[linux-elitists] Pompous Top 10 List

Rusty Foster rusty@kuro5hin.org
Thu Jun 7 16:33:53 PDT 2001

Summarized Version...

Don Marti [sort of] wrote:
> 1. Make it all Wireless
> 2. Make it all Secure (I)
> 3. Smaller is Better (I)
> 4. Make Real Power Affordable  
> 5. Smaller is Better (II)
> 6. Media should be by the People
> 7. Make it all Secure (II)
> 8. Distribute Filtration
> 9. Media Should be by *All* the People
> 10. Make Computing Integrable with Living

I hope that's a relatively accurate characterization. What's interesting
about this list is that it's almost entirely about being small and
underlying, instead of big and overarching. The dotcom era is over, and
everyone found out, I think, that the net is not about being a giant
stomp-and-crush old-school capitalist rober-baron leviathan. In fact,
that approach (make it huge) has always puzzled me about internet
strategy, where the whole advantage is that you can be small and cheap,
and not look like it. What use is a giant, plush, SoMa loft space when
you will *never, ever* have a single customer there?

The next wave is on the horizon, folks, and I think Don's pegged its
main feature. That is, instead of trying to build Godzilla, we're going
to finally realize that the power of the net is it's ability to connect
a swarm of little squishy useless Japanese soldiers into something that
can *defeat* Godzilla.

If anyone made it through that tortured metaphor alive, let me expand.
The hardware and network side isn't my schtick, so I'll talk about
media. What we have slowly growing up here is real media by real,
ordinary people. Music, movies, text; the cost for distribution of all
of this, when you factor in the net, is, and should rightly be, very
close to zero. The more work we can distribute to the consumer/producers
of this media, the closer that cost gets to zero.

Without the curse of easy venture capital, people who want to do
communicate will actually use the "grain" of the net, instead of just
hijacking TCP/IP as a broadcast carrier. The grain of the net is small,
distributed units, each doing a little bit of a very big job.
Distributed.net, K5, Slashdot, Freenet, Gnutella, Craig's List, the
Linux kernel... these are things that actually use the real power of the
internet. Paying a bunch of reporters to write news is just running a
newspaper, no matter what your transmission medium. Selling dogfood is
running a petstore, no matter how customers place their order. These
things will continue to go on online, but they're not in any way

Make it small, make it secure, and make it everywhere. I'm writing this
on a sony picturebook, on my back porch. It runs linux (except APM
doesn't %&$*#@%& work), gets 9 hours on one charge, and is more than
capabale of doing broadcast quality audio and video recording and
editing, not to mention I can hack on Scoop with it. This is the shape
of the future right here.

Now if only someone would come up with cheap, ubiquitous, wireless
broadband. Ricochet is a real nice start, but the range is still
painfully limited. I want T1 from a satellite, dammit. When that
happens, Things Will Change Again, you can bet on that.

Rusty Foster :: rusty@kuro5hin.org :: http://www.kuro5hin.org
================ m o b i l e  e d i t i o n =================
I don't want to keep running away from where all
the people are.
                                  --Karsten Self

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list