ITECS: The Next-Generation Internet

The only constant is change.

Someone said that there can’t be a Web 2.0 because there was never a Web 1.0.  In like fashion, do you remember when George W. Bush said “Internets” and everyone laughed?  It turns out, however, that he was right:  there are, indeed, Internets (i.e., plural as in more than one). 1

My personal dissatisfaction with the term Internet

I think that the term “Internet” is a very poor way to describe the service that we use when we go online and what we actually do when we’re in virtual space.  That’s because when we go online, we:  upload, download, chat, read, write, talk, watch movies, listen to songs and learn.  In fact, we perform what can be called the essence of communication.

The next-generation Internet

If the only constant is change then it stands to reason that the Internet, like everything else, is also subject to evolution.  If it is subject to evolution then we needn’t split hairs about what we call it.  It’s no longer a matter of appellation, but of functionality.  It’s not what we call the thing (or, service), but what the thing (or, service) does for us that counts.

There’s much in a name

Having said that, names are, nevertheless, important.  Imagine for a moment that the Internet were called ITECS.  ITECS stands for Interactive Total Expression Communication Sphere.  Interactive because the Internet implies movement and interactivity; Total because of the all-encompassing scope of material available online; Expression because, in toto, everything on the Internet is an expression of some kind; Communication because what we express is non-static and, via interactivity, reaches intended recipients; and Sphere because I think this sounds so much better than Internet or, Information Super Highway which implies a linear trajectory as opposed to something more holistic like ITECS.

ITECS

Today, we have Internet1 (See, footnote 1):  a hodge-podge of information that is slow to access and may or may not be accurate.  (See, Static and Closed versus Interactive and Open Internet Web pages, lubarascheff.com) with a division of functions (See, Get to the Point: Effective Communication in the Digital Age, lubarascheff.com).

But what will next-generation ITECS be like?

Falling into the realm of speculation

Let’s do a free fall into the realm of speculation.  Let’s imagine a bit and make some smart guesses.  Unlike Internet1 (and more like Internet2), ITECS will be fast; much faster than what we’re using today (whether Internet1 or Internet2).  It will be entirely wireless and perhaps somehow connected to our bodies (See, Do As the Toltecs, lubarascheff.com, where I discuss screen incorporation) and resolution will be higher than anything extant.  ITECS will be transparent.  The case can be argued that in a speedy and transparent ITECS, users will be able to almost instantly do the following:  obtain information they seek; express themselves; and share information they deem valuable with a close group of friends or the world.  With speed, ease of access and a more evolved mindset that will necessarily accompany a more evolved ITECS, there will be less of a perceived need to dissimulate and/or deliberately upload incorrect information onto ITECS.  (See, “Internet inaccuracies” in Static and Closed versus Interactive and Open Internet Web pages, lubarascheff.com).  Users themselves will, together, act as a kind of counterbalancing “correction mechanism” if this happens.

In the same way that when we think it, our brains send signals to our fingers and toes that cause them to move, ITECS will enable us to, when we wish, holistically “merge” with its worldwide community of online users.  It will be an open, transparent, fast, ultra-high resolution, self-regulating sphere of total, interactive, information exchange.  ITECS will meet the needs of all users without being detrimental to people or the planet.

Evolution and credibility

Why should we wait for information?  If Internet2 “moves data 100 to 1,000 times faster than the old-fashioned Internet [i.e., Internet1],” 2, ITECS will move data at nearly the speed of thought.  I say nearly because, even though hyperly minimzed, as futurist Dr. Kaku posits (See, The Zero-Sum Game, lubarascheff.com), technical components (i.e., microchips) will still exist.  ITECS will, therefore, be almost instant.  Frustration gone.  Almost instant access to what you need most at the moment you need it.  Doesn’t this sound great?

When will this happen?

ITECS (or, something similar only called by a different name) will arrive sooner than we think.  This is because it will come into existence based on needs defined by our evolving communication requirements.  Our collective, evolving needs will compel innovators to create ITECS.

Image

Orb: Recursive

Author: “Exper” Giovanni Rubaltelli, Abstract Design, (c) 2007 G.R. “Exper”–exper.3drecursion.com

References

1 Russo, Alexander. Slate. Internet2: It’s better, it’s faster. You can’t use it. Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2005.  Accessed on Saturday, August 10, 2013.  http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/webhead/2005/06/internet2.html. And, Urban Dictionary, Definition of “Internets.”  Accessed on Saturday, August 10, 2013.  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=internets&r=related.

