emergent crypto anarchy: an index of heady futurism

We're heading to a future where all of the world will be caught in an unstoppable conversation. Cheap hardware will build a wireless network that spans the globe and allow anyone to use it. Software will make it easy to share facts, ideas and files easily and unstoppably. Data techniques will allow us to filter for the things we like or trust and ensure our information is kept secure. LogicError is a catalog of the technologies that are coming together to make this future a reality.


Inexpensive wireless hardware is already here and catching on quickly. As these devices get cheaper and more powerful, we'll begin to see one large community network that spans the globe with a cost of little or nothing to join in. Combine this with the more efficient ways we've found to use the spectrum and we'll have one global, pervasive network for everything, a physical extension of the current Internet.

Cheap computer hardware and wearable computers will make it possible for people to remain connected to these networks anytime anywhere, using them to get whatever information they need. Tablet computers and digital paper will replace old means of sharing information with new net-connected ones that are easily updatable and accessible over the net.


Emergent networks or "P2P" will make it easier for us to share content, storage and processing power. Trust and reputation metrics will let your friends and heroes take advantage of it. And ad-hoc networks will let us do it all without a central authority, bottleneck or choke point.

New distributed hash tables will make file sharing fast, easy, unstoppable and potentially anonymous. They'll also make a new breed of superworms possible, although capability-secure systems will help prevent such attacks. Multi-peer downloading tools will let you get files faster by downloading from everyone who has a copy at once.

Distributed storage networks will allow us to create a worldwide database and storage system, where resources are automatically allocated to popular information or important people. Global archiving networks will make sure that nothing's ever lost and important history is preserved for posterity. New searching tools and semantic web technology will make it possible to ask questions of the entire net and get back trusted, relevant responses.

Distributed processing systems will allow you to donate your excess CPU time to worthy projects like searching for aliens, curing cancer and rendering new movies. And in return, you'll get some extra processing power when you need it. Slow tasks can be made much faster by letting your other computers and your friends computers help with some of the work.


Cryptography will let us share our work with the world without having to worry about our privacy being invaded or our private data read. We'll also be able to build voting systems and anonymous communication channels where people can make decisions and hold conversations without their privacy being invaded. Digital signatures will let us make sure that things were written by the people who claim to have written them and let us download from random people and still be sure that we're getting an untampered copy of a file.

Collaborative filters and trust metrics will let us get answers from the people we believe in, rather than the ones the media has decide to ask. We'll be able to get the kind of information we're interested from a news network that's contributed to by anyone who has something to say. Hear stories about the things you care about told by the people who were involved and not fed through the filter of a news reporter who doesn't know about the subject.