As I'd posted this poll a week or so back, general direct-dialed telephony, a/k/a PSTN (public switched telephone networks) seem to be in trouble. I think we could be within five years of their total collapse. And no, not just land lines (already about 25% of their peak in much of the US), but _all_ direct-dialed phones: mobile and VOIP included.
The problem, as I'd written before, is paradoxically the _low_ cost of calls. This is inducing tremendous volumes of junk calls, with one ...
@dredmorbius It's the #@*&#@$ topology - any can reach any in one step is a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. That's what's going to take us down. We need something like web of trust to put a distance metric back in; anything that doesn't have one is going to implode.
This is the ball of radius one and all other radii are infinite topology. It works great, if people are willing and familiar that they need to get introductions from other humans in order to connect. Given the success some networks have had with FOAF type layers, I think this can be leveraged and improved upon.
@feonixrift The whole protocol of introductions and references which society and business used to rely on may have some lessons.
The ancient methods were slow, and probably _too_ slow, for modern needs. But a reboot of the general idea might work, and could be based around existing social, community, business, and/or financial institutions based on trust.
Without becoming oppressively Big Brotherish _or_ petty-tyrannical.
I suppose it's *possible* that some kind of absolutely unbiased 'introduction authorities' might emerge from (lol) the 'Free Market' or (more lol) the universities, but, uh.
I don't really think so.
I do think though that either a telephone or an email system that lets you casually fake a 'from' address is *utterly* broken and unfit for the most basic of purposes.
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