The cloud as a vision of what could be.
In my blog series (and maybe someday book) on the Syncverse I talked about a lot of concepts that the internet could help humanity as an entity improve. Freedom, communication, structure and information processing are all things that will continue to improve the further into the cloud age we head.
It is the future but it is also a view of what could have been better in the past. We began the computer age in the mainframe era, centralized computing that allowed multiple people to have the same view of data. The data was far more limited then than now so of course what you could do with that information was also therefore limited. And if you ever spent more than an hour on a green screen you will understand the eye strain concept created out of the initial era.
The problem now is the reality of crowd sourcing. That is the single thing about cloud computing that I think will change the world. In the time of Edison you had one really smart guy (and quite a few helpers) working on a core set of problems in a specific geography. They were limited by what they knew, where they lived and the very cultural experience that led them on the path. Yes they eventually succeeded, but what if they were able to crowd-source that idea?
What if they were able to throw the idea out to the ether and have hundreds, thousands even millions of people look at the idea? Some of them not bound by the rules and strictures and that may enable a solution faster. A crowd-sourced solution becoming more and more flexible over time. It is the inherent promise of cloud computing.