On Walter Higgins' "Owning your own mothership" and optimism about the future of tech

It got me thinking. The advice is just as applicable to individuals too, but harder to follow because most Facebook and Twitter denizens don't have the resources or know-how available to a company, to establish their own presence outside the walled gardens.


Just as hardware prices have become ridiculously low, home networking speeds are fast with massive market penetration, each person owns a wifi router in their house and memory has become absolutely dirt cheap, companies have decided we have to store all our data on their servers and forever be pinging them for our stuff. DSL is set up as a consumption channel. We have ADSL, not SDSL. But even with our crappy asynchronous framework, we're quickly approaching a point where we don't even have to make things synchronous to have enough bandwidth to be our own servers. Who turns off their router at the end of each day? And if they do, why isn't there some super cheap (or free) storage system that serves your pages/information/whatever (Dropbox, Skydrive, iCloud) when someone wants to get information from you, visit your blog, download your photos, whatever. We should have devices that make this one-click. It should be built into our computers, our OSes and our routers. (That's where innovation is, not in making a prettier photo-sharing app.) I shouldn't have to pay Dreamhost 70 bucks a year to serve things for me when I already pay 70 bucks a month to have a fat DSL or cable pipe come to my home. Want to use FB services? You keep that info on your server, which FB can access via an API. You hold your chat logs. You set your permissions. You store your pictures. (Have a billion pictures at super high res? Ok, pay someone else to host them.) Want some new service like Twitter? Pay 10 bucks and you buy a license or some code and install your own Twitter server at home. You set your permissions and interoperability with the network. Why are we all just clients and not equal nodes? Why isn't mesh networking here? Why is white space not here?

We are so far from getting to any of these points that I couldn't be more optimistic about the next 5 or 10 years in tech. Unfortunately, people are too busy pissing themselves for the next resolution size, the return of cd-rom magazines (because what Moby Dick and your 5th grade math textbook were really missing was embedded, zoom-able video clips and 3D charts that spin) or they seem more interested in making replacement knobs for their stove and regressing back to old models like "coding for an OS."