Friday, May 27, 2016

credentials, careers and punctuated equilibrium

life is like a sequence of flights where there's an exciting (and unnerving) takeoff (often preceded by stressful and boring waits) followed by the moment you break through the clouds, and the plane levels off in the light, and coasts. the metaphor seems to fit school, college, job changes, partners, kids, deaths/bereavements in family, etc

so purely from a work perspective, this applies to some research projects i've done.....

most the 1980s, we were building/measuring/optimising the basic internet (both on paper, similation, and real code and networks) - culminated in multicast, tcp congestion control, satellite access (in 1988), which smarter people at the other end of the net wanted to test, so we were happy to be on this end of those tests....

then in the 1990s we were doing multicast - both applications (games, vr, and most interesting, Reuters realtime share trading network), and realtime multimedia (Internet TV - what became the main way AT&T, Telefonica and Virgin/NTL built their TV streaming service; and internet telephony/conferencing-  with video, audio, shared whiteboards - etc - what became skype, webex, etc).

then in the 2000s, we were doing opportunistic networking (community mesh, also) + cloud + social media well does a kickstarter campaign work? how do people find or follow unbiased news on twitter etc.

now what? I guess its either data science (inferencing latent variables and models) or internet of things, or both, or neither....

one underpinning theme is decentralization - the early internet was, and cloud was meant to be - so now we're revisiting both the wireless net and the cloud to see if we can make them work better without centralization and loss of privacy. See this talk for why&how

Oh yes, why "punctuated equilibrium"? because basically that's another metaphor for what happens in evolution, applied to ideas - change of environment, leads to specation. selection/crossover leads to new ideas and refinement. next....

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