Digital Chaos – when will it be avoided

Part One : Why does the digital community stay chaotic   : It’s still the Digital Wild West :

The real ID problem isthe lack of an internet scale, user-focused, cross-domain identity
infrastructure, for people and content.

The absence of a generalized/federated Internet identity standardised solution, i.e the current scenario according to Phil Becker  is to observe content suppliers creating
private silos and walled gardens with localised identity controlling access to
them with little or no content exchangeability between them.  Phil argues
that the large Internet content sites already find themselves in this
position, and have no incentive to organize any other way in the absence of a
better alternative. He asserts that the step change  where silos will crumble and wall gardens will break apart simply cannot happen without first solving the networked
identity problem. Until then, we will only see either one walled garden
replaced with a different one, or a form of virtual entropy destroying the new
Internet constructs.

But……  is it virtual entropy or historically very similar to the emergence of realisable
engineering standards in Victorian times Quote : Phil Becker : Digital World
: The reason is simple & stark : the “engineer’s mind” (versus the “marketer’s mind”) naturally seeks the “perfect solution.” That’s the blessing of the engineer’s mind. It is, of course, also the curse. As any student of technology history knows, the “perfect
solution” has rarely won the battle of the marketplace. Instead, the solution that solved the problem set using “the principle of good enough”, and *also* attained a critical mass of adoption has won. Does that result in further problems to be solved? Of course it does! That, my friends, is the cycle of innovation

How come engineering gets it ?    Historical facts Joseph Whitworth & William Sellers

Joseph Whitworth had proposed a standard screw, and indeed, the British Woolwich Arsenal had been using his Whitworth Screws since 1841 – about 23 years before William Sellers called for a standard for screws. In 1841 he presented a paper before the Institute of Civil Engineers where he introduced his revolutionary thread system. Up to this time no conventions existed for screw threads. During this presentation, Whitworth also introduced a standard system of guages which was widely accepted. Size for size, a
Whitworth thread is stronger than its SAE counterpart. This is partly due to the radiused corners designed into the Whitworth thread which reduces the possibility of a stress riser.

William Sellers didn’t like the shape of the thread of the Whitworth Screw.  It took “three kinds of cutters and two kinds of lathe” to make a Whitworth Screw. Sellers proposed that the thread pyramid should have an angle of 60 degrees . He also proposed that the top of the pyramid be flattened, which is much easier to make than a fancy rounded top. He claimed that his thread would need just one cutter and one lathe – and so be easier, quicker and most importantly, cheaper, to make.         By 1883, the American railroads were the largest corporations in the USA – and practically all of them were using the sellers
screw thread. This forced all the suppliers to those railroads to also use sellers as the  new screw thread.

Whitworth and Sellers :  the big technology adoption event driven by 2nd
world war   

The final chapter re the American thread over the competing
UK Whitworth thread happened because of World War II. In the northern winter of
1941-42, the German tanks of the Panzer Division battled the tanks of the
British 8th Army in Africa. On both sides, the tanks broke down as bolts and
screws wore out and loosened. American factories sent tonnes of bolts and
screws to the battlefront – but they didn’t fit the British tanks. So for the
rest of the war, the American factories had to run two separate lines – one for
British screw threads and one for American screw threads. Everybody agreed that
having screws that didn’t match was a very stupid reason to lose a war, so in
1948, the British agreed to use the Sellers Thread, which by then was already
being called “US Standard”.

Packard  made Rolls Royce engines for US aircraft  “did Packard replicate the British thread system when they built Rolls-Royce Merlins under license during World War II?” The answer is yes; all threads that were used on the Merlin were accurately replicated by Packard. Having said that, however, Packard Merlins used U.S. built Bendix injection carburetors; PD-16 for single stage engines and PD-18 for two stage engines, both of which used U.S. Unified threads. British built Merlins employed S.U. carburetors using
Whitworth threads. The job facing Packard when they undertook manufacture of
the Merlin was daunting to say the least. It’s bad enough having to build a
complex product like the Merlin but exacerbating the situation was the fact no tool
maker in the U.S. made Whitworth taps or dies. Therefore, Packard were forced
into making their own. Although this created a significant hurdle to overcome,
the effort was well worth it, Packard and Rolls-Royce components were
interchangeable.

About RWCS Ltd

Information Solutions Architects
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