In some discussion group we just settled, we were asked to write down what would be the most important for us in our lives. And to our big surprise 90% youngsters in the group used the words "recognition" or "social recognition". There wasn't any significant discussion before that could have biased this informal survey. It was surprising enough to catch my attention.
20 years later, here is how I explain this to myself. It is known for many years now that our brain has special centers responsible of fundamental drives in our behavior. These centers have been detected and localized by changes in people's behavior when altered by an accident or a disease. The drives are related to hunger, libido, aggressivity/love, etc.
Assuming that mankind is the product of an evolution driven by natural selection, the existence of such drive centers makes sense. It ensures perennity of our species from the biological and the physiological perspective. Maybe the social perspective did not get the same attention.
To me, the existence of a drive for social recognition would also make sense because it pushes toward social coherence and cohesion and thus also to stability while being flexible enough to preserve the capability of our society to evolve and adapt to context changes.
This social recognition drive is thus equivalent to sexual drive, with all the possible related pathology. Social recognition compulsion can for instance lead to mythomania or eccentric behavior.
So my impression, if you allow me to push the logic to its extrema, is that social network sites are a variant of porn sites. They just tickle the brain centers driving our behavior.
I would thus say that social networking is directly related to the social recognition drive, which is itself a kind of attractive magnetic force required to get social cohesion and coherence. If this is true, animals would show the same fundamental drive, and why not, ETs too.
Minimizing latency was one of the main aspects driving the design of the DITP protocol. You may check wikipedia for a definition of latency in the networking context.
While network speed has still allot of room to increase, network latency doesn't. Today 80GB/s backbone fiber links are getting common, and we know that there is no limit to reach Tera Byte/s speed or even above. We can easily achieve this by frequency multiplexing or adding more parallel fibers. So we have plenty of room to extend the number of Bytes/s we can send. We can expect a network speed gain of a factor of 100 or maybe even 1000 in the next 25 years.
On the other hand we have a hard and very close limit in transmission latency. This is all the fault of the speed of light limit (~300.000 Km/s). See the numbers. The distance between Paris (France) and New York (USA) is ~ 6000 Km. So it takes 20ms for a single bit to reach the other end and there is no way to lower this time unless we find some "worm hole" in our knowledge of physics.
We are still far from this lower bound limit, but only by a factor 10 or less. Thus a protocol designed for WAN (World Area Network) application should really care about latency.
Here is how I learned the lesson. I designed a protocol to transmit 2MB blocks between computers. The protocol was trivial and worked very well in LAN (Local Area Network) applications. We then had the opportunity to test it on a leased 6GB/s long distance connection between CERN (Geneva in Switzerland) and the university of Alberta (Canada). The surprise was that the bandwidth usage never exceeded 2%. We found out that it was caused by the network latency which was ~500ms. In this context, the handshake time dominated the transmit time, something we didn't see in a LAN. So our protocol had to be redesigned ! Since that day I understood how important and critical network latency can be.
The first lesson we may learn from this analysis is that when designing a modern protocol for potential WAN usage, minimizing network latency is much more important than encoding concision.
DITP is ready for this since it can be used as the transport layer of such agent transmission. All we need is a special remote service object acting as an agent host. This is on top of the DITP communication layer so that many different types of agents can coexist. The technology can thus also evolve and preserve backward compatibility. There are other reasons why DIPT has a good potential for such usage model, but it is still a bit early to expose them.
Network latency is an often disregarded parameter, but things might change in a near future when we'll get closer to the hard limit !