From Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Military-Industrial Complex speech:
“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Has this been done yet? How come we can’t make the web more interactive? Right now it’s still relatively static. Each web site is its own little entity. Sites do not integrate together easily. Each site is an island.
If you want to comment on a site with your friends or peers, then those comments must be contained on a site unrelated to the site in question. Like on digg.com, people vote on articles to make them popular, and then can add comments on the site, but those comments only exist on digg.com. If another site like slashdot does the same thing, its comments are not shared with digg.com’s comments. So what’s the point? You have to go to multiple places to get comments on the same subject.
What if there were a service (or even a wider-sweeping protocol) that let you add your friends to it, so that when you go to various web sites, you can leave notes on things you find interesting? So your friends can check out what notes you’ve added to various sites, which look like post-its left on top of the subject area. Or you could leave public notes, so that anyone using the service would see the notes you left. The notes could be anything. Wikipedia could have automated updates to out-of-date information. The notes could be critiques or addendums to paragraphs.
See, what I love about wikipedia is the potential for it to show multiple viewpoints on one issue, instead of a definitive stance that may not be inclusive of everything that issue has come to mean to society. I don’t think they’ve exploited that potential fully but oh well.
This service could turn web sites into breathing, living entities. It would make sites more interactive and more fluid, ever-changing. It’d get rid of the web archipelago that exists right now.