2 Russo, Alexander. Slate. Internet2: It’s better, it’s faster. You can’t use it. Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2005.  Accessed on Saturday, August 10, 2013.  http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/webhead/2005/06/internet2.html.

ITECS: THE NEXT-GENERATION INTERNET Copyright © 2013 Luba Rascheff

Do as the Toltecs

The Toltecs say that we should never assume anything.  This is possibly the most precious advice ever.

When we communicate with people, it’s very tempting to fall into old paradigms and fixed ways of seeing the world.  This is what assumption is.

It’s easier for us to reference an event into a frame we’re familiar with rather than allowing for the possibility of something completely unexpected.

Expect the unexpected

With ever-increasing advances in technology (See, “The Zero-Sum Game” by Luba Rascheff), the external means that we use to express ourselves will become more and more adapted to the electro-chemical bundles that represent our bodies.  For example, cutting edge research involves understanding how fat is the quickest way to move data.  Fat, who would have thought?  Don’t assume anything, say the Toltecs.

If, as Michio Kaku says, in the future, we will be able to obtain information at the blink of an eye (or, by blinking our eye since the ubiquitous screen will now be attached to a contact lens) (See, “The Zero-Sum Game”), this necessarily implies that there will be a more intimate connection between our bodies (mind = body + thought) and the artificial elements (machine = chip + circuits) that facilitate the information exchange process.

Tell me what you know

In the future, our ability to instantaneously obtain any information we need will reduce our tendency to make assumptions.

It will break down our old frameworks of thinking and introduce new ones.

Future thought

The electro-chemical bundles in which we move around–our bodies–will become instruments with which we communicate holistically with our environment.  This approach will be radically different from traditional methods of communication.  It will be streamlined, instantaneous, coordinated and highly efficient.

To get to this point, though, we must start assuming less and engaging more with our quickly changing environment.  We must do as the Toltecs.

DO AS THE TOLTECS Copyright © 2013  Luba Rascheff

Toltec-style Vessel

Toltec-style Vessel (Photo credit: Madman2001)

The Zero-Sum Game

In his featured video (See, “Dark Energy:  The Energy of Nothing,” bigthink.com/blogs/dr-kakus-universe, accessed on 21 July 2013), Dr. Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist, CUNY, explains that the sum of positive energy and dark matter in the universe equals…zero.

He says that the space between objects in the universe–essentially empty space or, nothing–balances out exactly with positive energy (as depicted in the standard model of the universe by atoms, neutrons and quarks).

If we accept this to be true, it means, according to Dr. Kaku, that we can create a universe out of nothing.

Point zero in communication

If Dr. Kaku is correct then, whatever communications we issue (analog or digital) use a combination of what we express and, critically, what we do not.  It’s what we say, and what we don’t that, together, make our point, our ‘micro universe.’

A reassuring point

Dr. Kaku says that although we know it exists, we don’t have a clue as to what dark matter really is.  What we do know, however, is that it comprises 23% of the universe and is a major influencer.  Dark energy (“the energy of nothing, the energy of the vacuum”) comprises 73% of the universe.

In the same way that dark matter (moved by gravitational forces) is invisible, what isn’t seen in our communications influences them nonetheless.

Less is more

If less is more then, says Dr. Kaku, by 2020 computers will have disappeared with chips becoming ubiquitous (“Futurist Michio Kaku:  Computers will disappear by 2020.” Psiho. #28, year XXIV, 19 July 2013, p. 12).  Since computers are doubling in power every eighteen months, by 2020 the computer won’t exist in the form we are so familiar with.  (Ibid.)  The Internet in its present form, according to Dr. Kaku, will also disappear with the net being simultaneously “everywhere and nowhere.”  (Ibid.)

People will be like ambulatory computers and, with the blink of an eye, will be able to obtain any kind of information needed.  (Ibid.)

Gain from reduction

As computers become smaller and smaller, functionality becomes greater and greater.  Reaching zero, therefore, means obtaining everything.  This is the zero-sum game.

THE ZERO-SUM GAME Copyright © 2013  Luba Rascheff

Mass map of Abell 1689.

Mass map of Abell 1689. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)