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.
I just discovered Headmap.org, 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.
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.
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.
http://www.wirelessanarchy.com/ – There may be a group near you.
http://www.oreillynet.com/topics/wireless/802.11 – Several articles on the topic.
http://www.freenetworks.org/ – News an discussion.
Especially useful for infrastructure construction purposes:
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.
This 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.
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.
Freenetworks.org 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.
Freenetworks.org 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.
The pro-democracy Six/Four project from Hacktivismo is a potentially valuable step to protect political dissidents and other people who have the quaint idea that their access to information shouldn’t be thwarted by government-run firewalls in places like China and Saudi Arabia.The basic idea is to use the Internet’s decentralized nature in a way that lets people create anonymous, secure data tunnels from here to there and everywhere. If this works, governments will be harder-pressed to prevent their people from communicating freely and seeing online material that, for whatever reason, is considered objectionable.