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Public Email-IM Booths

city government public computers on street corners
  (+3, -9)(+3, -9)
(+3, -9)
  [vote for,

There should be public communication booths like telephone booths but that have really streamlined access to email, IM and Google.
JesusHChrist, Sep 18 2005

Steve Mann http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~mann/
Cyborg [JesusHChrist, Sep 23 2005]

Singularity http://www.accelera...lligencehowsoon.htm
[JesusHChrist, Sep 23 2005]

List of Human Rights http://www.yourrigh...-rights/index.shtml
Unfortunately, to this date no Article 15: Right to Google. Unless of course you'd class it as torture. [hidden truths, Sep 23 2005]

JHC's Kurzweil link http://www.kurzweilai.net/
(You need to include the http:// bit) [angel, Sep 24 2005, last modified Sep 27 2005]

Kiosk http://www.f1kiosks.co.uk/#
First hit. [skinflaps, Sep 24 2005]

if you like use that computer to make paper messages http://www.esnailer.com/
[beanangel, Oct 30 2008]

Public wifi booths http://m.auburnpub....l?mobile_touch=true
[JesusHChrist, Nov 18 2014]


       Why? Public access computers are already provided in many libraries. Please do not waste my tax dollars on your idle electronic chatter.
DrCurry, Sep 18 2005

       Yeah, you're losing me at the "city goverment" thing. It might be feasible to have corporately owned "phone booth" type dealios which you pay by credit or whatever for googling on the run.   

       Not to be confused with an internet cafe.
contracts, Sep 18 2005

       Privately run internet phone booths already exist in the UK. I don't see what more would be gained by city and borough councils opening any more.
st3f, Sep 18 2005

       Dealios: breakfast cereal in the shape of various currency symbols ¢, £, ¥, $, etc.
bristolz, Sep 18 2005

       "Web." It's called "Web". What you want access to is the "World-Wide Web", not just the website of a single large corporation.
jutta, Sep 18 2005

       Jutta, your comment is mfd - naming.
contracts, Sep 18 2005

       I'm complaining about a conceptual error that happens to pander to a big corporation, and happens to deny the work of thousands of people, many of them volunteers, many of them academics. It's a kind of error that's frequently made on this site, and frequently made by this poster.
jutta, Sep 18 2005

       I like the idea. But it's alraeady baked. There's one near the bottom of my road, looks like a telephone box - actually you can browse the web etc... BT do them.   

       [OT]I tried to get Royal Mail to issue people with groups of personal e-mail addresses which they could keep for life, years ago. - The idea being that you'd have one for personal use, one for friends, one for business another for "spam-allowed" mails, another for government use etc.   

       I suggested that they could charge if people wanted text or images printed (at post-offices), and could provide data on CD (charged also) -I never got a response.
Dub, Sep 18 2005

       jutta: given that "Googling" has come to stand for "searching the web" the same way "Hoovering" stands for "using a vacuum cleaner," I think you're fighting a losing battle there. Until the Next Big Thing comes along, of course.   

       Maybe AOL's real problem was that you couldn't say it easily, so people like JHC talk about IMing, instead of AOLing.
DrCurry, Sep 18 2005

       Only thousands? :-)   

       Thanks for clarifying. Still, you can't help but defer to innovators like Xerox, Kleenex, et cetera.
contracts, Sep 18 2005

