RE: Distributed Computing

From: White, Ryan (
Date: Mon Jul 31 2000 - 08:46:34 MDT

-----Original Message-----
From: phil osborn []
Sent: Sunday, July 30, 2000 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: Distributed Computing

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?

Ryan v24.2:

I imagine that each individual's 'reality' could be customized to their
preference. Maybe we'll each live in a holo-deck simulation of our
choosing. Maybe we already do :). The Matrix has you, Neo... This also
leads me to think of the Polices (where uploaded humans reside) in Egan's
_Diaspora_, where each person appeared to have an infinitely-configurable
'preferred virtual hang-out' (where perhaps ve was assigned 'administrative
permissions'?) and where ve was surrounded by virtual objects of vis
choosing. In that futurist novel, at least, people seem to have transcended
'un-provoked' advertising. I am hopeful for such an outcome.

Yeah I get those email ads. I have a pet peeve about advertising of that
nature. I don't watch television because I can't stand the notion of being
programmed with stupid jingles and 'catchy phrases'. (That, and because TV
isn't interactive.) I realize trying to avoid advertising is somewhat
ridiculous because there's really nowhere I can go to escape it, while
maintaining my choice of lifestyle and information gathering habits. I also
realize the advertising is (sometimes) what supports the broadcast of the
program or article I DO wish to attend to. But I don't imagine this as a
necessary element in the future. I have been somewhat successful at
'selective attention' when it comes to reading - when looking at magazines
and web pages, for example, I find that I don't see many types of banners or
ads. Doesn't enter short term memory anymore. Until they come up with
another flavor, of course, and I have to reconfigure my perceptual filters
to counter their reconfiguration of the spam, etc., etc.

>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?
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:35:26 MDT