Gavin Clabaugh’s got a fun (and wise) new riff on the larger forces shaping our world:
I see this third force everywhere. I see it hiding inside the inaccurately named thing called â€œsocial networking. I see it embedded in â€œAmerican Idol.â€ It follows me to the grocery store. It wakes me up at night. Itâ€™s busy working away on web pages and formatting RSS feeds. Itâ€™s reading your electric meter. Itâ€™s even there when you drive into a parking lot. Itâ€™s monitoring air quality, or temperature, and itâ€™s in that vending machine down the hall tracking the ever-so-important availability of cheese-doodles.
The third force is all about the network and itâ€™s all about the collapse of time. Itâ€™s all about a new network of machines, sensors, monitors, and even some humans, that spend their days tasting the world, and talking to other machines about what theyâ€™ve tasted. Sometimes itâ€™s frightening.
I once characterized the third force as the move â€œfrom sampling to monitoring.â€ I figured soon we wouldnâ€™t need things like statistical sampling to measure our world. I argued that we were increasingly moving to â€œreal-timeâ€ measurements to understand the world. The time and distance between action and feedback would disappear. Itâ€™s come true.