Who Am I?

Toney, Alabama, United States
Software Engineer, Systems Analyst, XML/X3D/VRML97 Designer, Consultant, Musician, Composer, Writer

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Hard Day's Night

Two gents are talking about creating a Metaverse Measurement Index. A commenter worries about his/her/it being tracked. That's reasonable to worry about because that is precisely what these worlds will be increasingly used for. Selling information like that is part of their business model, If you use privately finance worlds that are publicly accessible, you will get exactly that: tracked, hacked and whacked. It is like a Google GMail account: they own your data for all intents and purposes. Free just isn't.... ever.

The troubling quote is this:

""My plan is that you get the data out there on what technologies are being used," he said, "how successfully they are, and how quickly they're growing. It's a very light-handed, market-based way of getting to the standards. If you give people the data, they'll sort it out."

There are a lot of assumptions there but they lead to the conclusion that market tracking is a way to 'get to standards' and that is a real stretch. Keep this in mind:

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said, 'A faster horse.'" - Henry Ford.

You actually can't use 'the wisdom of crowds' to build standards. It doesn't work. That is how HTML became such a mess. There are lots of examples where 'current majorities' are simply samples of a time slice and the zeitgeist is strangely psychotic. When marketing, all of the goals are short term and these analytics make some sense (see "A Hard Day's Night" when George stumbles into the ad firm office).

On the other hand, when doing standards work, you aren't targeting short term effects. You are targeting long term behaviors. Particularly you are targeting long term persistent content because that actually outlives the hardware by a factor of ten. (Software needs about a fifteen year cycle time to recoup investment.)

My intuition is this index is yet-another-bid-for-financing and cred. Movies don't work like software and real-time 3D is a non-linear software system. Trying to mash that into Hollywood economies seems awfully near-sighted and flatlander.

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