       Like Tannoy and Hoover!
pooduck, Sep 18 2005

       Wasn't that an 80's cop show?
quaero curvus, Sep 18 2005

       By saying "Google" over and over I only mean to make the point that the access that Google provides is enough of a step above the access that was provided before Google, in terms of its simplicity, strength and speed, that it should be integrated into the culture in the form of a basic right rather than a competitive edge. I think that the difference between the level of access that Google was the first to provide, (just in terms of the simplicity, bredth and speed), and the level of access that was available before Google, is enough of a difference -- it changes the playing field enough that access to the playing field has to be garunteed for all involved or there wont be any game. So hmm, what I am trying to say is that a certain level of access to information on the Internet is made, by the access itself, not a complicated patentable thing but a basic right like the rights in the 1st amendment of the American Constitution, which basically protects the right to communicate. Google makes the world a much different and more dangerous place, enough I think so that it would justify going beyond the regular procedure for incorporating something new into the culture. The problem is that Google makes the people who use it so much more powerful than the people who don't use it, that, if it continues to not be available to the segment of society who are never going to get it together to buy a computer, then the divide between these two groups is going to get out of control, to the detriment of both groups. So basic access to a simple quick powerful search of the Web has to be a right like the right to preach on the Boston Common. Since the right to search what is already out there is sort of like the right of each part of an individual's body to access the individual's memory, if information access was to be regulated by a government, the Federal government should be concerned with search, which treats the whole system as an individual with a memory that pertains to the whole. And the right of the indivdual members of society to communicate with eachother, the record of which eventually becomes the memory of the overall "individual" should be taken care of locally, so email and IM and video phone should be local government things.
JesusHChrist, Sep 18 2005

       You have a point. Everyone _should_ have the web on their wrist... And it's happening slowly, but it is happening. I just think back to when I was at school, on a summer-job, playing with what must-have-been a fairly early internet, when you had to call up to pre-arrange someone to expact an e-mail from you! - Now look. Who in the UK/US much of the rest of the world has never at least heard of it? Sure, there'll be a couple of thousand million, but most will at least know what's available even if technology's not quite there yet... Give it time.
Dub, Sep 19 2005

       The Constitution giving you the right to communicate is not the same as the treasury giving you the means to do so. You have the right to take a holiday in Tahiti; do you expect other people to pay for that as well?
angel, Sep 19 2005

       [angel] I do if going to Tahiti would make me so much smarter than other people who didn't go to Tahiti that we were effectively no longer in competition. I'm saying that the level of access that Google and now other search engines give to the internet is powerful enough so that it can't be considered as a luxury or else the digital divide will work to the detriment of both groups. That kind of access should be considered like federaly funded highways, or more accurately like access to the ocean and to waterways.
JesusHChrist, Sep 19 2005

       "The problem is that Google makes the people who use it so much more powerful than the people who don't use it"   

       It's just a search engine, man.
contracts, Sep 19 2005

       //access to the ocean//
You already have access to the ocean; you're asking me to buy you a boat. You're saying that if I can do something better than you can, the taxpayer should pay for you to take lessons. I pay for my internet access because someone has to, and as I'm benefitting, that someone should be me; you want me to pay for yours as well because otherwise I have better access to information than you do. If you think that's important, why not pay for it yourself?
angel, Sep 20 2005

       //buy you a boat// not like a boat but like the ability to hold your breath underwater.   

       //you want me to pay for yours as well because otherwise I have better access to information than you do.// I want to be a part of you like Google is a part of you. You will be better for it.
JesusHChrist, Sep 21 2005

       I just went on it now - nice drawings JesusH
chocolateraindrops, Sep 21 2005

       //You will be better for it.//
If I felt that I would be better for having paid for your internet access, I would do so voluntarily. The mere fact that you have to coerce me to do so indicates that I would *not* be better for it.
Have a little fishy for advocating socialism without even attempting to justify it.
angel, Sep 21 2005

       Thanks chocolate.   

       //If I felt // What I'm saying is it's not fair to say "i" and "you" when you have Google and "I" don't. An "I" with Google is not the same as an "I" without Google. By not giving me Google you are taking away my basic human rights.
JesusHChrist, Sep 21 2005

       It's just a search engine, man.
contracts, Sep 21 2005

       "Not having Google" is exactly the same as "not having internet access". If you have internet access, you "have" Google.
If not having the benefit of internet access unless you pay for it takes away your human rights, why does being forced to pay for something I don't use and don't benefit from (your internet access) not take away mine?
angel, Sep 22 2005

       To play devil's advocate, I'm sure there are plenty of taxes that you pay that you don't reap the benefits of. This would be just one. On the other hand, of course, I would like to see which human right is violated by not having access to Google.   

       I think [contracts] seems to have the best attitude on this one anyway.
hidden truths, Sep 22 2005

       //there are plenty of taxes that you pay that you don't reap the benefits of.//
Damn right there are, far too many. That's no excuse to create another one.
angel, Sep 22 2005

       //"Not having Google" is exactly the same as "not having internet access". //   

       I agree.   

