Re: Distributed Computing

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sun Jul 30 2000 - 22:32:34 MDT

>From: "White, Ryan" <>
>Subject: Distributed Computing
>Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 11:25:22 -0700
I think it will do is give more momentum to the development of
>decentralized information storage and exchange systems, and better metrics
>for automating replication, migration, and maintenance of information
>integrity within them. I am really interested to see what kinds of systems
>and protocols emerge to support (more universal) 'nomadic data access' and
>'task mobility.'
>Y'all have thoughts on the 'ubiquitous computing environment' paradigm?
>This is being approached in different ways by different institutions, but I
>was reading DARPA's 'Ubicomp' proposal,
>( )
>The Ubiquitous Computing Initiative (Ubicomp) will address issues in
>providing a new computing environment in which the users' physical spaces
>become embedded with computing functionality, as the present-day computer
> (/snip)
>and pondering the potential impacts of its application, in conjunction with
>'distributed computing', on the Internet / global level, and it really got
>my gears spinning. Is this the next step? How far off, from there, is a
>'sentient' Internet? ;) Does the idea of living and working inside of a
>fully interactive computer (say, your house in 2020) unsettle you? Isn't
>this in a way conducive to the emergence of a transparent society
>to the MAS [mutually assured surveillance] discussion a few months ago)?
>your house is a node on a global, distributed computing network, and one of
>it's directives is to identify patterns in your behaviors/intentions as its
>resident in order to preemptively feed you information it thinks you will
>want, doesn't that imply that information about you is going to be 'out
>there', potentially everywhere? Yeah, okay, encrypt it. Encrypt
>everything! But who/what holds your encryption keys in an environment
>designed for constant interaction to automate the 'tediosities' of your
>life, including your decisions, when everybody is actually using the same
>great, big computer?
Already, I and I'm sure everyone reading this is getting these continuous
ads for services disguised as personal messages. Imagine a world that
continuously configured itself to maximize your attention. Those people who
secretly or subconsciously wanted to escape from reality could find
themselves like professor Moriarity on TNG, permanently ensconced in a box
with no further relevance to anything outside itself. Mack Reynolds
actually wrote a novel on that theme sometime in the '50's or perhaps '60's,
as I recall.
Of course, it could be argued that religion performs that service today.
Will we have wars in the future based on what reality you want?
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