It seems like we are on the crux of a big change in the paradigm of computing; namely distribution is in vogue again. We have so many new technologies trying to be foundational infrastructure for the future, and I'm beginning to wonder what it will look like when/if these technologies mature. To name a few of the things I'm talking about there's cryptocurrencies/blockchain technology, ipfs, matrix, and urbit (to ignore all the decentralized social media platforms that have sprung up). These technologies all tackle different use cases, but all of them promote decentralization, open source, and user responsibility of data, in regards to both security and privacy. I'm not even taking into account other recent trends of AI research, the internet of things, biohacking or "actual" cyber-security, but thats an entirely different ball game.
My question is what happens when/if these technologies get main stream adoption. when we all have urbit accounts across all our devices to identify ourselves, communicate easily and securely over matrix, publish with ipfs and trade with cryptos? what impact will they have on society and technology at large, if any at all? id like to believe it will fundamentally change many things about the way we live and interact with technology, but am i just getting caught up in the hype? being somebody that almost exclusively uses open source (or at least tries to), im excited for open source technology to push boundaries that closed source software cant or wont go near, but will it really have any impact?
being cyberpunks we often pride ourselves on our freedom, rationality, curiosity and cooperation, so what does the world look like when these ideas become the norm? do these technologies realistically portray the ideas they say they do?
looking at it today, cryptos are by far the most mature of these technologies and already have caused a 'significant' disruption to fields historically nearly untouched by technology. we've already seen the effects its had in combination with tor and dark net markets, and now its being adopted by things like open bazaar which feature a combination of these technologies; ipfs and cryptos (which i believe also has insane social implications). however cryptos are also fundamentally the most different of the lot, where as the others seem more like pieces of the same puzzle that enable cryptos to increase their impact on society but are not fundamentally things we weren't able to do before (comPost too long. Click here to view the full text.