The Trust Paradox. We coined the phrase. We will design a way out of here.

24/08/2009 - 17:22

TCP/IP is the set of network communication protocols – the language - of the Internet (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) that ran officially on the ARPA network (the precursor of the internet) in 1983. Because of the military and academic background of the internet, the world wide web was made possible in 1993 with the browser’ Mosaic. Had it been a commercial operation, we would be living in a world where we paid for a subscription to the Sony web to deliver an email to a friend in Japan from Philips Netherlands web.It has allowed citizens to become professional managers of their lives through the internet, 3G and GPS and the ever growing possibilities of social networking applications and sites. The solidarities that still exist within the legislative frameworks and mental maps of citizens are rapidly being broken down by the inability of national states to deal with the current financial crisis, the rising oil and gas prices, climate change and the changing power shift towards the East.
These national states have outsourced and privatised everything from their currency to their ability to make law and are de facto empty shells that function only as tax receiving institutes. It is not hard to predict that this situation cannot last. To reiterate: you cannot equip citizens with tools and expect these not be actually used. But if we look around the situation actually seems quite stable, even quite calm.
This is because the logic of the Internet of Things sets forth not only its own disappearance as success, but in doing so builds its own foundation as being ‘natural’, and inevitable. If as a citizen you can no longer fix your own car – which is a quite recent phenomenon - because it is software driven, you have lost more then your ability to fix your own car, you have lost the very belief in a situation in which there are no professional garages, no just in time logistics, no independent mechanics, no small initiatives.
Who are going to distribute themselves into such an environment? An environment that you are being reminded constantly of that is unsafe, and insecure?
The mobile industries 3G and 4G PowerPoint presentations highlight a person surrounded by power stations that connect nodes that should give this person more agency.
The security industries presentations highlight exactly the same but in their case the agency lies in the nodes, not in the person. For both the systems logic is the same: to distribute yourself, your data - into the environment. The key themes, the cultural and political views that shape the environment are insecurity, un-safety, and fear.
The current dangers of this cultural/political axiom to highlight safety/insecurity as if there could ever be a safe default position, only leads to more fear, more distrust, more anger as incidents will inevitably happen and you will take the blame for not having been able to prevent them.
The fear policy goes directly against the call for more and more innovation, whilst innovation needs a risk friendly environment.
If you scare your population, very few risks will be taken.
So the main question is which institutions are going to finance and guarantee the stability of the IOT in the current system crisis? If it is not carried fully by citizens it is unlikely to be build, so the best option is to start a bottom up open infrastructure.