Is this the future?

 Posted by (Visited 5518 times)  Misc
May 062014

Premise: Goods made of bits offer tremendous advantages to providers of said goods.

Therefore, any good that can be described in terms of bits will be.

Therefore, any good that cannot be described in terms of bits that can cheaply phone home will, in the name of better service, causing it to effectively be bits even if it has a physical manifestation.

Therefore, any good that can be described and experienced in terms of bits will cease to be owned and instead be a service.

Therefore, there will be ongoing service costs to all physical goods.

Therefore, because of economics, anything that is a service will eventually get the service turned off.

Therefore, the more we move to bits, the more we have the dead media problem for physical goods.

Observation: Anything with a service that is turned off will get hackers reverse-engineering a fake server to try to keep it functional. That said, I think in most cases platforms die. Hopefuly, a lot of stuff can function with a fake loopback of some sort.

So how long until the Doctrine of First Sale is obsolete entirely? Just wondering.


  32 Responses to “Is this the future?”

  1. I have lost sleep over this. Thanks for the fresh nightmares. πŸ™‚

  2. The degree of attempted lock-in seems to fluctuate with time, so I suspect that it’s more a matter of social and legal expectations than technological determinism. That said, we’re definitely seeing it on the rise. The recent trend towards DRM-free MP3 sales being an exception that shows it’s at least possible to move in that direction.. Unfortunately, I don’t think setting up substitute servers is all that viable as a long term strategy — it’s not technically all that hard to require specific signing keys from the server, and if that’s implemented properly there’s not a lot you can do (though crypto is frequently done improperly, sometimes on purpose).

  3. I agree with reBang that #2 is a stretch. Provider’s don’t always get their way.

    Also, I’m had to read the third paragraph a couple of times before I got your intended meaning. Should “causing” in the third paragraph be “cause”? Or perhaps a “thus” before “causing” would

  4. …help make the sentence easier to understand.

    Hit the Post Comment button early.

  5. > I think in most cases platforms die.

    At what point will consumers revolt.

    How long will it take for a platform provider to put the source code into escrow, as a value added feature, causing competitors to follow suit. Before long it’s the norm; platforms cease to die, instead reborn as small open source projects.

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