[FoRK] [info] [p2p-research] Autonet - an autonomous internet - call for?participation

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Sep 24 09:27:37 PDT 2009

----- Forwarded message from "Paul D. Fernhout" <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> -----

From: "Paul D. Fernhout" <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com>
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 2009 16:49:52 -0400
To: Peer-To-Peer Research List <p2presearch at listcultures.org>
Subject: Re: [p2p-research] Autonet - an autonomous internet - call
	for	participation
User-Agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20090812)

magius wrote:
>Autonet is a project to create a wireless, global internet that can
>provide more reliability than corporate phone companies by being
>community based and freely licensed.
>Autonet is a project to create a wireless, global internet that can
>provide more reliability than corporate phone companies by being
>community based and freely licensed.
>The cutting off access to The Pirate Bay by BT in the UK (
>http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/251609/bt-blocks-off-pirate-bay.html ) is
>just another sign of the beginning of the end. The fact that the Great
>Firewall of China exists signals that the internet is already obsolete
>and that the Great Firewall of the US is just around the corner. While
>moves against net neutrality began years ago and have been fought,
>nasty laws such as HR4437 and the Total Information Awareness program
>have a way of coming into existence later in the future, slightly
>modified, under different names. The internet as we know it, as a
>place for free exchange of information, as the center of what has been
>called a second 17th century with new ideas, creativity and innovation
>emerging daily, is rapidly coming to an end. We must use these last
>gasps of freedom to route around the disaster and create a truly free

Just to echo this theme, freedom-of-speech, use it or lose it, something I 
wrote back in 2000, envisioning something like the OLPC, as a US$100 
computer inspired by the Cybiko toy (fixed a few typos):
  "[unrev-II] The DKR hardware I'd like to make..."
Imagine what we could have for $1000 by the end of this year [2000] by
integrating technology that already exists:
And a two mile radio range:
  (That link is dead, but it was just a generic consumer walkie-talkie.)
And remember that in five years this entire thing will cost US$100 each.
Consider a couple of these souped up devices given to each village in
Africa. Anyone with $1 billion for true development aid to 500,000
African villages? (This is just the cost of one unfinished dam or one
shut down nuclear plant.)
  Consider millions of these devices airdropped into Iraq and Yugoslavia
-- instead of more expensive cruise missiles! Anybody got $1 billion to
spend on ensuring democracy with a true defense against tyranny in those
places? (This is probably what the U.S. military spends on gas/oil for
a month cruising the area...)
  This is like a system I wanted to develop and deploy pre-Y2K just in
case... But it still has much value in preparing for any potential (natural,
political, economic, biological) disaster, as well as aiding the
development of democracy.
  It's somewhat like the wearable crystals described in The Skills of
Xanadu" by Theodore Sturgeon (available in his book The Golden Helix),
although the one thing it lacks is easy self-replication...
  Developing and then deploying this sort of device is the sort of thing
the UN or a major foundation should fund (if they were on the ball).
But luckily, there is hope from toymakers!

Note that even then I could have told you One Laptop Per Child was a bad 
model -- one or two computers per village is a better model.

I still feel what might make this idea really take off is to piggy-back this 
P2P functionality into some cheap mass-produced toy. :-) But netbooks are 
going there. As are cell phones. In some ways, aspects of this are also more 
a software problem than a hardware problem, because a lot more use of the 
existing network can be made than is as a social network of peers (that is 
the promise of the Social Semantic Desktop idea).

--Paul Fernhout

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