Brian: Lots of good points. But, as you and I have discussed many times, I think we're just now at the midpoint of the information information revolution.
Much as the Roman (Persian?) roads signaled the midpoint of the agricultural revolution and the Model T ford the midpoint of the industrial revolution, so the iPhone (Blackberry, Android) heralds that we've crossed the midpoint of the information revolution and are sliding into the next twenty or thirty years of it until the biological revolution takes hold.
The thing about the second half of these revolutions is that technology (roads, steel, silicon), as you say, becomes mundane enough that it impacts the vast citizenry. We shift from a way of life that is less focused on technology development than it is on consumerism.
The mass production of the Model T Ford leads rather directly to suburbanization and the disintegration of the nuclear family - blame Henry Ford for the high divorce rate! Who could have foreseen that?
I think we're entering a decade of mass virtualization of the real world onto the Internet. And somewhere in that contiguity of the Internet of Things and the Semantic Web our world changes forever.
I do not know if all of this is a good thing or a bad thing. I'm from an older generation and it is easy for me to unplug. My adult children, not nearly so much. But there's no escaping it. I think a compelling argument has already been made that those who can best utilize this technology will outstrip their peers. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer at times like these.
I think the flaw in human evolution that ultimately takes us into the biological revolution is our inability to multi task well. As knowledge doubles every year and as more and more of the real world becomes ubiquitously, virtually available 24/7 via the Internet we will have to find a way to deal with all of this.
Thank you, God, for these opposable thumbs!
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.