotrs, what that would do to wealth (in all senses of the word).

2. Then the policy people summaries their topics, which were much more about immediate problems the net brtings in their space under the general headings of

Personal - Does the net impact our cognition?; why do some things succeed and some fail? does the net replace people & jobs?

Business -does the net replace businesses or just optimise them?

Government - who is going to lead on regulation and governance?; is the net just too big to control;?
specifics (who is going to pay for rural broadband? how should public broadcast be funded?)

There was sme discussion about transport area stuff (esp. under optimnisaing both the operations and the large decision making - e.g. HS2). There was some discussion about censorship and darknets.

The main conclusions the tech people draw on these discussions (and tried to lead the policy people towards) were largely optimisitic

Again, background reading
1. Jaron Lanier's "Who Owns the Future"monetizing your personal data instead of being owned by the net
2. Cory Doctorow the war on general purpose computing and appliances
3. The Interconnectedness of Everything

Crucial background was on defending systems against bad guys. I'm not so optimistic about this aspect of the net

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