Reflection – 8/18/08

This class was a great wrap-up. I liked the discussion led by Paolo and Peter. While their article was dated (which by itself was interesting), it provided a bit of a prelude to the consideration of the next 5,000 days of the Internet.

Anyway, the “faster, safer and more pervasive” prediction of the Supernet begs definition and discussion. Faster: certainly. Thanks to sizable investments in infrastructure and a broadband service that very nearly replicates the “dial tone” of always on. Safer: depends on the definition of safer. This could mean that the systems and infrastructure are more redundant and reliable, but more likely, given the date of the article, fewer (or at least better defended against) viruses. We didn’t foresee the risks surrounding exposure of data so much in 1997. More pervasive: yes. In fact, with the proliferation of numerous connected devices, I feel this prediction is one that still evolves and grows faster going forward.

Commiserating with Ross and presenting our take on Wikinomics was enjoyable. His insights on the paradox of one the messages of the book (closed, proprietary systems are becoming much less successful) and the thumping examples of the iPhone and the iPod only makes me return to my observation concerning the authors: less cheerleading and more inclusions of what breaks there model that is successful and where things are not working so well would actually bolster their arguments.

Mark and I agreed that Benkler was our favorite book (I still maintain that he could use a better editor…). As to the next 5,000 days of the Internet, I’m intrigued by where humans will be then. How we interact today has changed considerably. The future will have broader and deeper impact, thanks to the network economy.

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