the U.S. is rapidly losing the global race for high-speed connectivity, as fewer than 8 percent of households have fiber service. And almost 30 percent of the country still isn’t connected to the Internet at all… .
The FCC’s National Broadband Plan of March 2010 suggested that the minimum appropriate speed for every American household by 2020 should be 4 megabits per second for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads. These speeds are enough, the FCC said, to reliably send and receive e-mail, download Web pages and use simple video conferencing… .
The South Korean government announced a plan to install 1 gigabit per second of symmetric fiber data access in every home by 2012. Hong Kong, Japan and the Netherlands are heading in the same direction. Australia plans to get 93 percent of homes and businesses connected to fiber. In the U.K., a 300 Mbps fiber-to-the-home service will be offered on a wholesale basis… .
The current 4 Mbps Internet access goal is unquestionably shortsighted. It allows the digital divide to survive, and ensures that the U.S. will stagnate…
Think of it this way: With a dialup connection, backing up 5 gigabytes of data (now the standard free plan offered by many storage companies) would take 20 days… . with a cable DOCSIS 3.0 connection, an hour and a half… . With a gigabit fiber-to-the-home connection, it can be done in less than a minute…
a Hollywood blockbusters could be downloaded in 12 seconds, video conferencing would become routine, and every household could see 3D and Super HD images. Americans could be connected instantly to their co-workers, their families, their teachers and their health-care monitors…
To make this happen, though, the U.S. needs to move to a utility model, based on the assumption that all Americans require fiber-optic Internet access at reasonable prices. …
As things stand, the U.S. has the worst of both worlds: no competition and no regulation.
- by Nicholas Christakis
The science of network-synchronized, emergent, self-oranizing, complex adaptive social systems!
How Amoebas Form Social Networks
Network Literacy Part 1
I’ve become convinced that understanding how networks work is an essential 21st century literacy. This is the first in a series of short videos about how the structure and dynamics of networks influences political freedom, economic wealth creation, and participation in the creation of culture. The first video introduces the importance of understanding networks and explains how the underlying technical architecture of the Internet specifically supports the freedom of network users to innovate.
- Howard Rheingold
Network Literacy Part One 2
Networking technologies visualized as extensions
of our basic biological cognitive scaffolding
The National Research Council defines Network Science as:
“the study of network representations of physical, biological, and social phenomena leading to predictive models of these phenomena.
(moving towards - Organic Process Literacy)
We always lived in a connected world, except we were not so much aware of it. We were aware of it down the line, that we’re not independent from our environment, that we’re not independent of the people around us. We are not independent of the many economic and other forces. But for decades we never perceived connectedness as being quantifiable, as being something that we can describe, that we can measure, that we have ways of quantifying the process. That has changed drastically in the last decade, at many, many different levels.
It has changed partly because we started to be aware of it partly because there were a lot of technological advances that forced us to think about connectedness. We had Worldwide Web, which was all about the links connecting information. We had the Internet, which was all about connecting devices. We had wireless technologies coming our way. Eventually, we had Google, we had Facebook. Slowly, the term ‘network connectedness’ really became part of our life so much so that now the word ‘networks’ is used much more often than evolution or quantum mechanics. It’s really run over it, and now that’s the buzzword.
The question is, what does it mean to be part of the network, or what does it mean to think in terms of the network? What does it mean to take advantage of this connectedness and to understand that? In the last decade, what I kept thinking about is how do you describe mathematically the connectedness? How do you get data to describe that? What does this really mean for us?
- By Brian Solis
His 10 step action list for creating a community based business strategy for relevance in an age of social-network connectitness.
