I have this reoccurring eerie dream that I’m talking on the phone to someone, a loved one, she in her car, I at my office. I am attempting to persuade her to call back when she is done driving. But her voice keeps cutting out and then assuring me I worry for naught. Then I hear the loud sounds of an enormous wreck, and I’m left standing there listening to the inferno that ensues, unable to hang up, and, with no one to talk to, I’m left in that absurd state until a man picks up the sturdy phone and with his not so sturdy voice proceeds to tell me the gruesome news. The dream is like Kinski does Silicon Valley.
“I knew there were, in myself, the souls of millions of people who lived centuries ago; not just people but animals, plants, the elements, things, even, matter. All of these exist in me.” Klaus Kinski
Here in California they passed a law, a while back, stating that you could not be driving and talking on the phone, if you were holding it to your ear, or something to that effect. You could of course be holding all sorts of other things, including a sandwich, a CD and an iPod, possibly a joint, or a curling iron, electric shaver or nail clippers; and you could also have a map or the NY Times spread across your steering wheel or lap. As long as you had a seat belt on of course, and a suitable prescription.
I keep telling myself that I am not the unhip, overthinking-everything, old guy, some may think I am, and I try to accept the consequences of our new technologies and the younger generations that use them. I’m a big fan, actually, of the younger generations. Though I do wish kids would quit acting like saying “not a problem” has always been the equivalent to “you’re welcome.”
Technologies, and the social conventions that have emerged from them, and spread, seem to have become accepted across certain groups, but not necessarily all groups. Lots of emergent technologies are attempting to create models to predict behavior, therefore, giving certain technologies, and their concomitant conventions, a stronger purchase over others. One case in point, is the release this week of the Amazon notice that they didn’t spend billions building the infrastructure for the world’s largest fulfillment center to miss out on something as significant as video streaming. And that while cable providers, phone companies and newbies like Netflix were grabbing investor interest, Bezos’ bunch had a plan of their own. I wish I could remember that great Nicholas Negroponte quote about all things digital and how ecommerce would work? I bet Jeff Bezos remembers it.
All the big horses are jockeying for position in their respective gates, but Amazon will not be ignored. The content war’s about to begin and it’s anyone’s guess as to how it will shake out. Every time we think we have a piece of this puzzle solved, things take another unexpected turn. Everyone agrees that the content now being peddled, via your cable, or from a satellite, is wanting in every area. Soon, this competitive quasi-capitalist struggle to survive will force the best consumer deal possible to rise to the top. Providing the government stops subsidizing antiquated telecom offerings.
We have known for years we can create unlimited TV channels and unlimited distribution channels. We have known that soon any web site will be able to offer streaming video and audio, cheaply, and every kid can be his own producer. Entire industries have become extinct, or morphed considerably around the way this media and publishing world has changed, but we are no closer to knowing how publishing will work in the future. A quiet revolution of bottom-up voices interested in work and producing products and commerce that are world class has taken place amongst the world’s populations. In the wink of an eye, they can all learn to trust one another, trade goods and services, and everyone is a customer. But now those people want to learn how to join the dialog of Internet commerce and experience the most profound and innovative period in world history since the Cambrian Explosion.
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Voice, data, wireless and more, and content quality, for the masses, in the soup at the moment. Then along comes a handful of revolutions, huge empires foiled, and but a passing glance to the networking ideas of a Zuckerberg, a Jobs, a Dorsey or a Gates or even an Ellison for making many of the networks work together. I guess Obama did come out for a quickie dinner but if we’re going to maintain our edge, we need our own ambassador here. However, it is uncommonly shocking how naive world leaders appear in the wake of what is going on.
The awesome power of this communications explosion is bigger than most storms and more profound than any work of art in this Century to date. If there is one thing that is apparent, the people who want their freedom and who want to compete in the market place, and live freely, have been liberated and you cannot turn this race around.
This is the era of the documentary and the global dramas that unfold offer opportunities to do the things human beings everywhere do best, communicate. If we’re going to play at the top of our game, it’s important we get the support of all the branches of government to make sure we are focused on the best content as well as the best delivery system. Hopefully, we find some leadership that understands the new meaning of freedom of speech and how important it is to the success of our people.
We love content that relates to our world and probably have lots of eager technology minded folks of any sort wanting to read what you have to say. If you’d care to become a content contributor, podcast, video, screencast or live cast, let’s talk about it and see if we can accommodate your needs.