Fascinating, and watch the videos for these links.
Part of me thinks this is absolutely superb and it has all kinds of beneficial real world applications. As well as all kinds of varied inventive and fictional implications.
Another part of me says, “Remember, your government loves you…”
The last thing these stories and videos made me think of is this: I have often wondered if the Industrial revolution did not occur in the ancient world, as in the modern, because technology was basically carefully controlled and the mechanisms for spreading and disseminating it were not readily available.
For instance in ancient Greece and Rome and in Byzantium (as well as elsewhere) you had some fairly moderate degree of useful technology rather widely disseminated, but only rather small and isolated pockets of much higher technology (such as Greek Fire) and information (great libraries and invention facilities – museums), like at Alexandria (for instance).
But our world may be turning out to be the opposite in function but with the same general end-effect. You have so many pockets of really high, and often advanced proprietary technology, and such a crowded marketplace for disseminating this information and these artifacts (the internet for instance) that it may be becoming nearly impossible for even the most advanced technologies to gain a proper dissemination and general marketing foothold.
That is the sheer number of extremely crowded clusters of high tech projects and the fact that so many highly valuable scientific and technological and business projects are competing at the same time along a very crowded information highway may actually either be reducing the spread of beneficial new technologies, or regulating and reducing that spread to very small and tightly controlled niches and geographies.
In other words we are the working opposite of our ancestors, they had a relatively small number of high tech advances they were creating as the result of a relatively small number of individual geniuses but the ability to share information and the desire to keep such advances secret probably greatly limited the spread of their beneficial advances and technologies.
On the other hand we have a huge number of very important projects underway simultaneously, at countless facilities and under the auspices of hundreds of thousands of brilliant people, all competing for attention at the same time, and the overall net effect is that once again we are subtly suppressing the spread of our own advances and technologies.
Our sheer volume of success is making it almost impossible for everything that should flourish to actually flourish.
As to the last story I am sure we are at a much more advanced stage of development by now.