       //If you have internet access, you "have" Google.//   

       I agree.   

       //If not having the benefit of internet access unless you pay for it takes away your human rights, why does being forced to pay for something I don't use and don't benefit from (your internet access) not take away mine?//   

       Me "Paying" for it includes learning that I need it, waiting until the internet is accesible to people with disabilities and a lot of other stuff that is not going to happen before the whole s-house goes up in the proverbial flames. "You" paying is not as bad as you think because increasingly, "you" doesn't mean "you", the more 'you" and people like you learn from the kind of quick access that Google affords. "You" increasingly means "us" in that "you" are becoming more and more informed by the collective memory. My point is that we are going to have to start thinking about the breakdown of the individual pretty soon anyway - in terms of AI, personal augmentation, and collective intelligence, so why not start with non-invasive collective intelligence like Google. You'll be happy we did.   

       // taxes//   

       Instead of thinking of it as taxes you can think of it as insurance, or better, excersize.   

       //which human right//   

       Google is part of me. I feel violated when you take it away from me. So I guess the human right not to have other people messing around in my body.   

       [contracts] the correct punctuation would be:   

       It's just a search-engine-man.
JesusHChrist, Sep 23 2005

       [JesusHChrist] I have a lot of respect for you and many of the ideas that you have posted here. That said, it might be worth dropping the "Google is my right" thing, as it is only making you look bad.   

       Google is a search engine similar to many others. It is in no way a human right (see Link on this topic). It is not a part of you. It is a privilege enjoyed by those who have the capability to access it. Whether it helps them in their daily life is irrelevant as many other such privileges do.   

       That you are a particularly avid fan of it is fine. Personally I quite like apples. What I don't do is claim that, since apples are good for you, and eating one may in the long term make me healthier than Bobby McGee who doesn't eat apples, the government should use taxpayers money so that I can eat apples for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
hidden truths, Sep 23 2005

       thanks hidden. Articles 9, 10, and 11, and Article 2 of the first Protocol. I do have a tendency to be a bit infantile about the "Google is my right" thing. I don't actually feel that strongly that Google is my personal right -- just that Google is sort of a mile marker in history that serves as a good place to start thinking differently about information, law and culture.
JesusHChrist, Sep 23 2005

       //we are going to have to start thinking about the breakdown of the individual pretty soon anyway//
Why? I, as an individual, have no intention of breaking down.
You appear to be saying that I should be prepared to pay for your internet access because I would gain from it, the standard socialist argument; it that were the case I would pay for it voluntarily and would not need to be coerced by taxation. As it is evidently not the case, I'm not prepared to pay; that's why you need to tax me.
angel, Sep 23 2005

       //no intention of breaking down// I agree that individuals - the way we define them now - should not have to break down. But eventually the definition of "individual" might have to change. People communicate within themselves, the different parts of a brain communicate to eachother, they just do it really fast, so it's easy to define them as an individual compared to other individuals with whom the brain communicates relatively slowly. But the faster and more powerful external communication becomes the more people will be able to augment themselves or act collectively as individuals, and the law will eventually have to reflect this.   

       I don't mean to say that "you" should pay for my internet access but that 'I" should pay for "my" internet access, with a redeffinition of what "I" means. Money and information are two ways of looking at the same thing, they are convenient ways of defining the slow and fast aspects of exchange, so what I am trying to say is that the age of "free" information is coming to an end and that along with having to keep track of all of the exchange of information we do we will have to start thinking about changing the long standing individualization boarders that have traditionally been convenient to put around people because of their relatively slow rate of information exhange compared to the rate of information exchange between different parts of individuals. So I think that eventually it is going to be easier to define people more like "stuff" than like "things", rather than keeping track of every act of exchange as an individual -- although obviosly our language the way it is now is not going to be very useful in that context.
JesusHChrist, Sep 23 2005

       \\Articles 9, 10, and 11, and Article 2 of the first Protocol\\ You're kidding, right? Google does not constitute your right to freedom of religion, free speech, assembly or education. This is slightly fanatical sounding.   

