dinsdag, juni 21, 2005

Audience With the Podfather

A very interesting phone-interview here with Adam Curry about the ipodder program, podcasting etc.

So why do I find this interesting? The only reason I ever find anything interesting is because I think of the bigger picture. I wish governments would do the same..

Anyway, weblogging, podcasting, very intriquing to see how the Internet is developing.
See, first there was 'the beginning' of the Internet; a way for companies & institutions in general to make information about themselves available to the big public (without any interactivity), then software developed, connection speeds increased, the number of households online grew, etcetera and now we're entering the next phase, where it it real easy to share information, of whatever nature (text, audio, video..), so you get things like weblogs and podcasts. But as you all know, things keep changing and developing..

So expect weblogging to become lifelogging (thank you John Smart @ www.accelerationwatch.com).
You see, computer chips increase their speed by a factor 10, every 5 years. Storage capacity is growing at the same rate. Connection speed is growing exponentially as well...

So in 25 years, kids will have cameras (recording systems) in their sneekers, filming & recording 24 hours a day (in High Definition of course..) and they'll have an army of personally-built robots following them around, taking care of all kinds of chores.
And 25 years beyond that? .....

To understand what's happening we have to put everything into a more abstract framework: Ever since the beginning of the Information Age (1950 and beyond), mankind is progressing on an ever more elaborate description of the physical world into the silicon (or virtual world); we store our knowledge in computers, we run cameras and record what's happening around us, we share our thoughts using computers (silicon-based chips in essence), we use Google Earth to navigate around the planet (Do we? A Beta-version of Google-Earth was released in June 2005), even the way humans walk and talk is being 'described' as accurately as possible, by means of games (watch some of the trailers of games now being developed for the X-Box 360 and Playstation III @ www.gamespot.com).

To cut a long story longer: Before you know it, we've stored everything that's happening in the physical world, onto silicon and we will have 'All Information' available, literally, to our fingertips. Then what? Well, by that time (obviously not a fixed date, there's no Black, there's no White, only Grey... but expect this to happen within, say 20 years) we will have to start working on making the access to previously-described information more 'seemless' (available at our fingertips is nice, but it's even better if we can just talk to our computers or just think about something and make it happen).

And by the time truly seemless interaction between 'us' and the 'silicon system' is omnipresent, we've ended the 'Symbiotic Age' (as opposed to the 'Information Age' that started around 1950). Then what? ...

Well, then it's time for the 'Autonomous Age' (expect this age to start around 2050). By 2050 we will have definitely completely tucked ourselves in, in an omnipresent 'Virtual System'. Whatever we want to do, we won't have to 'physically go anywhere' to do it. We'll just stay in our virtual world and command things from there.
But it's still gonna be 'Us' that have to command things, we will still be the biggest brain around. We will be the ones thinking up creative new ways of improving The System. Why cannot The System improve itself? Well, it can... and so, welcome to the Autonomous Age, where step by step, The System will 'learn' to improve itself..

And by the time it will have learn enough, The System will 'move autonomously'. It won't be sudden, neither will it take forever. It will be a step-by-step process.
(In order to understand this, think of our own systems (Homo Sapiens Sapiens). We've been around for 150.000 years, genetically unchanged. Genetically unchanged or not, 150.000 years ago our 'Communicational Capacity' ended with sentences like 'Uuh and Duuh' etc. Although we DID NOT genetically change ONE BIT, look at how much 'we've learned' (developed, whatever)). The same idea goes for the previously described 'Silicon System'. Step by step it will take over from us (think of an Athletic track where the first runner gives the stick to the next; at first runner no #1 is the only one running, then as he approaches runner #2 starts running too but initially at much lower speed than runner #1, then slowly but surely runner #1 starts slowing down and runner #2 starts speeding up until runner #2 is actually running faster than runner #1. And in the end? Runner #2 will be the ONLY one running and runner #1 will have come to a complete standstill)

So, there you have it, all this crossed my mind when thinking of Podcasting...

Sincerely yours and hugs to all,

Jarno de Vries