I believe that a well curated record of a personal past could stifle social development. People tend to believe that their present self developed rationally from their past views and experiences. We recite memories that fit well into a narrative that supports our idea of ourselves as it stands today. Those memories are false. They are constructed as they are "recalled" out of a loose framework that is filled in by present information. If we are constantly reminded of our actual past beliefs, we may be influenced by a misguided sense of integrity to honor those younger beliefs and stay rigid in the face of new experience. To combat this, since I believe the documentation of or lives is inevitable, I suggest society begin actively promoting change over integrity in personal relationships.
People utilize world heritage sites. They aren't walled off from the world. I'm sure Wikipedia users could still add and modify content. The question of conservation calcification would come up around changes to the system itself. Could the community make a modification to the editorial process that significantly changed the balance of power in the system, for instance?
When people talk about the world ending, they are usually talking about human existence. Christians get raptured away and everyone else gets punched in the face by Jesus for a few year, but the earth isn't gone. World War 3.0 happens, humans return to hunting and gathering. They eventually die of dysentery and lack of easily obtainable chihuahua meat. Eons later, cephalopods leave the ocean and show the monkeys what's what. When the last human community is gone from the earth, the world has ended. Maybe it ends up our new urban context is unsustainable and the collapse is catastrophic. Maybe we gene tweak ourselves until we have nothing important in common with what we now consider human. Maybe we stick around for millions of years and just evolve. Whatever, when there is no longer a single human community, the world has ended.
Alcohol kills off my weakest cells, leaving only the fittest.
I suggest we start a project dedicated to collecting the sounds of helium squeaked languages around the world. We can't allow this beautiful example of the diversity of human experience to be lost forever. Plus, it sounds funny.
Unfortunately, American politics tends to favor candidates who profess "local first" ideals, even to the point of xenophobia. Mr. Maes seems to think that an hint of internationalism instantly taints a program. It's interesting that he wants to be a governor, since Colorado's economy is absolutely dependent on globalism. Take the beef industry. Images of ranchers raising cattle are intimately linked to ideas of homeland and small town values. Yet Colorado is the fastest growing beef exporter. Colorado ranchers are dependent on Mexico, Canada, Japan and Korea as their four largest markets! For instance, according to the Colorado Dept. of Agriculture, "exports of beef to Mexico grew by over 37 percent in 2008 to $206 million and Mexico continued in 2008 as the top export market for Colorado beef. Colorado's beef industry supplied over 21 percent of all beef exports from the U.S. to Mexico and was second only to Texas as a beef supplier to Mexico." Would a xenophobic governor really serve Colorado well? I doubt it. If people really understood how much internationalism supports their piece of the American dream they'd either have to cry in the shower while they scrub the dirty internationalism off their skin or change their politics into something that makes sense.
It seems unlikely that a simple name change would allow anyone to escape their digitized past in Schmidt's vision of the future. How many kids would be willing to ditch every possible link to their former life? How long before a search engine links up a birth name to the new persona? Schmidt also said, "I actually think most people don't want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next." If Google develops a fingerprint of a particular individual through his data, a person would have to change every habit, every association, if he hoped to leave his past behind. That or every search service in the world would have to voluntarily decouple childhood information from adulthood. I'd prefer a society that simply accepts that individuals act differently in varied contexts and act stupidly with consistency.
I'm interested in the sort of choices we are going to have to make as we keep extending human lives. Amazingly, more and more people live past 40 and miss out on plagues! As we shape our environment we avoid the more tried and true aspects of natural selection, but have yet to adapt to the new pressures we're creating. For instance, people born with weak heart valves don't die as often now. We've developed a whole suite of technologies to keep them around. A lot of medical technology is like this, expending resources to reshape selection pressures. Others have already pointed out that breast cancer tends to strike after, or at least late in, the fertile years of a woman's life. If there wasn't any medical science available, it's still unlikely that this particular gene would be pushed out of the population. It's only now that woman live long enough to witness its long term effects. So, in this case, we are selecting out a gene that wouldn't have been touched by "nature". Hell, I no longer know my own point. Just typing aloud. I guess I'm wondering if there is an ethical difference between treating diseases that would have likely been selected out overtime and those that are only problematic because we are extending our lives through medicine? Man, I'm going to get some coffee and think...why do I read things like this?
Sadly, at least one guy was probably fooled by the Paranormal State ad campaign. Now he's chatting daily with people who wear Hot Topic tees with the same fervor that Christian teens used to have for WWJD bracelets and wondering if these people understand the way the world really works.
Doctorow has mentioned many times that his main problem as a writer is obscurity. Giving away his books build a fan base. At the same time, he and his publishers still make money on hardcopies of his works. A similar model is at work when AdultSwim streams its shows for free and then sells fans DVD box sets (except they would likely sue you for remixing their content). True, Doctorow and AdultSwim don't capture the value at every possible point, but they definitely get by.
Is it the user's responsibility to turn it off when not in a car? Unless the system works absolutely in the background, I don't see it playing out that well. Testing this in the Bay Area, I foresee a lot of volunteers walking down the streets of San Francisco passively reporting as slow traffic (I assume the GPS isn't differentiating between the 5 foot gap from sidewalk to street). Not that I wouldn't find pedestrian foot traffic data interesting, but I'm doubting it's useful for Mobile Millennium purposes.
By opening up this spectrum, the FCC has given Obama a gift. The Obama technology plan talks about the need to "deploy next-generation broadband" among other things, but with a weakening economy he's going to find a lot less money to back such initiatives. Thankfully, with a simple restructuring of the rules, the FCC has created space for new innovation that might prove easier to fund than laying cables throughout the country. Not that I don't want more cables. I love cables.