Well, I said I would continue the rainbow post in “a few days”. My apologizes that those few days have turned into a few weeks. Life has managed to keep me busy lately and my postage has suffered.
Anyhow, rainbows are cool! But more importantly collaborative technologies are teh new hotness. Like I mentioned in the previous post, Vinge dedicates his book to the present day sites like Wikipedia, Google, and Ebay which are utilizing the “power of the crowds”. The idea of many people working together is extended in Rainlbow to the point where even the CIA (or at least its future equivalent) utilizes information gathered by the “hobbyist intelligence community”.
Vinge is trying to say that tomorrow’s knowlege worker will face not too little information but too much. The truely powerful must know how to sysnthesise, how to filter. The director of the CIA organization in Rainbow commands tens of thousands of annalists who in turn call upon the millions of hobbyists. All of the decisions ultimately come back to the single director who must have some amazing amouts of information filtering to be able to make any kind of worthwhile decision.
We can see the beginings of this filtering need even today. Whitness the cult of GTD, sites devoted to personal productivity in the information age like lifehacker, books like the four hour work week, feed readers, and our ever increasing email inbox. As the availability of information advances so too must our ability to filter it.