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Tipping is the Point

Sadly, we've got some of the world's smartest people working on these tracking systems, while we have some of the world's dullest people serving as authorities/guides on the evolution of the internet, privacy and communications.

The BBC, for example, did a recent piece on the future of the web. For some strange reason, they decided to poll blogger Robert Scoble for his take on the issue. Here's the result.

Everything is moving so fast. If you look at what I am doing with my cell phone now, transmitting live video around the world, that's really different from just five months ago.

It's even going on with Twitter. There is a new tweet coming into my account every 15 seconds and 15 years from now what's that going to feel like? You are going to be able to do a lot more than 140 character messages.

More than 140 characters? Astonishing.

This guy sure isn't going to fight the toaster menace anytime soon.

Scoble is the least of anyone's worries, since few people with a pulse know he exists and those who do struggle to take him seriously. Much worse is a chap like Malcolm Gladwell who has managed to turn pop science into a mega-empire. Airports around the world now make me shudder due to the ever presence of his books Blink and The Tipping Point, which are in essence tributes to nonsense.

And yet it's folks like Gladwell that the public seems to look to for ideas on the future of science and technology. These types of hucksters distract the public with shiny objects, praising things like Twitter, Facebook and open source cookies, while the corporates hook more metal into the network.

God help us all if it comes down to these used brain salesmen versus the engineers. The public will be turning over every piece of information it can to the network just because some new Web 2.0 app popped up that seemed neat.

Many of these ideas are, of course, very, very old and very, very easy to grasp. You don't need to be George Orwell or William Gibson to get a sense of the direction things are heading toward or where they could end up.

But the point here could be that it's time to stop quibbling over bits and pieces of your data getting sucked up here and there by various companies. The reality of the situation is that the vacuum is turned on at high speed, and it's getting upgraded all the time.

The best course of action looks like the most rational one. Make a buck off your desires. Demand to be paid for your needs.

And don't be fooled by getting a cheaper toaster just because there's a service attached to it. You really don't want to sell out that easy.

It's very possible that your wants, desires and thoughts are worth more than the company selling you the toaster is getting for that annual bagel expansion pack subscription fee. ®

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