A tweetstorm summary of Session 4 of the Breaking Smart workshop, based on essays 14-20.
1/ Douglas Adams’ “Life, the Universe and Everything” non-question can be understood as a satirical view of human political processes.
2/ It is equivalent to “Inequality, Surveillance and Everything” (2015), and “Cold War, Globalization and Everything” (1970s).
3/ When we try to frame big issues as questions with determinate answers that lead to clear pastoralist goals, we miss the real action.
4/ The real action is increasing system potential, like Douglas Adams’ aliens leveling up from Deep Thought supercomputer to “Earth”.
5/ The result is a change in how we solve all problems, not in what problems we take on. This is the big story of our era: the major level-up.
6/ Using Adams’ metaphor, what we have done is replaced one planet-sized computer, the geographic world, with another, the networked world.
7/ Software eating the world is the story of the networked world eating the geographic world as our default problem-solving context.
8/There are two major subplots. First, bits dominating atoms. Second the rise of a new culture of problem-solving.
9/ Whatever the mix of humans, software and robots involved, networked-world solutions tend to involve the same “social” design elements:
10/ Real-time information streams, dynamically evolving patterns of trust, fluid identities, rapidly negotiated collaborations…
11/ …unexpected emergent problem decompositions, efficiently allocated intelligence, and frictionless financial transactions.
12/ Each time a problem is solved using these elements, the networked world is strengthened; a self-reinforcing new normal
13/ As a result, the technological foundation of our planet is evolving with extraordinary rapidity as a branching, continuous process.
14/ Recently sprouted branches include: the Mobile Web, IoT, streaming media, VR, AR, the Maker movement, blockchain.
15/ Labels like Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are an attempt to understand this generative explosion in industrial terms as a staged, sequential process.
16/ Surprisingly, hardware specifics are not important in this evolution. Data, code, and networking are all largely hardware-independent today.
17/ Bruce Sterling captured this idea with his notion of spimes: digital master objects that can be realized in different physical forms.
18/ Wherever bits begin to dominate atoms, we solve problems differently. Instead of defining and pursuing goals we create and exploit luck.
19/ The geographic world solves problems in goal-driven ways, through literal or metaphoric zero-sum territorial conflict.
20/ The networked world solves them in serendipitous ways, through innovations that break assumptions about how resources can be used.
21/ Two early patterns in problem solving are free as in beer, and as in speech and streams over containers. More will emerge
22/ When we fully embrace the problem solving culture of the networked world, we will have a world breaking smart