We’ve already been through several situations where new technologies come along. The Industrial Revolution removed a large number of jobs that had been done by hand, replaced them with machines. But the machines had to be built, the machines had to be operated, the machines had to be maintained. And the same is true in this online environment.
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We’re at a thousand dollars per gigabyte, which is what current disk drives cost. The twenty terabytes that people estimate in ASCII that’s in the Library of Congress is just twenty million dollars. So that’s not very much money in terms of being able to store and retrieve the Library of Congress.
In an environment where everybody can pick up everybody’s tools, we’re all weirdly empowered now. And I mean kind of weird in an almost fey sense like, our powers are weird, they make us weird, and they make our our conflicts weird. It’s again that idea that our tools are interacting with our human flaws in really really interesting ways.
What does it mean for human rights protection that we have large corporate interests—the Googles, the Facebooks of our time—that control and govern a large part of the online infrastructure?
I’m going talk to you guys about larp and. Larp and a whole lot of other things. Because I think the most interesting things about larp are maybe not actually larp itself, but when larp meets a whole bunch of the rest of the world.
Whoever the next President is, the non-politician that they should call once in awhile to get perspective from is Howard Stern.
The Soviet experience suggests something really important for us today, which is that networks are entirely compatible with surveillance. And many of our favorite things to talk about, then, peer-to-peer production, or end-to-end intelligence, kind of missed the point that I think is now obvious. That whether you’re the NSA or Google or whoever else…you’re a general secretariat, seeking to privatize our power, and you are surveilling us, because you have a network in place.
Our bridges, motorways, tunnels, and dams, and all the buildings that make up our infrastructure are vital to our society and economic growth yet we take them for granted. The shocking truth is that our infrastructure is crumbling beneath our feet. And this is costing us dearly, both in terms of money and carbon.