1. Answer why you should engage in social networks and why anyone would want to engage with you
2. Observe what brings them together and define how you can add value to the conversation
3. Identify the influential voices that matter to your world, recognize what’s important to them, and find a way to start a dialogue that can foster a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship
4. Study the best practices of not just organizations like yours, but also those who are successfully reaching the type of people you’re trying to reach – it’s benching marking against competitors and benchmarking against undefined opportunities
5. Translate all you’ve learned into a convincing presentation written to demonstrate tangible opportunity to your executive board, make the case through numbers, trends, data, insights – understanding they have no idea what’s going on out there and you are both the scout and the navigator (start with a recommended pilot so everyone can learn together)
6. Listen to what they’re saying and develop a process to learn from activity and adapt to interests and steer engagement based on insights
7. Recognize how they use social media and innovate based on what you observe to captivate their attention
8. Align your objectives with their objectives. If you’re unsure of what they’re looking for…ask
9. Invest in the development of content, engagement
10. Build a community, invest in values, spark meaningful dialogue, and offer tangible value…the kind of value they can’t get anywhere else. Take advantage of the medium and the opportunity!
Bill Moyers on Plutonomy (by buffalogeek)
A blueprint for civilization?
Social Organizing Structures
Market vs State
It’s not enough to say that peer networks are an interesting alternative to states and markets. The state and the market are now fundamentally dependent on peer networks in ways that would have been unthinkable just 20 years ago… .
One reason is that there is a growing number of individuals and organizations who believe the digital success of peer networks can be translated into the “real” world. Peer networks laid the foundation for the scientific revolution during the Enlightenment, via the formal and informal societies and coffeehouse gatherings where new research was shared. The digital revolution has made it clear that peer networks can work wonders in the modern age… .
When we talk about change being driven by mass collaboration, it’s often in the form of protest movements: civil rights or marriage equality. That’s a tradition worth celebrating, but it’s only part of the story. The Internet (and all the other achievements of peer networks) is not a story about changing people’s attitudes or widening the range of human tolerance. It’s a story, instead, about a different kind of organization, neither state nor market, that actually builds things, creating new tools that in turn enhance the way states and markets work.
This is the future. A new wave of robots, far more adept than those now commonly used by automakers and other heavy manufacturers, are replacing workers around the world in both manufacturing and distribution…
The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost… . .
the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today.
Rapid improvement in vision and touch technologies is putting a wide array of manual jobs within the abilities of robots…
Robot manufacturers in the United States say that in many applications, robots are already more cost-effective than humans… .
“What I see is that the Chinese are going to apply robots too,” said Frans van Houten, Philips’s chief executive. “The window of opportunity to bring manufacturing back is before that happens.”…
Read the full article @ nytimes.com
A more organic - more effective perspective
The recent book, Race Against The Machine, has caught the imagination of a growing body of readers. It’s an important book, but it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the root causes of the unemployment we are experiencing. Rather than framing it as a technological issue, the book would have generated a lot more insight about both the problem and the solution if it had framed it as an institutional issue… .
Re-framing the core issue - is it technological or institutional?
Let me suggest that the real problem we are confronting is a growing disconnect between the institutional architectures we have so carefully designed over the past century and the pressures that are mounting in our global economy. This disconnect goes to the very core of why we have institutions in the first place. Until we address that most basic question, entrepreneurial tinkering will likely have marginal impact.
So, what’s the answer?
Until and unless we get to the root cause of the problem, we’ll never solve the problem. The authors frame the issue as a technological issue, but it’s really an institutional issue. Until we can develop an alternative institutional model, one that can scale as effectively as the scalable efficiency model, we will face mounting pressure from machines and remain locked in a race against the machine without the ability to finally race with the machine. …
The bottom line
Until and unless we re-frame the challenges we face, we’ll have little hope of developing effective programs of change. At its core, this isn’t a technological challenge, but an institutional challenge. We’re dealing with a set of institutions that are increasingly inappropriate for the mounting pressure we face. At an even more fundamental level, it’s a mindset challenge – it’s about our beliefs about the kinds of institutions that we need to assure our prosperity and well-being.
Common sense leads us to the “obvious” conclusion that the U.S. stock market is a rigged skimming operation that is essentially a form of legalized, officially sanctioned fraud.
The online industry’s data-collection efforts have expanded in the past few years. One reason is the popularity of online auctions, where advertisers buy data about users’ Web browsing…
In real-time bidding, as soon as a user visits a Web page, the visit is auctioned to the highest bidder, based on attributes such as the type of page visited or previous Web browsing by the user.
The bidding is done automatically using computer algorithms. Forrester Research estimates that real-time bidding will constitute 18% of the online display-ad market this year, up from 13% last year.