Raymond Cote

MARK SUSTER’S post is an attempts to visualize an optimal palette of horizontally resizable cloud-function API-layers. Cloud-API layers so fundamental and universally reusable that their collective destiny, when distilled via evolutionary commoditization, is to imbue that old “the network is the commuter” vision with an effective, actionable, layered embodiment.

MARK SUSTER outlines the, horizontally resizable, cloud-API layers that have already been commoditized, the layers that are  in the process of being commoditized and speculates as to what other commoditization layers will emerge. 

The comment section has some great dialectic discussion on the tipping point at which we should push universally commoditized API-functions down into the internet’s cloud-computing engine room without risk of stifling innovation.

The universe is made up of a multitude of layered platforms. Sub-atomic particles, atoms, molecules, complex molecules, life molecules, cells, organisms, social structure, technology, computing APIs, cloud computing APIs, social graph APIs, organic community APIs, organic democracy APIs. Each layer is a form of software that sits atop the layer below it. As you move up these stacked layers each layer is a form of software that algorithmically recombines the components of the stabilized layer below it as if those components were fixed reusable firmware components. One layers software is the next layers firmware components all the way up and down this great God-Head cosmic stack feast. As we move towards the top layers of that stack the spirit of living organic dynamism mischievously destabilizes the separation between the layer. The more environmentally dynamic software layers are able to reach down via interlayer feedback to dynamically alter their own substrate firmware layer. This creates an endlessly complex echo chamber between cause and effect across all the biological, social and computer-extended-social layers of this cosmic reality stack.

All that to say, that at this stage of our emerging cloud-API driven noosphere we are now firmly under the control of a particularly powerful strange attractor, the teleology of self-selecting, self re-enforcing organic complexity.

In other words, in this cosmically complex show, we are in the cheap seats and from this vantage point it is impossible to discern the optimal tipping point between cloud-API software and cloud-API firmware. We may be able to develop a conscious methodology for rolling with the organic punches by using nature’s cheat sheet to extract and distill the universal, reusable, organic schema used so successfully by biological systems and consciously apply those evolutionary schema to our own distributed cloud-API eco-system.

Read full story @ scientificamerican.com

The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity—and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending

The world wide web went live, on my physical desktop in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 1990. It consisted of one Web site and one browser, which happened to be on the same computer. The simple setup demonstrated a profound concept: that any person could share information with anyone else, anywhere.

The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles

The Web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways. Some of its most successful inhabitants have begun to chip away at its principles. Large social-networking sites are walling off information posted by their users from the rest of the Web. Wireless Internet providers are being tempted to slow traffic to sites with which they have not made deals. Governments—totalitarian and democratic alike—are monitoring people’s online habits, endangering important human rights.

Totalitarian governments aren’t the only ones violating the network rights of their citizens. In France a law created in 2009, named Hadopi, allowed a new agency by the same name to disconnect a household from the Internet for a year if someone in the household was alleged by a media company to have ripped off music or video. After much opposition, in October the Constitutional Council of France required a judge to review a case before access was revoked, but if approved, the household could be disconnected without due process. In the U.K., the Digital Economy Act, hastily passed in April, allows the government to order an ISP to terminate the Internet connection of anyone who appears on a list of individuals suspected of copyright infringement. In September the U.S. Senate introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which would allow the government to create a blacklist of Web sites—hosted on or off U.S. soil—that are accused of infringement and to pressure or require all ISPs to block access to those sites.

In these cases, no due process of law protects people before they are disconnected or their sites are blocked. Given the many ways the Web is crucial to our lives and our work, disconnection is a form of deprivation of liberty. Looking back to the Magna Carta, we should perhaps now affirm: “No person or organization shall be deprived of the ability to connect to others without due process of law and the presumption of innocence.”

Read full story @ scientificamerican.com