Doc Searls: hacking local internet infrastructure from the edge inwards

Via Weblogsky.

When Doc Searls went to the last Consumer Electronics show, he saw the tide turning, a kind of P2P Tipping Point if you like:

I saw some subtle but sure signs that Linux was the new CE standard, and that lock-in with proprietary tech was a business strategy of increasingly marginal use. Open was winning, or poised to win, and in some places both hardly expected yet long overdue.”

His review gives a lot of evidence of this. But the most interesting conclusion is what he calls the Glass Roots Revolution, the increasing ability to create our own infrastructures, in a way which can no longer be controlled by the phone and network oligolopies that control the core internet.

Doc Searls:

Where it goes is the independent hacking together of everything: a convergence of cheap, mobile and hackable. Add to that the half-zillion open source code bases now populate the world of useful tools and building materials, and you have the ingredients — if not yet the recipe — for remaking infrastructure from the edges inward.

That edging inward is a movement that the phone company does not own, and can not own. And it won’t just happen with wiring and wireless. It will happen with devices as well. The consumer electronics business will turn gradually in to the producer electronics business: a new category in which ordinary hackers far outnumber big manufacturers. In time, the few will follow the many, even as the many continue to follow the few.

Meaning that consumer electronics won’t go away. It will just become the reciprocal of producer electronics. The two will work together. Because they’ll have to. Those things that only large companies can do will continue to be done by those. And those things that can only be done by small companies and individuals will continue to be done by those. The difference is that the latter group will grow. A lot.

Here’s a lot more about this revolution in human affairs:

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