       Although I'm seriously considering switching my vote to a [+] for the phrase \\ 'I" should pay for "my" internet access, with a redeffinition of what "I" means\\.
hidden truths, Sep 23 2005

       So now you're happy for your internet access to be paid for by yourself as long as you can change the definition of 'yourself' to mean 'everyone else'?
//act collectively as individuals//
Huh? How can that happen?
//Money and information are two ways of looking at the same thing//
How do you figure that? Information is a resource, with inherent value, while money is intrinsically useless but is a medium of exchange. A dealer in information may exchange it for labour so he doesn't have to dig up his own potatoes ("If you harvest my vegetables, I'll tell you how to grow them."), or he may exchange it for money (which he then uses to buy goats or dental work or Lear jets). In the latter case, the money is simply an interim method of storing a notion of value.
//it is going to be easier to define people more like "stuff" than like "things", rather than keeping track of every act of exchange as an individual//
Do I understand that your justification for socialism is that we are all part of some gestalt entity, so when I buy stuff for you, I'm actually buying it for me?
angel, Sep 23 2005

       \\Articles 9, 10, and 11, and Article 2 of the first Protocol\\ Actually I think the law that the people who are thinking seriously about this kind of the thing at the moment cite is amendment 14, although I am not sure of that and looking it up am not sure why that one would be important. I think the important concept though, is privacy. That's a big point for the supreem court judge that they're trying to decide on now which I've heard refered to in terms of technological change. I personally don't know much about history, don't know much biology, but people I read on the Internet are talking about privacy, as in where do you draw the defining lines around a "person", as the main philisophical issue with accelerating technological change. See links for talk of the technological singularity, and talk of personhood as a concept and how it is changing.   

       //act collectively as individuals -- Huh? How can that happen?//   

       I appologize for not being clear. Ray Kurzweil and Nick Bostrom are two people who say it better than I can. See links to "singularity" or Google "technological singularity". Most of the time these guys talk about Artificial Intelligence and Human Augmentation being the most probable routes to a technological singularity via a "smarter than human intelligence" but sometimes, and I am personally a big fan of this, they talk about a possible route being a situation in which people act collectively to create an intelligence that through speed of communication is effectively an individual. One way to do this would be by using invasive brain to brain technological mediation, like trading electro chemical brain signals. Another way would be to give two people enough mutual control and input to allow them to learn to navigate and communicate as one person -- for instance a set up where one person could specialize in one kind of thinking while remotely controlling and influencing a person who specialized in another kind of thinking. But what is more exciting to me is the possibility of coming up with new forms of communication that would enable people to communicate between eachother close to as fast as the different parts of the individual bodies can communicate amongst themselves. Possible non-invasive forms that this kind of communication could take might be 1). a hand to hand language that uses finger to finger expression of code using compression algorhythms -- sort of like two way meditative typing, or 2). a system of visual and haptic feedback set up using loops created between two people, by making full eye contact, body contact and aural contact - by singing unison tones and using the harmonic beats as a clock to synchronize other communication. If you are still reading this you can look at the ideas, "Sexularity", "Video Find Yourself," and a few others on my profile. If not, I don't blame you, I sometimes wish I could just get up and leave when I start talking like this.   

       //Information -- money// My take on is is that, on a really basic level information and money are just measures. Information is just a lot more fluid, but they are on a continuum. Here's another link -- Fred Fredkin who say that everything is information. Steven Wolfram was influenced by Fredkin, I think. I just get all this stuff off Google anyway. Fredkin thinks that the labor and the potatoes and money and the Lear jet are all made out of information.   

       //justification for socialism -- we are all part of some gestalt entity// I guess, sort of, but I am more trying to say that the language that we are talking about all of this in, has worked for "us" for the last few thousand years because "we" have been within spitting distance of a certain level of complexity that has been relatively constant. The language was created by a bunch of "individuals" acting in competition with eachother on a certain playing field that remained constant enough to make it worthwhile continuing to refine the language and operating as if all of the individuals were equal, that is what human rights are about - assuming that everyone is equal. But everyone is equal only because no one has an unfair advantage. I am saying that Google is approaching an unfair advantage. But complexity is always increasing, exponentially infact, and individualism is not as concrete a concept as the language that it created would have you (no surprise) believe. And so now that the practical definition of an individual is changing our language and laws are going to change to, to accomodate reality.   

