It is the future that I didn’t want, a future I thought we could avoid. When I first learned about networking I believed that bringing it to people would benefit everything. If we could just connect it all the world would be better. Five decades on and I’m learning about how to be wrong. I didn’t count on evil.
First an example of how WalMart sees our future, one where our stuff orders more of itself. We have seen what happens when our sex toys understand their usage. Who understood the implications of hooking up our sex toys to the Internet? I doubt that walmart will understand what it means when we stop and start ordering diapers, get a new prescription or when our Vodka bottles refill them selves (yes, many of you will rejoice of this) and we automatically purchase off brand items because our bank account just doesn’t have the spending power it once did.
Data will start to be capitalized as the Internet once was. Some think data will soon be worth more than oil, which ran most of the gains in the 20th century. Oil is slowly being replaced by renewables as the idea that Energy returned on energy invested is the driver of the global economy, we will switch to data.
My bet is that data won’t be so valuable unless we have electricity. Data as a commodity is another silicon-valley spin driven hype bull-shit vector for idiots with money clickbaiting adults into thinking their options aren’t so worthless. First no-one in the oil industry gets options for getting a job. All those folks working the bakken shale play just get a paycheck. Thats it, not cash, just a EFT.
What keeps the internet running? Oil. Most of the electricity used to run the internet comes from traditional extractive resources. Oh Google and Facebook and Apple have some green data centers but the rest of the internet, the part that runs in your phone, on your desktop, at your office. That part of the internet uses Natural Gas, Oil and Coal to run.
you can’t wipe your ass with data, unless you print it out
I think about all those cars in MAD MAX and think would the movie would have been like if the vehicles had run on DATA.
Data is just the new confusing thing so that you don’t pay attention to another D word — Debt. As long as you think you will get rich and don’t think about debt — well, then I guess it is all about data. If the next generation of technology investment is about mining data then it is really about farming people.
the pitch might go like:
- develop thing that records people interactions (IoT)
- connect thing to internet
- get rich
Humanity and the world around us might be reducible to bits, it just tastes better if it isn’t.