Recommended Reading 2011-01-23

A Tunisian demonstrator holds his breadstick like a weapon in front of riot police during a protest against the country's new government in Tunis on January 18, 2011.

Abandon the internet! It’s time to start thinking about its successor.

– The White House, through the Commerce Department, is pushing for internet IDs. I suppose Commerce is probably a slightly less troubling agency than the NSA or DHS, but still. While I welcome anything that might stop YouTube comments, this is not a solution to anything. Even the master password system under discussion is not something anyone should be interested in (via the Daemon Technology Feed).

Popular Science suggests an alternative ‘Terminator scenario‘. The machines won’t necessarily gain sentience and rise up against us, but instead:

We would build powerful military systems that would “take over the large key functions that are done exclusively by humans” and then discover too late that the machines simply aren’t up to the task. “We blink,” he said, “and 10 years later we find out the technology wasn’t far enough along.”

– A really profound and thought-provoking piece on digital life after death. Time to prepare a virtual will.

– Historians have ceded the debate over an American “character” to sociologists (ew). Time to reclaim the mantle, says David M. Kennedy.

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