Re: "How you spot an arts graduate in a tech debate"
I no longer know if I belong in this world!!!... as a BA Behavioural Sciences from UEA I emerged with an excellent understanding of stochastic modelling, group dynamics, kinship networks, shortest spanning trees, anthropology, sociail psychology, FORTRAN and COBOL programming, sociology, system design, business analysis, the historical and philosophical bases of our economic and political systems, linear and non-linear multivariate programming, I-O Analysis, hyperspaces and eigen values, J.S. Mill, Bentham, Descartes, Milton Friedman, Hobbes, Nietzsce.. uncle tom cobbly and all. Amazing what you can learn in 3 years as an 'arts graduate'!
Its been very useful when working at IBM, speaking at computer conferences on performance modelling and 'glass house network' design and performance to keep those blocks and packets flowing to and from the processors.
..and I can agree with most of you all. The issue here is an economic one i.e. behavioural, and yes it is all about grabbing control of the supply chain of a 'basic utility' good so that illegitimate value can be extracted from the assured demand for it. Its a re-enactment of the historical cycle of discovery, application, creation of value, robbery, constraint and ransomed selective provisioning.
Neil Davies summarised 'his' report well. It defines the real world constraints faced by anyone seeking to create a system of governance for it. From there we have two discussions going on. a) the technical issues around management, measurement and diagnostic analysis of stochastic processes (that's like econometrics.. BA stuff) and b) the 'political economy' issues and deeper philosophical issues as to whose world-view should form the basis of a universal belief system and hence the ethical basis of the system of governance the Internet should have.... or should we smash it up into 'domain-states' each choosing the robber-baron approach all 'good' Aristotleans, or the universalist 'humanitarian' approach of 'good' Socrateans. Do you want to dominate people and extract value to yourself and your elite mates (Aristotle, Tory, Republican, Oligarch, Theocrat, Dictator, Tyrant)? Or, do you want an open and free internet in which you always get the service level you pay for, much like an IT Dept Service Level Contract with the rest of the company has delivered over the past 50 years?
The first option is easy... it simply extends our dominant, and really quite localised, socio-economic commercial model into the unitary global network domain. The PR guys will call it 'economic freedom', 'e-democracy' and other misnomers and we will al believe it - just like we 'believe' political spin doctors... and if we don't the media will shape our perceptions until we do.
The second option is more difficult... we first have to decide what we believe and why, how to create the economic model and hence the tools (the network tools in this case) needed to implement and manage the model so that we get the type of (network-) world we actually want to see. That has not been done... and it won't get done until you have all sat down and done it for the real world out there. The one you live and work in, the one many struggle and die in, the one that tells you that more productivity and more efficiency from fewer and fewer people will give every single person higher and higher levels of consumption. The one that tells you we will all have the money to pay for the products we need to consume to fulfil our needs because those of us not producing for us will be serving the immediate well-being needs of others. The ones that DON'T tell you that ultimately you are all paid through the excessive conspicuous consumption of those few controlling the supplies of input materials and input labour. the ones that DON'T tell you that a minimum wage will always be the norm for most because frivolous services will never be demanded in conditions of shortages of the labour to provide them. From time to time those few will vote amongst themselves (by proxy through your media driven hand at the ballot box) to decide the next set of executives in the governance service industry. The democratic model was conceived 2,500 years ago under the same conditions... 10 suppliers of service.. mostly low paid... to every consumer of services. That was Greece 450BC.. 10 slaves to every 'citizen'.... Socrates had to drink hemlock.... while Plato looked on... and went on to teach Aristotle. The battle continues.... What sort of Internet do YOU WANT? Then decide on the the tools and methodology... if you choose right we will have to commission the technology we need, just as we already can see the need to re-invent our socio-political governance technology in the real world.
Never, never make the mistake of thinking Techies can do without the Humanities... AND VICE VERSA!!