My attitude toward the app world and web world is mixed. Reading the articles from the Web is Dead, Long Live the Web by Michael Wolff and Chris Anderson especially made an impact on me. Mainly, because I was not aware as Michael Wolff says at the beginning of the article about Yuri Milner owning several internet companies. The right side of the page became an ironic metaphor for cold war Russian Red as I read some of the article. However, I quickly realized that the right side had good points. The article itself wrests the blame back and forth in a unique way. Chris Anderson, on the left, does bring up good points that the fault of the turning of the digital content tide rests with us.
Both authors seem to agree that capitalism is part of the cause, because Anderson reports that it was inevitable and Wolff says that the blame rests with Megalomaniacs. In retrospect, both of them also agree on a point that human history revolves around the points of control, freedom, and the wresting back of control. This shatters my expectations, as I am in the free and open camp. I am not for censorship of anything. Yet, both writers come at the problem from the fact that freedom over control was never really inherent in human history, and as such this evolution of the internet is only natural to human history. I ideologically disagree at the most, yet I can see where they are coming from.
My ideological reasoning I will detail further. First, however, in the article: The Web is Dead: A Debate, both sides bring up points of Web 2.0, or programming for applications rather than the web. The debate includes what the web was and what it might end up being. Particularly, the debate is most interesting to me in the discussion of the differences between the app driven architectures versus the open web. In certain respects, the debaters mull over the idea of an internet operating system. I will include cloud computing in this debate now. Cloud Computing has taken off because of what Wolff and Anderson previously reported on.
My hesitation with cloud computing is that it goes back to the reasons that Linus Torvalds did what he did. Accordingly, he had to wait for a “frame” of time to do his work separately from others due to the fact of a centralized control through money over the freedom to do one’s work when one was able. I include Linus Torvalds and the Linux camp as well as the Open Source Programming community because I am in the open non-app web camp. I understand that technology can be affordable and is becoming more affordable. Yet, I am from the training in technology that applications need to be downloaded and installed individually on one’s desktop. The centralizing of apps through cloud computing remind me of the scares offered in the original Tron movie. In that, all of your programs need to run on a centralized computing system owned by one company.
The scare were about what could happen during the early days of IBM, Tandy (Radioshack) computers, RDRAM and other closed architectures. The fear was about one company having monopoly control over others so that everyone would have to go back to the manufacturer and no other manufacturer could make parts for another. I have a shell of a Tandy RLX 1000 sitting around that cannot work with modern monitors just because the plug is one pin off normal modern monitor plugins. The lessening of freedom of distribution of software circumvents the hardware in that way. However, with Apple, they’ve been able to make it work with a history of proprietary applications and hardware.
I realize that my point is moot because of the fact that we have many companies now in the app market and not just one. The main concern I have is that, due to going to these companies to get these apps, and having them hosted and served on their systems. Also, Anderson related that we as consumers want this app market. It also might seem to be a good idea for app makers to keep the pirating bootlegging community a step behind, but it remains a nuisance for the innovators and those that, like Torvalds, cannot afford the way of the apps.
As for me, I usually get uptight about having to type up longer papers or view longer documents on my phone. I don’t want to fall behind in knowledge and seem like I don’t want to adopt new technologies. I am not able to afford a tablet so I may be behind the times that both of these articles bring into context. Yet, Oftentimes, I do not like to function solely the way of mobile. Mainly, my reasons were due to the fact that I had subpar internet connectivity that did not facilitate a web install because a gigabyte of data would take a day. I could not receive good wireless signal or get good wired connection until I switched to Verizon. So I had to focus on small connections, small files, and for my purposes of creative writing on the web, I never had to worry about big files.
However, since then, I love Google Drive and the backup feature that it provides. I watch videos and visit digital media sites normally when I’m behind a solid internet connection. Yet,I have a verizon phone and like third world countries that have seen a rise in mobile computing, I use my phone more when I am in places that I cannot get good desktop internet to. I prefer to use apps such as Facebook rather than access it by the mobile phone’s browser.
Anderson, Chris and Wolff, Michael. “The Web is Dead Long Live the Internet”. Wired Magazine, 17 Aug., 2010. Web. 5 Feb. , 2014.
Anderson, Chris. “The Web is Dead: A Debate”. Wired Magazine, Sep., 2010. Web. 5 Feb., 2014.