Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Hive

I posted this to my web site five or so years ago:

Ten or twelve years ago I liked to pontificate to anyone who would stop long enough to listen to more than three words - and there were more of people who had that longer form of attention span at that time than there are now, but not many - that it seemed to me that the way the internet was evolving was going to cause the human race to adopt an organizational form similar to a hive of bees.

I had no vision at the time of Facebook, My space and Twitter, but I did see the direction that email and AOL instant messaging seemed to be pointing.

I certainly didn't think that in ten years that observation would not only turn out to have been fairly accurate, but nearly a fait accompli.

With that capability - the ability to "know" what we are all thinking, doing, considering doing and likely to do - we don't need to travel as much, or perhaps at all. We can just commune with one another in real time; we can order things from on line retail - even from Starbucks - ad hoc, as the needs for those things arise and we can all sit at our keyboards and "communicate" instead of "travel".

The human race will begin to make maneuvers that, to those not plugged into the network, will look like the amazing close-ordered flying that one sees in large flocks of birds.

The Economist recently had an article about a new generation of printers that "print" solid objects. It is possible to go straight from CATIA logic to the print button and end up with a finished item. Jay Leno owns one from StrataSys. He uses it to produce parts for some of the completely old and out of production members of his automobile collection. The parts for many of those cars are just not available, so Jay has had them redesigned using 3D computer design technology then he "prints" the parts.

Apply that logic to being at your keyboard, communing with the hive and ordering on line as the need arises. This printer trend seems to point to the possibility of having the item that you have ordered appearing at the solid state printer installed on your computer.

Probably not Starbucks

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