Book Title: The Inevitable (Understanding the 12 technological forces that will shape our future)
Written by: Kevin Kelly
Chapter Title: Flowing
The Inevitable (Amazon.com)
The Inevitable (Barnes & Noble)
The internet is the world’s largest copying machine… Tech companies make a lot of money selling equipment that facilitates this ceaseless copying.
If something can be copied, it will be copied.
Formerly solid products made of steel and leather are now sold as fluid services that keep updating.
The initial age of computing was borrowed from the industrial age. As Marshall McLuhan observed, the first version of a new medium imitates the medium it replaces.
The first commercial computers employed the metaphor of the office. Our screens had a “desktop” and “folders” and “files”… The second digital age overturned the office metaphor and brought us the organizing principle of the web. The basic unit was no longer files but “pages”.
…Now we are transitioning into the third age of computation. Pages and browsers are far less important. Today the prime units are flows and streams.
We subscribe to the channels… We are bathed in streams of notifications and updates. Tags have replaced links…
Some streams like Snapchat operate totally in the present, with no past or future…
If you see something, fine. Then it is gone.
Free is hard to ignore. It propels duplication at a scale that would previously have been unbelievable.
When copies are free, you need to sell things that cannot be copied. Well, what can’t be copied?
Trust, for instance.
Trust cannot be reproduced in bulk. You can’t purchase trust wholesale. You can’t download trust and store it in a database. You can’t simply duplicate someone’s else’s trust.