[thelist] Kevin Kelly on the future of the cloud

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 22:10:40 CST 2008

On Tue, Dec 9, 2008 at 9:50 PM, Erika <ekm at seastorm.com> wrote:
> Wired founder Kevin Kelly has been giving talks on where he sees the web
> going over the next several years.
> http://blip.tv/file/1441210/
> Kind of showing how the web has kind of become the nervous system of
> globalization. As if the whole world is this jellyfish-like creature
> developing a primitive nervous system.

My beef with the "where the web will go" pipe dreams is that they are
implying that the current web will no longer exist. But if you listen
to them, that's not really even what they are saying. They are saying
that there are new capabilities that will create something
fundamentally different from what the current web is. That doesn't
remove all the reasons that the current web is what it is; the current
web is not going anywhere. But saying "hey, here's some cool new stuff
you can do" doesn't buy you omniscience. For that, you need something
like "I know where will the web go in 6500 days!!"

I wonder if the flying cars we're getting by the year 2000 will be
connected to this new web, along with my 24-hr non-invasive body
probes that automatically adjust the amount of healthcare tax deducted
from my paycheck based on how much exercise I did that day.

"If you're producing some information and it's not web-ized, it's not
someway online and related and shared to everything else, it doesn't

So, hey, if blip.tv hadn't posted this video on the web, would his
talk have "counted"? Would this statement not have counted, which
would mean the talk *would* have counted, in which case it wouldn't
have counted? Oh my.

And certainly the coordinated moves in the global stock markets are a
reflection of the web, not the fact that the most of the world
standardizes on the US Dollar, holds significant US debt, is highly
dependent on US consumption rates, has its confidence in the
protection of its trade routes connected to deployed forces of the US
military, has large portions of US companies in their countries
employing their citizens and paying taxes to their governments, has
significant funds invested in the US.[1] No, it's not that. It's the
fact that I can access perezhilton.com from Uganda.

And I replayed that portion about "Socialism 2.0" about 7 times and I
still don't get what he's trying to say. He implies he doesn't want to
conjure the "social baggage" around the term, but then why didn't he
just call it small-s "socialism"? He called it "Socialism 2.0" --
Socialism, the next version -- for a reason, and I really don't get

Wikipedia isn't "Socialism". Anyone can make an edit to a wikipedia
page, but if it's not beneficial, it won't last. How do you know if
it's beneficial? Because it either lasted or didn't last. Does this
sound familiar to anyone? Wikipedia isn't centrally administered; it's
fully competitive.[2]

This kind of stuff fires me up. It's a lot of floaty talk with very
little insight. And the attempt to politicize the talk is just bizarre
and out of place.

I'm debating whether I owe a tip for this...

These simply are not new ideas. There's the old visual presentation
web, and we realized a long time ago that we needed to separate data
and presentation (it's just that we keep coming up with new reasons
why). What can you do with data? You can have multiple presentations,
you can integrate systems, you can communicate across devices, you can
generate knowledge. To talk about a cloud -- a global machine
supporting every bit of every life, with the global markets moving in
a coordinated heartbeat... it's poetic, but not very useful or real.
We are just getting better and better at the same old stuff. That
isn't poetic, but it is real, and I still think it's exciting.

Didn't mean to pick on your link, Erika. I'm sure the people on this
list have some pretty interesting ideas about where the Web is going.
Perhaps we could discuss...

[1] no, not trying to start any political flame wars; just giving
possible examples of market interconnectedness outside of the web
[2] yes, there are exceptions; not the point

Matt Warden
Cincinnati, OH, USA

This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.

More information about the thelist mailing list