Supernova “Decentralization” Conference Opens

December 9th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Supernova “Decentralization” Conference Opens)

Supernova, a conference on decentralization started by Kevin Werbach and the Pulver organization, has started about an hour ago. You can follow a lot of this via two weblogs:

Conference blog

Group blog

Enormous number of bloggers…

Some Running notes:

Kevin Werbach opened with a nice explanation of why decentralization is important — we can’t scale up without it, he notes — and that there needs to be a market around it.

Everytime power is decentralized, new opportunities arise in all kinds of ways, says Howard Rheingold. He wants to look ahead and see how decentralization may give rise to new forms of collective action.

We’re at the beginning of a technology/development cycle, Howard says. Several technologies are converging to create something with its own unique characteristics, as when video monitor and microprocessor got together at the dawn of the PC era. Then, when PC was connected to phone, we got something new again, the Internet. In both cases the users shaped the medium.


Wearable Computers Create Ad-hoc Wireless Communities.

December 7th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Wearable Computers Create Ad-hoc Wireless Communities.)

Roland Piquepaille writes:

Howard Rheingold is looking at how “wearable computers create ad-hoc wireless communities.” Here is the main idea, introduced by Gerd Kortuem, a 38-year-old assistant professor, who recently moved to Lancaster University in England from the University of Oregon’s Wearable Computing Lab. “As he sees it, the crowds who surround us every day constitute a huge waste of social capital. If you live in a city for instance, there are many who pass within a few yards of you each day who could give you a ride home, buy an item you’re trying to sell, or consider you as dating material. Dynamic networking makes it possible to tap those resources through a momentary alliance among transient interest groups.” Check this column for a summary or the full article if you have more time.

Courtesy of Slashdot


Advances in Decentralized Peer Networks

December 6th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Advances in Decentralized Peer Networks)

This Story lifted straight from Slashdot:

Peer networks are gaining some attention these days given advances in much more decentralized search architectures and swarming distribution networks. Research has indicated that these decentralized networks are resistant to legaland technological attacks. The continued proliferation of broadband and wireless networking will ensure pervasive deployment of distributed peer networking infrastructure that will drive significant innovations in personal and communitydigital communications services.


Headmap: Location Aware Devices

December 5th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Headmap: Location Aware Devices)

I just discovered, and it’s pure technology-fueled counter-culture at its best. From their website:

location aware devices . nomads . mapping sex . future architecture [life without buildings] . human geography . hyp(g)nosis . esoteric energy intelligence . community schisms . waypoints . psychogeography . community and spatial interfaces.


Smart Mob Gaming

December 4th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Smart Mob Gaming)

Ok, this is cool.

The Go Game is an all-out urban adventure game, a technology-fueled, reality-based experience that encourages hard play and a keen eye for the weird, the beautiful, or the faintly out-of-the-ordinary.

Thanks to Howard Rheingold at the Smart Mobs Weblog.


Citizen Lab

December 4th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Citizen Lab)

Citzen Lab is a a “hothouse” that brings together social scientists, filmakers, computer scientists, activists, and artists, the Citizen Lab sponsors projects that explore the cutting-edge of hypermedia technologies and grassroots social movements, civic activism, and democratic change within an emerging planetary polity.

Among the projects they are part of are the World Sousveillance Day, and the China Google Proxy – which will empower people in China to bypass their censorship firewalls.


Personal Telecom

December 4th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Personal Telecom)

Creating our own communications networks may be our best hope at preserving our freedom of speech and access to information. Below are resources for getting started:

Mission Statement: Personal Telco is a grass roots effort to empower people to build the infrastructure through which their data flows. By creating, packaging and disseminating Open Source tools, documentation and community support we are building city wide networks which are open to, and maintained by, the public. – There may be a group near you. – Several articles on the topic. – News an discussion.

Especially useful for infrastructure construction purposes:

Food containers (Pringles cans, etc.) and the Ethernet DC power injector, or do-it-yourself style.


From Carbon Economy to Hydrogen Economy

November 25th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on From Carbon Economy to Hydrogen Economy)

I popped over to Joi Ito’s Weblog today, and he had some interesting tidbits on the inevitability of the hydrogen economy. And while reading it, I discovered again Mr David Isenberg, who I just referenced below with his article, The Paradox of the Best Network.

David is famous for many things including his paper “The Rise of the Stupid Network” David was talking a lot about Oil. He says that “Hubbert’s Peak”, when oil production will begin to drop, will happen in 2003. On the other hand, world energy consumption will increase 66% (USA Today, 1/10/02) from 1999-2020. It’s OBVIOUSLY time for the Hydrogen Economy that we’re starting to get very excited about.

David was extremely bright and gave me an interesting view into the “prosultants” (vs “consultants”) who are smart researchers who trying to figure things out and convey them to people and companies.

hydrogenloopThis picture to the right is ECD’s vision of the Hydrogen Economy. Get carbon out of the picture. Reduce the cycle to the basic elements of the universe. Photons creating energy to break H2O into Hydrogen and Oxygen. Oxygen goes back to the atmosphere and the Hydrogen is stored and transported in the Hydride material. The Hydrogen is later extracted to create energy through combustion or through the creation of electrical energy with a fuel cell. This electricity can be stored in a Hydride battery which is also based on Hydrogen. The electricity obviously can be used for propulsion or be converted into meta-energy, or information. Photos->Hydrogen->Electrons->Bits that’s all we need. No CO2, fossil fuels, uranium or any of the non-big-bang stuff please. Oh and by the way, the basic material and the phenomenon used to store hydrogen in a solid, the convert hydrogen in to electricity and the store electricity in hydride batteries is the based on the same basic science.


The Paradox of the Best Network

November 25th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on The Paradox of the Best Network)

I found this article of the same title by David Isenberg and David Weinberger. This paper makes a good case why the best networks are the ones least likely to be profitable for the provider. Essentially we are talking about a shift away from centralized bandwidth distribution in the same way that p2p file-sharing networks decentralize content distribution. Original link posted on Infoanarchy.

Telephone companies are not the only institutions goaded by new network technology. We can see from the reaction to today’s Internet that the Paradox of the Best Network is not kind to the recording industry, to book publishers, or to any other group that makes its living by controlling access to content. These groups have already called in the lawyers and lobbyists to protect their current business models. Nor will the new network be popular with any institution, economic, political or religious group that seeks to shield itself from conflicting cultures and ideas.

In fact, the best network embodies explicit political ideals so it would be disingenuous to pretend it didn’t. The best technological network is also the most open political network. The best network is not only simple, low-cost, robust and innovation-friendly, it is also best at promoting a free, democratic, pluralistic, participatory society; a society in which people with new business ideas are free to fail and free to succeed in the marketplace.


Free Networks

November 25th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Free Networks) is a new community weblog for people trying to create free networks.

What is a freenetwork? A freenetwork is an excercise in telecommunications freedom. A network created by those who use it rather than brought to consumers by business. It is not neccessarily ‘free’ as in cost, but more to the point, autonomous and self governing. is a group of individuals and organizations that are committed to facing the social, political and technical issues that occur in the creation of these networks. We believe that through global communication and collaboration, we can work through these issues in a more efficient manner.