We are headed toward topics that will shape the future. And back to the past. Back in the good old days of mainframe architecture, ideas now being put forth in the "cloud computing" arena are commercial rehashes and remashes of old school ideas. As a young girl, I was on the BBS - now I am on Facebook. The portion I was utilizing was set up by a major computer company and was purely an internal site. But large and global. And shared. And the content was created by the users.
If one extrapolates some of these structures out of the computing world we do get a flavour of things. So - whither thou goest? We are in the appropriation, collage, remix and share phase of civilization. We've been there quite a while in the cultural arena. The evolution of this into various parts of our every day lives is quite a neat phenomena. I've gone from mainframe to pc and have been sent back to something resembling the mainframe. How social.
And how economical. My little netbook is a give-a-way. Pretty soon, I'd venture to say we'll get them free in cereal boxes. They will hook into their own little locked homepage upon start-up and run an ad by us before giving us some freedom to roam. A culture of cereal crazed Wheat-a-Bix fans will develop. That seems more than ok to me. On the other hand, if McDonalds joined the netbook marketing give-a-way movement then I would have to call the whole thing evil.