Inventing the Future

What's a Server?

I was taught that science is all about managing complexity by creating abstractions over different domains. A common layman’s mistake is to anecdotally observe or hear that something is true at some level, somewhere, and assume that this fact or definition applies throughout every discussion. For example:
One hears that computers are “programmed in binary,” or that they “understand binary,” but in fact, programmers don’t write in binary. Programmers work at a higher level of abstraction than binary encoding.
One hears that computers use “digital circuits,” that are simply “on” or “off”, but in fact, the physics of each electronic component is continuously variable. Device physics is at a lower level of abstraction than digital electronics.

So, what’s a server and what is peer-to-peer? It depends on what ‘s being discussed?

Read More »

Posted in Inventing the Future, metaphysics | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

No, I Don't Know Anything About the McCain Story.

I regret to disappoint my fellow Wetmachiner John Sundman and legions of of folks discovering telecom policy is incredibly sexy (a fact I mentioned in my very first Wetmachine post), but I really have nothing to add about the McCain/Iseman story. This is not Wonkette here folks.

Policy, sure. I can tell you what made this transaction so controversial. And it may even have some bearing on the next FCC, given that one of the folks involved was Susan Ness, the former FCC Commissioner whispered about as the most likely nominee to replace Kevin Martin if Clinton wins. It also, of course, involved Bill Kennard who, along with Reed Hundt, is advising Obama. So I suppose the policy might have some relevance here. But as for the “juicy stuff:”

Read More »

Posted in Life In The Sausage Factory, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Making a Living in Languages (Redux) part 8: Killer Apps

Last time: “Give ‘Em What They Want,” in which I said that having a desirable application “from the beginning” is necessary to promote a platform.
Now: Sounds good, but how do we go about creating such a scenario? We engineer it!

[This is an excerpt from a Lisp conference talk I gave in 2002.]

Read More »

Posted in Inventing the Future, Philosophical business mumbo-jumbo | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register