Idea Guild > Sagely Advice

Writing Project: A Brave New Internet

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Scrasamax:
So, internet is a massive series of nodes and supercomputers and server farms.

Each arcology (especially the residential models) would be hosting their own internal server farms and central nodes. This would extrapolate into each arco having it's own .arc domain.

ArcNet, the Arc...

This could go on to reaching someone for contact isn't going to be by a residential address (ewww, hardcopy) but by their ArcAddress.

JOHNSULLIVAN3662@Pontiac.arc

ruminating

MysticMoon:
It's been a few years since I read it, so I could be twisting things up a bit, but I remember something n Tim Berners-Lee's book Weaving the Web where he talks about the concept of geographical boundaries being subsumed by idealogical ones. People would no longer identify as American or Russian or whatever, but more by their interests. This was back in the 90s but I think that this has happened to a degree. Look at the Citadel. Here we are, a bunch of strangers from around the globe, brought together by a shared interest.

Now many nations are fighting this trend by putting up boundaries (the great firewall of China, for instance) or even working on their own, disconnected Internet (Iran) in order to keep their cultural/religious/whatever from being influenced by all these outside ideas. What might this struggle look like in the future? It could go different ways, depending on whether you want something dystopian or utopian or even something in between (maybe the struggle lives on.)

One possible outgrowth of this with so much VR would be a culture where no one has to care which Arcology you live in; instead they focus on which groups or ideologies you identify with. You may never physically meet your friends. Maybe you don't even speak the same language with computers doing flawless, real-time translation (sidenote - a few weeks ago I used google translate on my Android to communicate with my Mandarin speaking neighbors; it wasn't perfect but it worked. Living in the future is awesome.) Or maybe every culture has been watered down and everyone speaks Esperanto or some other such language.

Also, how has the anonymous vs online identity vs real identity sorted out? Would I be known as MysticMoon wherever I went (how I hate it when I register with some other site and find that name is already taken) or is there some sort of forced real ID that gets used (sort of how Facebook and G+ work) with criminals offering fake online IDs?

Have the media companies won and users get automatically debited every time they play or happen to overhear a song? Or have all the big corps been torn down by the great meritocracy of the Internet? Maybe there are no more larger than life stars and every group has its own icons. There are so many ways to experience the Internet now. Imagine what it will be like as time progresses.

Scrasamax:
I like the idea of a developing online culture that surpasses real world culture, I can imagine people identifying more with some online race (Looking at WoW Night elves) than their actual race. There are still boundaries, but instead of 200ish some odd countries, there are maybe 12 (and they are much bigger) and language can be seen as less of an issue. Gov't Propaganda and Cultural Paradigm Control can be used to make sure that some aspect of local and national culture remains. There is plenty of room for Big Brother is Watching, Room 101, and subliminal messaging.

As for criminal activity, Hacking stops being a single action is becomes spread out into a variety of offenses and degrees of action, ranging from willful and malevolent hacking to misdemeanor vulgar behaviours and indecent activities. False IDs, online theft, online assassination, online murder.... so much room for interesting actions!

As for companies, as nations are subsumed into the SupraNational power blocs many corporations are nationalized, or themselves grow to become megacorporations. The ending of so many local borders make expanding easier. So there follows, with the explosion of virtual companies (Zynga) eventually there will be Virtual MegaCorps and having dealt with non-concrete concepts (music) the media companies are in a good position to to become a dominant power. Not all of them, just the 2-3 that survive.

Chaosmark:

--- Quote from: MysticMoon on April 11, 2012, 09:45:06 PM ---On the other hand, I do think the ideas portrayed are certainly valid and I would love to see them developed (in reality and fiction/subs.) I do have one pet peeve about the way some of this has been looked at before. The first is that when someone is plugged into VR (as in the Matrix) their minds wouldn't go anywhere. Rather, they would be experiencing induced hallucinations. Forcefully unplugging someone could certainly cause extreme disorientation. But death? Not unless there was some sort of electrical surge that fried their brains from a forced disconnect. A corollary to this (and I'm looking at Shadowrun here) is that there is a difference between the physical layout of a computer or network and how it would be perceived, as one's mind is not physically traversing the wires and signals of the Internet. Also, the farther one goes afield, the higher the lag as signals are sent back and forth between the subject and the destination, making for slower perceptions and reactions to what transpires.

--- End quote ---

Assumption: the brain is still the central processing location. That's not necessarily valid; part of the setup might be that your consciousness is actually running on the nearest brain-node. So in a very real sense, if you unplug someone, they can't reinhabit their body. They'd become stuck in the net, a digital consciousness without a body to go back to until it's re-connected and they can find it again.

Which brings up interesting questions of digital authentication: if we're to the point that we can translate consciousness in and out of our physical form, then anyone can inhabit anyone else's body. So part of your digital avatar would be an insanely-encrypted key that lets you authenticate and reinhabit your body. What happens when some digi-thugs mug you and destroy your key? See above body-less avatar description.

MysticMoon:

--- Quote from: Chaosmark on April 12, 2012, 02:46:39 PM ---Assumption: the brain is still the central processing location. That's not necessarily valid; part of the setup might be that your consciousness is actually running on the nearest brain-node. So in a very real sense, if you unplug someone, they can't reinhabit their body. They'd become stuck in the net, a digital consciousness without a body to go back to until it's re-connected and they can find it again.

--- End quote ---

But this is exactly the part I just don't grok. What is meant by moving the consciousness outside of the body? Consciousness is a broad term for all the electrochemical processes occurring in the brain. It wouldn't make sense to halt those processes while being jacked in because the user would die anyway. And how do you "move" something like that into a computer? I see jacking into the matrix as using some sort of stimulation to directly affect these processes so that the user experiences controlled hallucinations. If this were fantasy and the topic astral projection, I would get it. The spiritual/magical construct of the consciousness leaves the body. Cut the astral cord or destroy the astral body and the person dies. When it comes to shuffling electrons or radio waves around, though, I think in more material terms. Personally, I blame Tron and William Gibson for this trope (while still being a huge fan of both.)

Like I said, this is one of my pet peeves.

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