Saturday, December 22, 2007

Here's Tae Us!

Squeaky adds her own take to the net.human.connectedness meme that's been floating about since Carteach0 caught a prime example, using a dead modem for bait.

It really is true: we gather in small, like-minded groups with niftily Heisenbergian boundries. Follow your friends' links far enough and doors you never even knew were there will open up -- and you've still got your own familiar place and pals as a touchstone. Isn't that pretty much how humans are wired up anyway? The 'net simply makes establishing that group of connections easier and faster and enables the margins to reach ever farther. Gee, who'd'a thunk: when we built a communications network, we modeled our own social networks so well they started mapping right over to it.

I date back to (commercial-access) Usenet, even FidoNet (even used a PLATO terminal a time or two as a child) and they worked in a similar way; cruder, louder, less personal, but still on the same basic model.

Awhile back, I was riffin' on a Cyril Kornbluth short story, "Ms. Found In A Chinese Fortune Cookie," in which he hints at some wonderful and powerful secret in the way our minds work that could be of benefit to all, a secret known to a select few and one that lands the narrator in no end of trouble (it's a yarn worth reading, so I shan't spoil it). The late Mr. Kornbluth was bluffing but we might just be onto something as powerful, though safer to know.


BobG said...

Kornbluth was always one of my favorites; I especially liked The Silly Season.

Carteach said...

Hmm.... good points.

My naturally pessimistic self, after giving this more thought, says we better find more channels to continue this development of human nature. The Goobermint might just find a way to screw this here internet thing up if they get a chance to.

I mean, they tax and regulate everything else humans do thats worth doing... why not this?

Damn, I'm in a dark mood tonight...

Roberta X said...

You are indeed in such a mood and you are correct. While the 'net interpret censorship as damage and routes around it, initiatives like TIA (it's back -- never really went away) result in government entities having sufficient horsepower to squish it pretty seriously and make the ID and huntin' down of whoever's targeted even easier.

It's near-impossible to shut down entirely. TCP/IP is crazy-stupid persistent. Still, that's one reason I have a ham ticket and try to keep my mad Morse skills from atrophying. Full-maunual radio's got some serious problems of its own (ask WW II espionage buffs about the Green Suitcase Of Death) but it's got some advantages.

...This ties sideways into comments T passed to me about my light-bulb rant; the Feds have been in our toilet tanks for a Real Long Time already, not to mention our car engines and so on. She's right but maybe this time the Federal frog-boilers have raised the temp a bit too quickly on too many people.

Sometims I think there are elements in the Feds that are hoping to find a tipping point. Be a hell of a bet to make and lose. But stupidity remains way more probable than evil.

Carteach said...

I hold a technician class license, for much the same reasons. I never went higher, as morse was my downfall. I have some pretty harsh language learning issues. (IE: I'm an idiot, but there are no meds for that).

I appreciate and echo your rebel geekiness.

Will the Inet survive, thrive, and evolve? I place my faith strongly on the side of human stupidity.
I think Da Feds have too many human speed bumps on their team to do too much damage too quickly. Now society is evolving much too fast for them to deal with.

Heinlein, Asimov, or Anderson could have handled keeping ahead, but not the people who gave us the TSA.

Unless the stupidity is just a cover....... Naww, couldn't be.

Roberta X said...

...You can well imagine what my idiosyncratic spelling does to Morse; the standard CW shorthand is my best bet! (73 OM es tnx fer fb chat, as we say...)

Which leadeth back to Kornbluth. As a former newspaperman, he used the (modified) Philips abbreviations that'd been ported over to teletype work in several of his stories. Small world!

LBJ said...

I always liked his story -The Marching Morons" in which he predicts a future where Earth is inhabited by only the stupid.

There are days. . .

phlegmfatale said...

Sounds like a great story. I lurves me all the sexy people on my blogroll. Unlike the people I land in a job next to, or the others in line at the market, something in the blog of every person on my blogroll resonates to the key of my soul. I said it in Tam's comments, too, but this is the ultimate realization of community, and of technology, in my opinion. We have arrived.