A Day At EtCon (Etech)

Okay, an attempt at live blogging. I’m sure others will do a better job but here goes. But these will serve as personal notes for me even if noone else ever reads this

Howard Rheingold starts. Assuming we have read Smart Mobs (great book) he is askiing us to help create tools that will innnovate our way out of the boxes (enclosures) that surround us. [I’ll use brackets to add my own thoughts.] He is talking about how communications technologies have helped create collective actions since we were hunter-gatherers. [These new technologies will do the same. It is how the tools HELP people use the social systems that gives the tech its power.]

Unix as an example of the power of collective action. [The most powerful aspects of the web/internet flows from its social connections, not its technology.] Open source enables collective action. We are in early stages of this ‘Technocollective action'[TCA]. p2p,, wikipedia [great site], wifi. What wil happen in 5-10 years when we have comoutational power 10-100 times faster than today. Implies a radically different approach to computation when you have this power.

[All these techs are orthogonal to political doctrines, economic doctrines, etc. This could be the beginning of a new view of what society is.] Political aspects of TCA: Korea elections, antiwar deomnstrations, moveon.org. Great photo of Howard in a trance in front of a TV. Because the next few years we will change from consumers to users. [Absolutely correct. move from passivitiy to activity. This will be an area of huge conflict over the next years.] They want us to stay consumers [better for their business model] while we are moving to being users. we decide what to use, what to consume and what to create.

This will be a fight [how similar is this to the loss of radio freedom in the teens and twenties as federal regulation took over?hobbyists had complete freedom then lost it as government moved to control spectrum]. Control of innovation in progress. deployment of top down 3G technologies require the telecoms to fight for their debt service by controlling wifi.

Political fights are needed but best use for people in the room is to fight it technically. Design and deploy and innnovate to help user power [not business power]. Need to prevent incumbents from thwarting newcomers. [scary time]. Fight for a preserve for innovation. A portion of the electronic spectrum for us.[a reservation?]

Need to get better ways to compensate artists via micropayments. Most people are honest [i agree] and would want to pay artists. We need to come up with an approach that permits this (applause). What we do will serve as a model for how to do this. Those that follow will look to see how we solved the bottlenecks. We need to solve IP problems

Self-organizing networks. Think about this from stage one. more people access the internet via telephone devices than via PCs. We will carry devices that more easily permit us to use this tech. Think about this.

Need trust mechanisms. ways to meet and interact f2f with people via new techs if we have good reputation/trust systems. need to preserve freedom of information so that we can easly find out just what a certain place/business/etc. is like. need this freedom so that we can self-organize.

Story about reading bar codes from handheld. read barcode of box of prunes, took to links on Goggle where you could find out about the company, allowing you to decide what you thing. Same thing happened with other items. This allows consumers to speak to vendors in a way that has not done before. RFID tags will permit specific items to be read all aong the distribution paths. Readers will be able to provide information. Will we be able to continue to read and write about this?

Need to build in room for the future and its innovators. learn from the past. create systems that enable links [anything that constricts links will increase inflexibility] Time for questions.