When it comes down to it, benevolent dictatorship resting on a perfectly anarchistic base is the only way to go. Democracy is too easily bought. Free Market Forces do not make everything all nice and efficient and stuff. Wherever information can be OpenSource and OpenAccess it should be; No institution should be allowed to exist for more than a few years; Somehow the infrastructure needs to be efficient, effective, and free (OpenInfrastructure) and then, everything else, we’ll let Google take care of.
Or at least that’s the plan for now. And when Google goes evil? Revolution!!!!!
If you are a Googleois you’ve probably seen this presentation:
Google plus is, in fact, a Facebook replacement. You can argue all you want about how it is different from or similar to or not different from or not similar to Facebook. The point is that if Facebook went down tomorrow for an extended period of time for some reason, when it came back a lot of us would be using Google+ for the Facebook stuff we were previously doing, and not bother with Facebook anymore. It does replace Facebook, yet is different (and different in a way that incorporates some twitteresque features). Mostly it is different because it works better. For now.
But the key is the cloud bit. This became especially apparent to me using a mobile device. I was using a Google+ app and noticed that there was a tab to check my email, so I did. Then there was a button to look at Google Docs so I did. And then I checked Google RSS reader. Holy crap. The dumb little mobile G+ app gave access to … the cloud! In a somewhat clunky way because of bad design of the app, but still, all within one app. Most interesting, the dumb little Google+ App overcame the main feature that seems to have been inserted into the iDevice operating systems: Software no longer inter-operates and data (files and stuff) are no longer accessible by the user.
And that cloud is, of course, what we see on the tool bar of Google+’s screen, which is really the same as the toolbar on the gMail screen and identical with recent changes (implemented last week, I think) to Goolge Calendar, on that screen as well. Oh, it’s on the Picasa screen as well.
I’m not at all sanguine about a single monstrous entity, even if it is one that has as it’s premise “do no evil,” taking over the world. But since the world (of personal computing) is already being run by a single monstrous entity with a side kick with affective personality disorder running about 10 percent of it, why not? If Google can in fact become a significant player along side Microsoft and Apple, bigger than Apple, smaller than Microsoft (for now) then maybe we can get some of that Free Market mojo for a few years and do some housecleaning.
But that’s not the point. The point is that our computer system should know intrinsically about email, calendars, documents, photos, and things you put on a reader as part of it’s guts. A cloud-based “google chrome” system will be a system that has those features as fundamental and given. Everyone else will have to do the same (and to some extent they already have, but poorly). And the implementation of personal computing will shift a bit more towards function and away from marketing. For now.
I’m not sanguine about the cloud as a place to work. I spend too much time on computers that are not connected to the Internet for periods of time. I don’t like the lack of hermit-like independence that the cloud forces me away from. I want my text files, which I mess around with in emacs, on my hard drive, which I organize with Midnight Commander. And I’m only slightly exaggerating.
But I do want to collaborate on the cloud, back up on the cloud, and be all bloggy and stuff on the cloud. And no, Google+ is not a blogging platform. Blogs are a blogging platform. But Google+ does make me realize something: I’ve got to get my blogging integrated somehow into that paradigm.
So I can see that Goggle+ toolbar as a section of my Gnome toolbar. Anybody working on that?