|Bracket Bracket 21||Branded
a rant about the
future of the computer, the portal and partying by Paul Smedberg
|Party Minus One|
What, I ask you,
is the most satisfying form of communication?
Well, other than
sex . . .
As ever, the model
of the future is the model of the past,
Well, other than
sex . . .
As ever, the model of the future is the model of the past,only more-so.
The oral tradition is the next bit thing.
There will be a terminal form of the computer.
Yes, terminal as in final.
|Look at the farm
cart of the last couple thousand years. There was one basic design, with
variants, just about everywhere. The height of the sides, the position
of the wheels, the shape of the harness, all that stuff.
A great many things
have one terminal design:
||All are at design
Sure, there will
be variations in the quality and design of computers, just like there are
variations in the quality and design of couches. But everyone has memorized
the instructions for how to use a couch. You see one, and you know just
what to do.
MIT's Wearable Computer
Design Specifications 2.0.5
|The same is going
to happen for software applications.
Not just the disappearance of the computer into the mundane fabric (literally) of life, but the disappearance of applications too.
We now have a terminal word processor. More-or-less a terminal spreadsheet.
Soon data handling, graphics, communications, filmmaking, browsers, etc. will have a flattening curve of innovation approaching terminus.
And real soon too.
All physical things, most services and most applications will be fungible commodities. Flour used to be branded, back when quality varied. Now it's a commodity. Once cars become robotized, they'll all be taxis, which are a commodity. Sure there will be exceptions - there's still organic mixed-grain prairie flour. Luxury brands will hold a widening niche. A Rolex Oyster functions identically to a $7.99 Timex, but there will always be a Rolex. There will always be a hand-thrown pot.
Everyone will wear the comoditized tv/phone/computer convergence device.
There will rarely be separate screens for group viewing.
People can get together in a stadium to watch the big game, they just won't have to all face in the same direction anymore.
You'll be at a party and a little group of people laughs at the same time. But, so does this other guy on the far side of the room. They all heard the same joke at the same time.
And, there's a guy working late, who couldn't make the party. He laughed at the same time too.
Party Minus One
Party Minus One is what will replace the portal and chatroom.
You walk into a room,
||You walk up to the
late Gene Siskel,
he greets you pleasantly by name,
asks you how you liked the vid he recommended last week.
He'll remember how you answer.
He'll deliver a good witicism that you haven't heard before based on your answer.
Look over there,
They're good friends.
will be your portals. They'll help you find stuff and entertain you with conversation.
They're branded conversation engines.
The virtual party of critics and personalities will bear the stamp of your preferences and tastes.
If you're consuming some media and your vital signs show that your mind is wandering, something sexy or beautiful or explosive or fascinating will suddenly occur.
The sort of sequence of events that caused your mind to wander will be purged from the next entertainment. It will all be so . . . interesting — everything, all the time.
Then, of course, the inevitable collapse of civilization. . . .
A new economy based
on AK-47 ammunition and canned peaches.
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