There’s an interesting short editorial in Tech Review about the significance of mesh networks. This is where wireless networks can be made from a vast network of independent, individually owned, volunteer peers, rather than a centralized distribution of wires or radios towers. The essay brings together three themes of Wetmachine.
The technology is an overlay on a self-organizing P2P network, closely related to Croquet and the Internet itself, and a strong interest of Croquet and TCP/IP architect David Reed. There’s “Inventing the Future.”
The essay then mentions how such networks are not owned by anyone, and that this effects commercial network carriers, particularly for the “last mile.” There’s “Tales of the Sausage Factory.” (Indeed, I am indebted to Harold for first exposing me to this powerful technology, right here on Wetmachine.)
Finally, the editor broaches the cybernetic quality of these beasts. Meshes draw inspiration from the behavior of swarming bees, so might not there be emergent properties in such meshes that go beyond sterile function? There’s our host John Sundman, whose “Cheap Complex Devices” draws more than a casual comparison between a swarm and human consciousness — or is it computer consciousness?