       But I'm not doing these guys justice, you should just stop reading this if you haven't already and go read the KurzweilAI site.
JesusHChrist, Sep 24 2005

       No, you're not doing them justice. Reading your anno (yes, all of it) I assumed that Kurzweil et al were just slightly nutty sci-fi nerds. Having looked at the linked site (feel free to fix your link and delete mine), and at the Wikipedia entry and a few others, I have come to the conclusion that they're totally barking mad. He made some great synthesizers but if I'd known he was one of those Transhumanist moonbats, I probably wouldn't have bothered looking further. Oh, and that 'Ramona' thing on Kurzweil's site? Possibly the worst Turing-bot I've ever seen.
Anyway, I still don't want to pay for your internet access.
angel, Sep 24 2005

       Agreed: those guys are moonbats, Ramona is bad advertising. But I don't wan't you to pay for my internet access, I want to pay for my internet access -- I don't want there to even be a you. ;-)
JesusHChrist, Sep 24 2005

       Transcript: R:"I just read a book by Heinlin 'title'. Have you read it?"
S:"No I haven't."
R:"I think it just great. What do you think?"
S:"I just told you I did not read it."
R:"It reads so fluently don't you think?". S:"I am not interested in Heinlin!"
R:"I am glad you do not find Heinlin interesting".
S:"You serious?"
R:"Thank you for that information."

       Anyways. I think [JesusHChrist] that you are confusing 'needing' with 'wanting'. A person does not 'need' an internet connection to get information. The human rights act is about what a person needs not about what they might want.
Acces to the www does not give me an advantage over you. Many people who have access do not use it optimally at all or only on a basis of wanting to know.

       What you would get, is drunk people googling for "sex" or something equivalent of that.
Susan, Sep 24 2005

       OK, I am confusing needing with wanting, but I think the line between those two things is -- like the traditional definitions of "me" and "you" -- starting to break down, not because of anything new, but because they have always been on a continuum but the distance between the two has been great enough for us to conveniently treat them as completely separate. I think that after people get all the googling for sex out of their systems and settle down so that they are not always reacting violently to imballences in their systems, they will find that what they need and what they want are surprisingly similar.   

       A person the way we define that word now does not 'need' an internet connection to get information but as people get more and more connected the standard will become higher and people without an internet connection will be increasingly out of the loop. Imagine a speech recognition set up where Google constantly displays searches of keywords that you are using in conversation. Now imagine that instead of just one person with that set up two people have that set up and are connected together haptically, visually, aurally and can use their double processing power to influence eachothers actions. I don't know how old everyone here is, but I remember a time when people just lied all the time, because they knew that the chances that someone could look up what they were talking about and call them on it were so slim. It was called the 1980s -- a long ago and far away place.   

       The human rights act defines a person, it says that a person is a thing that we give these rights to. The more fluidly that people learn to operate collectively the more and more entities we are going to have to attribute these rights to.   

       I understand what you are saying about people who have access not using it optimally. I don't think access to the internet forces people to be more than human, I just think it gives people this potential. And the more people who achieve the potential, the more competition there will be and the further the sub-optimal users will fall behind. It is still all future talk, although if you read the Kurzweil link the future is approaching us exponentially so we better get ready.
JesusHChrist, Sep 24 2005

       How much of this is still about the free internet and how much is about the "Necessary internet" and "You and I" theories?
hidden truths, Sep 24 2005

       Your arguments are too dense for me too read, my friends. I think I like the idea of turning the whole country into one big Wi-Fi zone through the use of balloons with routers on them (that was the gist of the idea in Popular Science) and then you can access your shit yourself through whatever device you may have, instead of through a device that is locked in place and paid for with my tax dollars (I guess I'll start paying taxes one of these days, like when I get a job).
Eugene, Sep 24 2005

       [Eugene] I can access my shit perfectly on the bathroom. I don't need balloons for that.   

