Saturday, July 09, 2005


I've been noticing a trend of alternatives to mass-produced global-branded consumerism. Organic foods from family farms are almost omnipresent in grocery stores around here, just over the last few years. The newspapers are publishing more articles about such things too... most recently, heirloom meats (as opposed to tomatos...).

The book, The Hydrogen Economy, presented the interesting vision that our energy infrastructure would follow in the direction of our information highways and become more like the Internet, networked and with lots of smaller autonomous units contributing to the grid community. This is still a long way away, but every solar roof added eliminates a little of our dependence on the large utility companies. Though this independence is highly dependent on a functioning network infrastructure. Independent yet codependent... hmm....

And as for the World Wide Web, the trend is toward more content being served up by individuals in the masses. The Thinking in Java author is quite visionary as well. He mentions the idea that the increased enabling of people to communicate with each other will allow some sort of "group think." Well, I already use Google as an extension of my brain. Instead of having to search and store things in my brain, I can use Google just as fast. The network is the computer becomes the network is the brain. Google has had it's awe days. What is impressing me now are things like Wikipedia. Beyond technology to human behavior - a bunch of random people coming together on the Net can regulate themselves and produce something higher quality than otherwise.