Ken’ Hess has posted a blog article on ZDNet about how control over your own computer is overrated. This sentiment I feel is an attempt to embarrass people into moving their computing further onto the cloud.
This type of thinking also deeply effects the free and open source culture. Since one of the reasons for using FOSS is ultimate control (and responsibility).
From an individual perspective the goal of personal control is simple: You have this responsibility to provide this service and you do it with this property running this configuration. It’s human nature to want to control directly the service you’re responsible for. The other option is to pass over control to a good friend who you have a good positive relationship with (company or individual is irrelevant).
I think the failure of a speedy transition to “cloud computing” has been a failure in relationship building, but I’m sure that will come along in due time as the industry matures.
From a social perspective, having everyone on the same centralised system can introduce a fragility which can cause some interesting cascading and simple root failures which would be very bad for economy should enough businesses all move to the same few providers.
A lot of the people who would want their services taken care of are already not in a good mood from the 20 years of bullshit from the likes of Microsoft, as providers go we’ve had some fairly nefarious characters in control of everyone’s desktops.
I think it will take a while to turn that around, of course I’m putting my bets on distributed computing using things like the sheva plug or the free software router currently in development, because distributed resources that are properly designed can be much more interesting that centralised service prevision.
What are your thoughts?