Interoperability Or Death?

From the series of IETF “Requests for Comments” that define the structure and function of the networks we use, to the PC clone wars of the 1980s, to the browser wars of the 1990s, to the DRM battles of the 2000s, to today’s proliferation of web standards, the history of the Internet can be regarded as a timeline of averting failures to interoperate.

We’ll look at the incentives that promote and hinder interoperability, the kinds of failure modes that proliferate in the absence of interoperation, and strategies that developers have innovated for identifying and routing around failure to interoperate. In parallel, we’ll also examine how these network effects present themselves in carbon-based networks (i.e., ones made of humans) and explore insights from graph theory and control theory that can help groups identify incipient failure and implement graceful degradation strategies.

Other topics we’ll touch on include:

  • Failing open, failing closed, and failing safe

  • Graceful degradation, and what it means for an interaction to fail gracefully

  • Self-organised criticality

  • Feedback loops and feed-forward decision making

This session will be held by Meredith Patterson, an American technologist, science fiction writer, and journalist. She has spoken at numerous industry conferences on a wide range of topics. She is also a blogger and software developer, and a leading figure in the biopunk movement: " Her laboratory is based in the dining room of her San Francisco apartment. She uses a plastic salad spinner as a centrifuge and Ziploc plastic bags as airtight containers for her samples. But the genetically modified organism (GMO) she is attempting to create on a budget of less than $500 (£350) could provide a breakthrough in food safety."  (The geneticist in the garage, 2009 article in The Guardian)

How you can register for this session

This session takes place at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 26th.

  1. If you don’t already have one, sign up for an edgeryders account here:

  2. Leave a comment below to introduce yourself and let us know you want to come!

  3. Someone will say hello and suggest some small tasks you should complete for a ticket! When you finish the tasks, we will send you the ticket.

  4. See you at the workshop :slight_smile:

Date: 2016-02-26 10:00:00 - 2016-02-26 11:30:00, Europe/Brussels Time.

1 Like

What are your needs :slight_smile:

Hi Meredith!

What are your technical needs? Will you use a projector during your talk? Are you bringing your computer/expecting audience to bring theirs?


I’ll bring my laptop, and would appreciate a projector. I don’t need the audience to bring anything except themselves. :slight_smile: