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With the acceleration of the digitization of information since the coming of the commercial Internet we have all been experiencing tectonic shifts in societal norms and etiquette, business models, legislation, law enforcement, and what we have always understood to be our privacy. This digitization has removed the friction around four important aspects of information, which in turn has enabled them to collude in ways that have been very disruptive to businesses and to our personal lives. These aspects include:

– Creation/development
– Storage
– Dissemination/distribution
– Aggregation/combination

Tools for more quickly creating and developing new types of content and information have become more sophisticated and available to more people at little to no cost.  Storage costs have continued to drop at a staggering pace to the extent that for casual users, in terms of direct monetary value, it has already hit zero cost in many cases (ie. picture uploads to Facebook).  Dissemination and distribution of information has become trivially easy with the advent of this network where so many can be interconnected, and the costs for much of the available distribution has also become negligible.  Finally, the technology to aggregate and combine information has become more broadly accessible and less costly than it used to be only a few years prior to the advent of the commercial Internet.  Oracle databases were quite expensive and required significant hardware to operate on, by contrast MySQL changed much of that.

The problems we are seeing around privacy issues, copyright battles, and outdated legislation, all have to do directly with the challenges brought about by the changed constraints around how information can now be dealt with.

While not exclusively what I’ll be blogging about, this perspective will likely color many of what my posts will touch on and issues I’ll raise.

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