Further Reading
Any one essay can only skim the surface. For further reading ...18-Feb-2015
Updated: 24-Apr-2017


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Classic Essays

These are essays and writings that have endured over the years.

  • Beyond Limits. I wrote this in 1996 as a chapter in the ACM book Beyond Calculation. In this chapter I explain that Moore’s law is about particular market configurations and is not particular to semiconductors. More to the point you lose the power of hypergrowth when you tie it to a singular measure of success.

My writings on Connectivity

  • Purpose Vs Discovery. I go into more detail about the counter-intuitive concept of how we get abundance by creating opportunity rather than presuming we are building solutions for well-defined problems.
  • Infrastructure for a Connected World. We need a free-to-use infrastructure so we aren’t limited by rent-seeking intermediaries as we do now.
  • 5G and ATSC Vs. The Internet. 5G is positioned as the next generation of wireless telecommunications. The approach of solving problems in the net providers a useful contrast for understanding the Internet’s approach of solving problems outside of networks.
  • Restructuring Consumer Electronics. This was my first column for the IEEE. In it I give a simplified view of how the Internet happened within the context of the pragmatic world of consumer electronics. I go into more of the issues in other columns.
  • Internet Native Policies. How the Internet is different from telecommunications and why “best efforts” means we can start with local efforts rather than relying on providers.
  • Connectivity Policy. This is the more detailed policy document that explains how the Internet is really about creating solutions which take advantage of the nature of software to redefine the world. I submitted it to the FCC as part of its inquiry on neutrality policy.
  • What infrastructure is needed for positively disruptive technology A talk I gave to ISOC in which I explain how the Internet is a departure from traditional telecommunications.
  • The Internet: Missing the Light. By assuming connectivity is expensive we find ourselves justify connectivity with heavy duty products and big data rather than enabling the mundane applications that allow us to discover the future.
  • Zero Rating. The problem of applying telecommunications policies to the Internet.
  • Engineer’s Dilemma. This is a work-in-progress and more a place holder until I do a formal version.
  • Spectrum as Farmland. Our current policies treat spectrum as if it were a physical thing like farmland. In fact, it is just a construct from the 1920’s that limits our ability to communicate.


  • TEDx – The Internet and Abundance. November 2016. I trace my own history of learning about connectivity as a way to understanding how creating our own solutions leads the way to abundance.
  • Beyond Neutrality. October 2014. A talk I gave on the themes in this essay. Some might prefer a video.
  • Thinking Outside. January 2014. The evolution of digital connectivity and how the Internet is a discontinuity from the traditional of telecommunications.
  • A Software-(re)Defined World. June 2015. My talk at ICCE in Taiwan about how the Internet is a byproduct of the way we use software to create our own solutions.
  • Keynote ICCE 2015 Taiwan. The Internet and other consequences of software redefining our world.

IEEE/CE Columns

This is a list of the columns I’ve written for the IEEE Consumer Electronics Societies magazine:



  • Life (yet to be) Scripted. The automation meme assumes machines will do what we want them to do not what we tell them to do. (January 2014)
  • HTML5 is become the new compute engine allowing us to start to take advantage of the capabilities in the devices around us. It’s not just about the web. (April 2014)
  • (Not) Getting the Message Across. Why we need simple packet connectivity rather than smarter intermediaries. (July 2014)
  • Connected Things. Understanding the so-called Internet of Things. (October 2014)


  • Putting it all Together? Real life lessons in putting together those (potentially) connected things. (January 2015)
  • Deconstructing TV. The business “Television” as we know it is very much tied to the accidental properties of 1930’s vintage technology. We need to rethink very part of the technology and the industry. (April 2015)
  • API First. The importance of having programmatic interfaces rather than just focusing on the user interface. (July 2015)
  • The Internet is about Relationships. Rather than thinking in terms of wires need to think about the end points of relationships. (October 2015)


  • A Hacker’s Vacation. A relatively light piece about what I learned renting a Tesla and using technology as I traveled. (January 2016)
  • 80/20 Consumer Electronics I learn by doing and creating my own solutions. This gives me a chance to experience the future and see beyond the present. Join me in exploring the possibilities. (April 2016)
  • The Stories of Software. We tend to think of programming as an exact engineering practice. A better way to think about software is that it’s a way we write stories that can take on lives of their own. (July 2016)
  • Mobile-Edge Computing Versus the Internet? When we frame local computing as being at the edge of a network we lose the big ideas of connectivity by framing the Internet in terms of telecommunications. (October 2016)


  • Site Insites. This past summer I decided my website need to be refreshed. Rewriting the site from scratch in JavaScript (actually TypeScript) gave me a chance look beyond the façade of the web and better understand how the Web works.

Note that the columns are also reachable as http://rmf.vc/IEEECEyyyymm. Where the months are 01, 04, 07, 10 as per the current publishing cycle.

Additional Readings

To understand the design point of the Internet you can read the End-to-End Arguments in System Design paper. For those who won’t past the title the term “end to end” is used in the sense of only depending the end points and not anything between.

Railroaded by Richard White. The comparisons between the history of railroad regulation and Telecommunications are striking.

It’s also interesting to read about the history of turnpikes and how we moved from toll roads to public highways in the early 20th century.