I ended up crying after watching Vinay Gupta's OHM2013 talk One Network. One World. Designing for a 7+ billion person world. Tears of joy. But, enough of a shift that I'm getting a better picture of where it is we're all going. Having seen the future also makes me somewhat ecstatic, because this is my major. Global Studies. Interdisciplinary cross-application of theoretical frameworks. That's what he's doing, and not-at-all unintentionally.
I generally have more questions than answers. A collection of what I asked during reflection follows. (mostly stream of consciousness)
Is imperialism inextricably linked with racism? Perhaps racism is latent social justification for exploitation... Just the same as you demonize an enemy in war to make it easier to (subjugate) wrong them?
When did we stop talking about modernization and start talking about globalization? Is modernization merely the act of bringing AAA tech to subjugated countries for more efficient exploitation?
So, we set out not to create a new backend, where we can drop everyone over and it'll work out of the box, but we make a new, different system in parallel to the existing one and migrate node by node. Somewhat like software even, with alpha and beta testers at every stage. Rollback and backout points are important on a granular level. There must be feedback loops at every level. Lots of runtime warnings, and no failures. Hard failures mean people starve or lack access to basics. Fixes can be localized but the information on a fix must be propagated out of the local context.
Perhaps culturally relevant blueprints can be produced. (as he noted, with the concept of contextualized solutions to localized problems)