This week Mark Korman is joined by Jan Florjanczyk and Ivan Savov to discuss two subjects of interest to us Digital Lifers; the dream of decentralizing the Internet and how the Internet is apparently rewiring our brains.
Listen to this week’s show !
1) A Centralized or Distributed Internet ? How we can take back ownership of our data
We currently use systems every day that log our activity and private information centrally and out of our reach. Although we are supposedly protected as consumers through terms of service agreements, nothing is truly more secure than having personal ownership of your data. The beauty of the internet, however, is that it was designed from the start to be completely decentralized. You can run an email server out of your home computer. You can share pictures by giving people url links to a hard drive in your house. Every task that a centralized service such as twitter, facebook, or gmail can perform, you can also implement by using a protocol between a whole network of computers.
So why do we use centralized services? Well, they’re simply easier. You just enter a username and password and you’re in. No more setup required. If you wanted to run your own social network between your friends today you could, but it would take some technical setup. But centralized services do come at a cost: you don’t own your data, the services do.
How simple could it be to set up a home server in the future?
Eben Moglen, a Columbia law professor, proposes the Freedom Box.
Decentralizing the Internet So Big Brother Can’t Find You – New York Times
2) Our shortening attention spans and new education models
Clearly, our consumption of short-form media has risen: Youtube videos, twitter+fb status updates, the generally shorter blog-style of written articles. Is this where education is headed as well? Schools are opening up their curricula and courses for free online already (think MIT OpenCourseware) but is the lecture format fit for the web?
Author Nicholas Carr: The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains – Wired
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