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Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Death of the Internet and Other Ramblings...


The following content was originally published on April 11, 2014, and although extreme, I think it aged well.

Inspired by the Johnny Depp movie, Transcendence.  For me, we are on the Edge of the Singularity or Ultimate Convergence.  The transition will be immediate - from "off" to "on", like bits, from "0" to "1".  The singularity will occur in an instant. Sure there will be warnings, there have been for decades, but when it comes, it will be an institutional


This month marks the 25th anniversary of the addressing vehicle for the internet, the "World Wide Web". The internet, as it is defined, has been around 40 years, created in 1973.  The thing is, I don't see the internet surviving another 40, let alone 10 years.

No really, I'm calling it, we are witnessing the very beginning of the Death of the Internet.

Indicators:
  1. MSFT releases iOffice - One of the largest technology hierarchies cries "Uncle!"
  2. The Snowden Effect - the internet is a centrally located sieve 
  3. The US gives up ICANN - addresses are irrelevant
  4. Bio/Nanotechnology - not 'smaller' technology but 'closer' technology
  5. Apple implements 'beam' and wire-less mesh for messaging...(Someday, very soon, Apple will be bigger than the internet)
Expansion and contraction are natural ways of business technology and social evolution.  For instance, the glass rooms of mainframes moved to the desktop with the PC, then to our laptops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones - smaller yet more powerful computing expanded the reach boundaries of connectivity.

Then, as contraction repeats, processing returns to the center.  Powerful workstations give way to thin and zero-client. Applications that once required a server in the closet, now run on a server farm in North Carolina as desktops die, laptops diminish and the cloud & mainframes rack up users - today, we call it the 'Cloud'.

Just as the comfort level around data in the cloud reaches a balance, the next expansion - from the cloud to the human - begins.

The odyssey of total connectivity - not up to a server, farm, cloud or off-prem data center- the Last Connection will be between you and me - person to person all around the globe.

"...Greater than the collective intelligence of every person ever born in the history of the world..."
Peer-to-Peer. Back to the roots, the grassroots.

Back in the '80s there, during the Great Networking OpSys War PC's were connected to a server and passed tokens to each other either in a star pattern(ArcNet) or around a ring (Token Ring); whichever PC held the token, had access to the files on the network.  I'm not forgetting CSMA/CD that was/is Ethernet.

Back then, there was a little-known networking software called Lantastic and it allowed PCs to be connected "peer-to-peer' - it was cheaper than the rest, but really had no features, and performed slow and unreliably.  The concept was sound, but the technology, back then, could not support the idea.

The peer-to-peer model is sustainable, secure, economically viable, and free of centralized, overlord-like control.  We're going to move toward this model, again.

What is interesting is that we are experiencing both a contraction and expansion - technology is miniaturizing so small allowing us to personally expand to a point where we don't require the mechanical to continue to grow.  It's like compressing a lump of coal into a diamond or smashing atoms.

Of Inhaled Devices, Smart Walls and your Kid's Inoculations -

Imagine when EVERYTHING is connected. (For you more 'enlightened' you know exactly what I mean) The next 'net will be a mesh of connected individuals - and by individuals I am referring to everything.  You and I will be connected to the smoke detector we happen to walk under.  That detector through its mesh, will be connected to the potted plant on the 54th floor - and if we want, we'll be able to 'sense' that plant's 'awareness'.

Solar powered, self-replicating, nano-bio-bots, floating through the air, absorbed by grass, trees, drywall, couches, bicycle seats, your children and jockstraps.  Yes...jockstrap connectivity will change professional sports forever. :-/

No servers or mainframes in clouds, because we're all servers - Hell, that potted plant is a server.  No more issue about privacy, because we're in control of what we let out; we maintain the open or closed ports; Individuals communicate directly (1:1) or with everything 1:ALL.

The world will be Star Trek-like Utopian or a World Without Sin.  

Either way, remember this day as the day somebody claimed the internet was dead. Your children's, children, children will know this day because they'll be connected to everything that ever was.


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I know it's fiction.
I know it is a B movie.
And I know the movie is a spin on "Limitless", "Lawnmower Man" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", but this is close to what I can see as possibilities.


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