[FRIAM] Negroponte Inversion

Steven A Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Tue Apr 24 11:45:11 EDT 2018

As I promote wireless broadband in my own valley and cheer on Nick in
his "hilly, wooded, region of New England", I am reminded of the
admonition Nicholas Negroponte offered us some 25 years ago regarding
the upside down/inside out nature of our communications networks and
their "inevitable" inversion.

Essentially, he pointed out that technological and usage trends in
networking would cause that which currently went over the airwaves
(primarily broadcast TV and Radio?) to go over hardwired networks and
that which went over hard lines (primarily telephony and sensor
networks?) to move to wireless.   I think his reasoning was mostly about
scale-free networking (without invoking the term),  reserving the common
aether for shorter range, more ad-hoc communication (e.g.  bluetooth
links amongst your fitness band, headphones, mobile device, and laptop)
while  creating more private sub-aethers (fiber lines as waveguides for
modulated EM) for the higher bandwidth, longer-reach stuff.  

In spite of the recent thread here "debunking" Scale Free networks being
natural (or was it inevitable, or pervasive?), I do believe that a
scale-free packing is an optimal use of a *conserved* 2 or 3 D space to
move 1 or 2D objects (atoms or bits or water droplets or people or cars
or cargo ships or airlines.   

- Steve

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