17 August 2012

Madison's Future on the Internet

If one considers the information content of the Internet, one might say that it has been biased towards finding and getting. It is a search oriented experience, from tightly grained searches, to large grain searches like, what social game should I play. But in the lack of a template that can be defined for the latter, may be ways forward.

One perhaps approaches it with a proactive goal in mind, with a feeling that it can be achieved. Surfing itself tends to be directed, surfing is a correct word, one does not surf the waves aimlessly. So one needs to have a sense that one's search is completed by all that comes at one on the Internet.

There are clear goal state signals, these have driven the Internet since Usenet at least. The new Internet is not as raw as it used to be, so those goal states get hidden. Can one change fundamental goal state signals into something not so raw.

That has always been an expressed goal of society, has it worked in society. I leave that question for others to answer, but for the Internet, the goal is perhaps a more precise working of that change into smoother signals.

In that may be some of the intense monetization potential that seems to exist in it. Put it this way, what was the payoff over time for the settlers who toiled away on the eastern seaboard of the USA ? Well, is the Internet anything like this, now. If it is, then it seems to be much faster in delivering payoffs.

If it is a question of edifying and elevating, as it tend to be described, and it seems to me that the Internet has naturally done this as it shows all sides and lets one choose, people are so well informed these days, those who have access. The information on the Internet has changed everything radically, and it seems already that it is affecting the most fundamental of political events, the US presidential and congressional races.

It is doing this I would say on one the most fine grained of all Internet info-search arenas, but one can expect those larger grained arenas to have their powerful sustained effect as well.

In all events, it seems the Internet grounds itself in a kind of accuracy, it effectively arbitrages information to truth and one wonders what the effect of this is on those ancient structures in society by which we define interest and goals.

Greater precision, greater availability of granularity, greater accuracy, that is a change in and of itself. Does society want such things, it certainly does in its technologies and new media is perhaps making speech and thought, as expressed in images and text and so on, and interaction itself, a technology.

An interesting observation is that, what the Founders had at the time of the framing of the Constitution, was what we have now, a free press then is what it is now, fine grained and looking for effect and answers. The standard of political argument then was astonishing, but maybe what we have now, a return to the past, in Madison's future, a future he enabled with his Bill of Rights and functional views of political systems, in my opinion, could restore that quality, in fact I see something like that.

The struggles this year to bring that sense of keeping control off the Internet, can be seen as a struggle to keep this Constitution of the Internet, flowing from the First Amendment (which drastically limited structuring on expression).

That is a living constitution, a system that preserved and enabled and enhanced a free future, far into time. The Internet to me is a free press as it was and as it was meant to be, capable of expressing fine shades and depth of meaning, expansive and reactive.

And in this realization of a free press, comes it seems great wealth as well, from connecting with that search in ways that are two way, that is one wants to try not to bring the searcher to you, but to find a way to bring what they are looking for to the searcher (but wait, there is more...).

That is a winning realization of a future, especially if greater accuracy can be found in this (but that is what the Internet does, it it is like a system that says, well, get it right and I will bring you it) and it seems at its best consistent with that sense of the benefit of this freedom (i.e. freedom on the whole brings good things, lack of freedom, bad things, and it seems lightly structured freedom, great things).

It is like an enhanced interactive, adaptive search, the limits of which are not pre-defined as it enters social sensibility and perhaps the way the Internet smooths the rougher edges of life. It is a new conception of freedom, because it itself resists structuring, from its own architecture and all those who use it and increasingly make it, it seems.

Consistent with this, is an idea though of the Internet finding things for you more precisely, that is it brings you what you want, without knowing exactly what it is you want. That is advertising at its best. But this isn't exactly a search it is more like a realization, within the context of activities somewhat or even distantly related to that which is found, which enables very fine granularity.

This is something which may exist in the larger grained activities of the Internet, which are presently developing. So the Internet may not potentially be so much like search, except to the extent that search is part of the way the mind operates, but that is not exactly a graph, it is more like a jump, a sense of serendipitous finding, without knowing what it is before. That brings the Internet to the people, in a certain sense and enhances the reach of technology into the nature of being human in this world.