[e2e] Future Internet Engineering

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Mon Mar 1 14:45:15 PST 2010

Jon - excellent piece.

I agree that the mania around the Future Internet (especially the idea 
that we MUST have a Clean Slate) seems to have been a temporary reaction 
by a research community to a funding structure problem, or perhaps a 
process of Bandwagon Joining by people who saw a new bandwagon that 
seemed to have political traction.

Bandwagons and Clean Slates are rhetorical moves that can have enormous 
value in shaking a clogged bureaucratic process - so there's not 
necessarily anything wrong with them, but they have indeed become 
unlikely to produce "good science" or "good engineering" or anything 
else, now that they are no longer shaking anything up.

That said, the idea that one might be able to solve problems without 
Waiting for Obama or Waiting for IETF or Waiting for Copenhagen is one 
of the inspiring things about the Internet in comparison to the idea 
that one must Wait for DARPA or Wait for NSF to fund a zillion CS and EE 

We might be able to start a small skunk works to think about 
decentralized solutions to managing the energy flux that impinges on the 
geosystem, to both avoid absorbing too much energy and disrupting the 
planet's inhabitants, while at the same time providing support for 10 
Billion future inhabitants.

That might be based on a few principles of the sort you describe, and an 
approach that doesn't require top-down agreement by all the stakeholders 
who want to control it.


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