net neutrality

Let's be clear what we're talking about: Video. No one is going to try to profit by charging different rates for different streams of text. Text was out the barn door before we ever started having this conversation. Then images escaped, and still everyone was stunned still. When audio started to escape, the Napster era, finally the defenders of the status quo leaped into action-- and failed. They had no idea what they were fighting, and they never landed a single solid blow.

So now they're taking a crack at video. They're doing a much better job. The ISPs intentionally slow-walked the bandwidth so we'd spend as long as possible in the region where video is sluggish; now we're forced to walk slowly through this pass where they can spring their ambush. But that's all we're fighting over: Just video, and just the next few years. In a few years the technology forces the situation by making video so tiny it can slip through any net. There's a lot of money that could be made in those few years, but it's not as much money as they're imagining.

They're imagining taking control of us forever. That is not going to happen. None of us have the power to back information technology into Pandora's box, not even for a good reason, not even if we need to to save humanity, never mind so someone can make a few bucks selling videos. Soon the cost of storing or transferring a video will approach zero, and this fight will be history. If we invent something that takes more bandwidth than a video, there will be a window of a few years where it might be possible to control that, whatever it is. But it will never last forever. The theoretical limits on bandwidth are very far away, more than enough to transfer entire humans never mind any human media.

This is a ridiculous game with little actual relevance to the future of humanity.

(no subject)

I really love the internet. It's funny how we've pretended that we get the internet. We assume that because we've used it for a long time now we must be masters of it, so we pretend at a blase worldweariness about it. Oh, yes, the internet, I've used that. But really we have no idea. It's such an incredible thing, it would take far longer than we'll have to be able to understand what it is or could be. I think there are many more entirely different ways we could use this internet thing than the one we've settled on. For a while we were astounded by the possibilities of it, and then we wanted to think we had grasped it and settled into it, but really all the possibilities are still there. It's still just as much a wilderness. Probably more than ever. We just built some blinders. We just can't keep our minds open enough to take it seriously. The internet. What can you do with that?

ever-flowing feedback fountains

Right now there's still a certain stillness to the web. Ripples
spread across it when you touch it, as a few copies of what you've
said echo on a few different sites or lists, but after a few moments
the ripples die down, and its surface is glassy smooth again. It
takes another human touch to spread any further ripples in echo or

Soon, inevitably, that stillness will be broken. Each touch will
begin to echo autonomously & endlessly, swirling into self-maintaining
cycles. We will feel our actions on the web not as small pebbles
tossed into a still void, but as tiny alterations or additions to a
giant, spinning, independent storm.

For instance as more & more cameras fill our lives, more & more often
the images they catch will be of screens playing pictures from other
cameras. They'll form a giant worldwide fountain of images, spilling
constantly from continent to continent however we direct them. And
sometimes, more & more, an image will find itself back where it came
from and will begin to endlessly cycle, distorted & altered &
transformed more or less by the conditions in however many, however
distant places.

We will expect everything we do then to be remembered, not just as a
dead archive, but in a living cycle. Shadows of the past will always
be dancing with us.

And then, soon after that, there will be no more now & gone, no more
here & there, no more living & dead-- only now, only here, only



an open letter to Craig Newmark


I've seen numerous interviews with you over the years, and I've always been impressed with your wit, modesty and individuality. I am of the mind that something of the general shape of Craigslist was inevitable, but OTOH it was a wonderful surprise to see it done with such grace and class. I wish therefore it were a different circumstance that brought myself to your attention than this tweet of mine:

mungojelly: @jayrosen_nyu Craigslist is completely untrustworthy. You'd think there'd be a new niche in providing some sort of local trust relationship.

To which you responded with this tweet of yours:

craignewmark: @mungojelly Can you clarify your remark re #craigslist ? Thanks! craig at craigslist.org

I was going to say that you were completely justified in taking offense, but upon rereading your tweet I see that it's completely diplomatic! That's what I'm talking about-- classy. Anyway, since you asked, certainly I'll do my best to explain the point that I so failed to cram into those 140.

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Carl Malamud for Public Printer!

I strongly endorse Carl Malamud for the position of Public Printer of the United States, and I encourage you to do the same! See: YesWeScan.org

I shooped this shoop myself in support of the campaign! :) It's CC Attribution 2.0, inverted version of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carl_Malamud_at_Berkeley-2007-10-17-version.03.jpg which apparently was cropped from http://www.flickr.com/photos/71753172@N00/1610430707/

an economic experiment

Hey so I've been meaning to do this experiment for a while! Here goes.

I am hereby offering up approximately one hour of volunteer labor. I will work for about an hour at whatever is the first reasonable task suggested by a comment in response to this post. (Reasonable will be defined, of course, however I feel like-- but I promise to be lenient.)

Ball's in your court, internets! What should I do? What needs doing? Or what would be amusing to have me do?! It's up to you!?!


(no subject)

we shouldn't of course have to choose who to "friend", it's about time for all that silliness to end

there should be a complete record of who we've ever had any kind of interaction with: oh, that person, right, i read an article by them 3 years ago

those people we find more interesting & continually return to should be made naturally more accessible, but it doesn't have to be broken into simple categories

it's going to feel so natural to let our agents make the connections for us

even once we begin to consciously question what's happening