The systems encourage noise, amplify emotions, nurture our worst mob behavior, and encourage endless begging for affirmation. The endless chatter often seems like a proof of William Yeats' claim that "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Is it any wonder that the newest systems want to differentiate themselves by limiting contact and reducing the interaction between people?
Besides performing brand damage control on the external networks or mining employee networks for sales leads, do you really want your employees bringing that mentality to collaborative projects re-engineered to make the most of the "promise" of a shiny, new enterprise social networking platform?
The hidden dark side of Bitcoin
It's a stateless wonder that's going to save us from fiat currency by curbing the ability of governments (or really anyone) from printing their way out of trouble. Hard-money devotees and anyone sweating after the collapse of Cyprus are enamored with it.
But even if the math is sound, there are legitimate questions about whether all that abstraction is really what people want or need. Bits are even more fragile than paper. It's one thing to lose a hard disk with your kid's homework, and it's another to lose your life savings in Bitcoins. Viruses, disk crashes, hackers, and everything else that can go wrong with a computer are even worse when we entrust our nest eggs to them. Yes, most banks are essentially databases with a network of branches, but the people in the network are heavily regulated and used to insuring against fragility and error.
If these are solved with backups and better hacking protection, there's still the question about how much a Bitcoin is worth. There's no intrinsic value, and the marketplace may fluctuate much more than dollars or gold. It's just defined by the marketplace. While the U.S. dollar is theoretically the same, the reserve banking system injects a fair amount of stability. Political control actually matters.
The biggest problem, though, may be the newness. We may find ways to deal with the occasional anonymity and the mathematics, but all of that experimentation will take time. People may not be ready to jump in with both feet. As Ron Paul, the former Congressman from Texas with a history of distrusting central authority said, "If I can't put it in my pocket, I have problems with it."
The hidden dark side of Internet of things
In the future, we're going to be able to log into our cars, our coffeemakers, and even our sneakers. Everything will be collecting data and swapping it with someone else who will use it to feed us even more ads so that we can buy more things with even bigger or better data feeds.
Do we really want the Internet, that breeding ground for computer viruses, to be hooked up to our things? Do we want our car's brakes to have their own IP address in case any junior high student wants to experiment with a distributed denial-of-service attack? The same goes for our gas stove, furnace, or anything else filled with hydrocarbons.