Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Metaverse Roadmap - Conclusions

While there's a lot more to be read on the website, the summary document is encouraging, if not uncanny, in that it addresses many Jungian concepts of Perception, with a few nods to Judgment.

What's discouraging, however, is the complete lack of peer-to-peer technology solutions presented. All of the solutions shown are server based, particularly the virtual worlds section. As someone who has worked in the past with a p2p VR communications platform, I'm actually befuddled by it. But p2p is scary for companies - there's not a clear business model for typical web services in a p2p model.

It's a goal-oriented document - so the full spectrum of these concepts isn't presented, except in terms of steps towards that end goal. Presence doesn't always need to be an avatar (a pixel on a blank background will do). GPS services don't need to be exacting (zip code works quite well on a personals site, thank you). Lifelogging doesn't have to be every niggling detail of life (hell, I'd just like an intelligent history/bookmarking app right now). Far too often computer technology is modernist - forgetting the past for the sake of the now or future. The beauty of the 'old' internet was its efficiency with little resources. Projects such as OpenCroquet are rethinking what can be done based on modern technology and have presented very robust collaboration environments. But they won't work on an old 486 with a dial up connection - and that's a major problem. The point to 'rethinking' something is to go back to the minimalist and making sure the minimums are covered, and THEN going forward. We're presuming we'll have the current resources to maintain these high bandwidth, high CPU, high graphics environments in perfectly synchronous real time. The urban myth for the point of the ARPAnet was to create a system that would work in the case of Armageddon - I won't give a damn about your fancyschmancy avatar when there's a plague loose in Cleveland and heading my way.
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