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A Middle Tech Society Without Access to the Net
(12-02-2017, 03:20 AM)Vaktus Wrote: And tying this to OA, could there exist a middle tech society that has gotten rid of access to the net? perhaps for some cultural or religious reasons?

It's totally conceivable that an OA society might set up a Lo Tek zone where certain classes of technology, infrastructure or social organisations are arbitrarily banned. No need to go so far as deep rooted ideological reasons or autocratic enforcement; this could just be done for fun and interest. The same way as there are all sorts of events IRL where we deliberately isolate ourselves from some of the technology available to us for fun (from camping to burning man to ashrams). I can't see how such a situation would arise other than this and be stable. Networking computers is just too simple and broad an idea with too many benefits not to occur at some point (and require extreme, contrived situations to prevent).

One thing I'm struggling with is exactly what would count here as "net access". Does a system of pneumatic tubes carrying hard drives rapidly between computers on request count? If that's not allowed (because it's essentially a high-latency network) then how about a human courier system? It's still a high-latency network but requires human labour to run. I hope this question makes sense, essentially I'm asking what exactly is the dividing line between "allowed" and "not allowed". Is it the bandwidth/latency of the network? The level of automation? The storage of data requiring a general-purpose computer to access?

In any case the rule I'm going to run with which I think covers the assumption of the scenario and is broad reaching enough is: Thou Shalt Not Transmit Stored Data On Demand. Following this rule...

Live transmissions of data (phone calls, radio, TV etc.) are acceptable, all those things still exist. Stored data transmissions are also allowed but as they cannot be done on demand it means that there must be a schedule/waiting list that is rigorously stuck too. For some things this results in scenarios that are very common, TV reverts back to being planned in advance with published guides and if you miss the transmission you're out of luck. However that rule also means that for a lot of information you will have to physically go and retrieve it yourself because the person with it is banned from sending it to you by any means. You won't be allowed to call up a book shop and order a book sent to your house (that's a slippery slope that leads to TCP/IP!), you will have to go to the shop. Similarly if you work in an office and call someone for a file they wont be able to read it to you or send it to you, just locate it and put it to one side for you to go get. This is a pretty bizarre set up but an interesting one to play around with, it feels like the terragen version of a scrapheap challenge (but at a much larger scale).

I'm quite busy this weekend so don't have time to post more but I have some thoughts on what this world might look like from the perspective of a student, a scholar, a politician, a businessmen, a homemaker. Will jot down notes and post when time permits.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!

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RE: A Middle Tech Society Without Access to the Net - by Rynn - 12-03-2017, 12:33 AM

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