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Semiformalishmaybe

Device Singularity

What barriers are there (either technological or infrastructure) that prevent all the devices you use in a regular day from converging into a single device? How did this differ from 10 years ago? How much stuff do you own that would be replaced by such a convergence? What is the relationship between such broad economic transitions and our economic problems? If we want to keep reasonably similar levels of lack-of-central-control, how might we (legislatively, otherwise) shape the transition to preserve it? Do the technology changes make the current form of that lack of control sustainable post-transition?

As for me, I would be very happy to get rid of all my DVDs and books if I had open, digitised and annotatable versions of all the content in each, without DRM. It would free up considerable space in my apartment.

Not closely related, it'd be really interesting to see people stand up en masse for ethical structures - boycotting companies that enforce stupid patents (the recent Google patent, for example, is obvious to anyone with competency in the art, enough so that I think I have prior art from an undergrad research project, but it might be defensive. If it isn't, Google needs to be nailed to the wall), companies that do financial services, that are customers of or practitioners of SEO, that make DRM systems, astroturf (or perhaps do marketing at all, if we ever reach that point), pollute and/or support organisations that support pollution (like the US Chamber of Commerce - only a few years ago I assumed by their name they were part of the US government), those with ties to the military-industrial complex (particularly but not only the worst companies there) etc. Until we can either make structural or legal changes to eliminate these things, it would be great to find ways to put the hurt on companies that do them, and perhaps people who willingly involve themselves in worthless or harmful enterprises.

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