       [JesusHChrist] What is the power that google holds? How am I more powerfull if I have access to it?
Susan, Sep 24 2005

       //How much of this is still about the free internet and how much is about the "Necessary internet" and "You and I" theories?// Sorry, I remember that the orriginal track was supposed to be public internet. I think they're all related. Nothing is really free, the internet will be necessary the way a spinal cord is, and eventually in place of "you" and "I" will be just people, as in, oops you got some people on your shirt sleve."   

       //balloons// nice one. Here's another one. I went to a peace rally today and everone was holding up signs. I was thinking wouldn't it be nice if people always carried around signs that displayed what the last thing they had said was. isn't that already a HB idea?   

       //What is the power that google holds? How am I more powerfull if I have access to it?// Google was the first thing to do with computers in my experience that responded in a significant way to the traditional user centered question, "why does it have to be so f-ing complicated?" which I think is a really legitimate question and one that sort of echoes down to the level of cosmology, and one that needs to be addressed, and one that people have made an entire history out of not addressing. I think that getting pornography or finding stock quotes or using language at all is not even the beginning of what Google is good for. The significance of Google when we look back on it will be above all it's infantileness, but also it's simplicity, and it's relative power and speed. And those things will echo long past the success of the actual company. So I think you are more powerful when you access it because it gives you a gist of the direction things are going in and allows you to think about that in a hands on way, rather than that it is so great for looking up the names of aquaintances, which it IS really great for. Can't you just not stop using it? If I didn't have to go to work or eat I would sit there and use it all day. The only reason I keep myself away from it anymore is because I know it will be a let down when I have to stop. Hmm. Google addiction.
JesusHChrist, Sep 25 2005

       //So I think you are more powerful when you access it because it gives you a gist of the direction things are going in and // I search on the internet and I find answers; which can be interpreted in different ways. The way I think things are going to evolve, does not necessarily mean that they will involve in that direction. And me forming an opinion based on the info found on the internet does not make me more powerfull then someone who found that info in the newspapers.
Susan, Sep 25 2005

       //I search on the internet and I find answers// I think the power of Google is that you can get a really quick overview of the popular consensus on topics rather than that you can get answers to targeted research questions. Sometimes Google is good for getting the "right" answer but more often it is good for interacting with as you go, changing your set of questions with each search, asking short questions and getting a whole bunch of short answers. I think of it like being in an infinite hotel where the rooms are arranged by keyword and you can run up and down the halls, qickly opening each door to see what they're talking about in the, for instance, marsupial aquarium room.   

       //which can be interpreted in different ways// Ok, I'll stop saying "Google". Search engines, the way they have been since Google pioneered modern search, let you see how lots of different people are interpreting things, so you can make up your own mind, rather than requiring that you trust one "authoritative" source. Although, come to think of it, Google is sort of one "authoratative" source.   

       //The way I think things are going to evolve, does not necessarily mean that they will involve in that direction./ / But the majority of all the yous out there will get the prediction righter than they would have if they hadn't had as thourough access to eachother's interpretations.   

       //And me forming an opinion based on the info found on the internet does not make me more powerfull then someone who found that info in the newspapers// not for one thing, but for many. You have the power to search the NY times and then the SF paper and then al Jezira etc where the person with the newspaper will at least have to run around the library to do that. dont get me wrong though, I still like hard copy newspapers. People, especially old men, develop entire languages with the sound their papers make when they rustle the pages, and they talk to eachother across subway cars and in libraries and at bus stops. And most of them don't make the connection between the language that they are reading in the newspaper and the language they are speaking by rustling their papers to eachother, even if they are fluent and sometimes eloquent at both.
JesusHChrist, Sep 27 2005

       You notice that everytime you dredge this idea back to the top of the recent list it just winds up getting more fishbones. I think it might be time to let this one rest [JHC].
hidden truths, Sep 27 2005

       I like the idea as it presents governments with an additional trivial communicatiobns monitoring challenge Plus as I like the idea of lcd screens with video sensors as part of the semiconductor these public booths could be used to transmit truth verified communications particularly with digital thermography as described with the anbar patent   

       anyway just now there is a way to send paper messages absent postage at http://www. esnailer.com/ thus you could write paper letters from your public computer if you like
beanangel, Oct 30 2008


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