I have been having a very interesting discussion on Linkedin.com having expressed my opinion about current information technology and the netular information technology I would like to see.
The people who have been exchanging their views with me cannot see the forest for the trees. One is offended that I do not rave about all the social transitions the technologies are offering. Another spews buzzwords like a chainsaw. Another assumes my opinion is a product of my impatience for the convergence of the existing technologies.
Einstein once said he would spend a majority of his time defining a problem and a fraction of his time solving it. A majority of the time on information technology is spent solving and a fraction actually taken to understand. The consequence is most of the solutions out there are not designed, they are hastily assembled patchworks that because of the inertia of being first on the field are only replaced by further patches.
Our entire system of networks is built upon a foundation of linear and tabular architecture that is present in our CPUs, memory, storage, data structures, programming languages, organization, locations, events and goals. In reality we are only dabbling in networks and doing an abysmal job of using them to their full effect. We don’t understand them.
Marshall McLuhan said that when a new media is created the first thing we do is pump old media through it. That is what we are doing now. We are taking every form of old media we have and pushing it through the internet. There is not a single case where we have successfully departed from linear and tabular old media. I have looked at all the current technology, I have used it, I understand its internals and I stand by what I say.
We need a fundamental change in the way information technology works otherwise we are going to continue with an undesigned brute force attempt to solve our problems without ever understanding them. The outcome will not be progress, but the perpetuation of flat earth thinking.
Linear and tabular thought are responsible for many of the problems we have in the world. The biggest is the inability to fully appreciate the uniqueness of everything and everyone in this world. The supreme example of this has been the long history of Religion, Genocide, Slavery, Nationalism, Imperialism, Racism, Eugenics, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Marxism, Capitalism and Socialism. All of them fail us because they depended on linear and tabular models of thought that denied the respect of the individuality of all experience. True netular thought has the potential to challenge all of these misconceptions. I think it is appropriate that this transition is on the horizon with the rise of globalism. I doubt it will be a peaceful transition.
Actually, the insights into the underlying order in networks has made quite a bit of progress. One of the leaders in this area is Albert-Beszlos Barabasi who authored the book “Linked” http://www.nd.edu/~networks/Linked/index.html . Another researcher Kwabena Boahen made a fascinating presentation at TED http://tinyurl.com/6nnkb7 . There is also the work of Simon Williams that has come up with a new associative database architecture http://www.lazysoft.com as well as a commercial product, Sentences.
It is time for everyone to fundamentally change the way they think.