True but, though I love your posts on this topic (unusually rare for a non-politically based forum to provide a link to a topic that puts most politic blog subjects/forum topics to shame), the innovation is a curse thing still implies that there is going to be a direction of innovation hence no tech armageddon.
Like I hate touch screens too but it is a compromise technology that can spell new areas of interaction in the space of voice, motion sensors and art.
It is when both the blessing and the curse disappears that the magic of innovation dies IMO.
Think of it like a skill tree in gaming. Now some branches might unlock skills that are aesthetic or useless or even broken but as long as the branch continues to grow (even if it stops and then gets refurnished in a sequel/game update), things continue to grow.
However if you reach the end of the branch, that's when not only innovation dies but when gamers most look to exploit any overpowered route and that turns into guides and those guides turns into more ways to cheapen the innovative quality of a skill tree which then not only kills the choice but if made popular, produces games who copies more of those skill branches like adding a fire element or a water element as choices to a separate game. When that happens, the innovative concept of a skill tree dies and the skill tree ends up becoming a fancy ui as opposed to a concept of innovating how a videogame character would grow in a manner different from what's been done before for it. The skill tree will still exist but people would talk more about the balance of the skills as they are unlock and the skill tree...well, it's just there.
If touch screens and NFCs were isolated incidents on their own, IMO they would be no more different than the evil that would befall under tech users if Apple and Google's close minded Software Market policy was adopted towards everything. Tech growth however would still be moving and innovations bypassing such tech curses would still lead to better innovations even if it's a route towards hacking on closed innovations.
In order for pure touch screen technology to halt innovation, it would have to keep you from buying a keyboard in a certain major part of the planet. That isn't the case though. Touch screen + mobile becomes a gridlock though when, as Curt alluded, the touch screen is used on mobile to replicate and updated dated products such as poor cameras and then gets innovated into better cameras with better resolutions and then so on and so forth while the users demand more of the same route of false innovation like a circle of Pokemon fanatics who will pay and finish Pokemon Red and then accept and pay for Pokemon FireRed only Pokemon is just a game and one game at that. Mobile + Touch Screen tech is a wider net. It can impact web page designs, software designs, web browser designs, game design, cultural method of mass communication, etc.
It's when touch screens start being made for a certain quality of touch screens that are exclusive to a certain level of hardware that the gridlock happens. It's like oil, if consumers can just buy a cheap touch screen tablet and then buy an external object like a keyboard...that's bad but it's doable.
What happens though when the day comes that you have to buy a more expensive piece of tablet that supports the latest Android/Iphone just to work a piece of software that should be compatible on all touch screens but because your piece of hardware is of an older model, you're tasked to unnecessarily move to a newer piece of technology AND THEN still buy a specific type of more expensive keyboard just to make up for the lag, the screen resolution, a hardware that can match the innovation supplied by people finding smarter ways to utilize better touch screens? Demand wouldn't be able to cheapen supply like there's no way to make up the difference between a bicycle and a SUV so poor people can't just replace a bicycle with a car if they have specific demands that need a SUV where as the SUV market would have better off people acquiring SUVs when they don't need to. Only again, the range of impact of cars does not compare to the impact of changing both the internet and OS interaction as far as innovation goes. Cars before the concepts of SUV were pretty much dead on innovation and the SUV was more an application of the redefined definition of innovation that involves upgrades like better horsepower, better fuel management, better some other parts so complicated to explain that they just provide better boosts.
NFCs are the same. The slippery slope implications are bad but as long as the nightmare situation is closer to Orwell's 1984, it would always fail to slip too much because the market demand would keep it from becoming true. Even now the demand for the internet keeps internet censorship laws from taking off even in places where the internet has been censored. It's as Postman wrote in Amusing to Death. In order for our society to give up our rights, we have to turn more towards Huxley's Brave New World than Orwell's 1984 or as social psychology puts it: Moral disengagement
With NFC, the control there is too much but if it's really flawed, it won't take off globally as a technological innovation but if it does take off, it won't be allowed to head towards an extreme dark and nightmarish slippery slope by the people. For it to get into that dark place, people would have to be hijacked by a different thought process.
Like at the heart of rigging voting machines is not the machines itself nor of paper ballots. The heart of it is based on the faith of people wanting to make it right thinking voting is the ideal way to change their lives for the better. That too linked in people having faith in the president which is linked to having faith that government can be made effective even if it has a 99% chance of being ineffective everywhere especially when the person being voted up is a product of the status quo.
NFCs would have to be hijacked in the same way IMO before it suffers through an armageddon specific to it's technology. People would have to be so hooked in NFCs that they would reject FFCs because NFCs is so much cheaper, better, more accessible but the likelihood for that is unlikely as people have been introduced to more FFC potential type innovations than NFCs such as remote desktops, webcams, GPS, etc.
IMO, only on a grander scale would NFCs be contributive to tech armageddon and that criteria is as much the problem with mobile as it is with mobile having NFCs.
The problem is still social perception of exclusivity. Like a cellphone is still a mobile phone but if as a society you would be fine with me asking you whether I can borrow your phone (even if it's just feeling fine in saying "No") then the phone can still be innovated into things like portable phones. However if as a society you slowly become more skeptical and weirded out by a request of lending out a cellphone, regardless whether you say Yes or No, something has changed.
That's still not contributive to tech armageddon because that's just a consequence of cellphones supporting things like private messages, being easily nabbed and run away with or possessing private numbers thanks to address books. It's not the slippery slope that would kill tech innovations. I believe the same thing applies to NFC.
The issue is a serious one but as a tech, it's problems are not related to tech armageddon and more to potential tech slavery. As a tech, it's still a tech where you can create an argument for why it shouldn't be pursued.
My fear of tech armaggedon IMO is not even the opposite. Tech armaggedon is a situation where regardless whether you do it or not do it, there would be an armaggedon in innovation. It's the proverbial, "damned if you do, damned if you don't". With NFCs for example, a case can be made for both pursuing it and not pursuing it but it's still not close to a Brave New World scenario. We're still not in a world where we think NFCs are necessary to progress unlike say the existence of a democratic republic type voting being perceived as must even in non-democratic republic type settings which then pumps up the glorious myth that most of the problems we need to focus on is on the "fairness" of voting because if fair voting works, then progress has a chance even though we're not allowed to step away from a certain mindset of government being naturally ineffective or else we'd be painted as anarchists or some other perceived opposite spectrum of an extreme line of thinking.
The PC-mobile-net paradigm though is close to getting that way and not because of a slippery slope. If it's just cross-platform or if it's just cross-adaptation of a cross-cloud-offline flow then innovation IMO wouldn't be heading towards an armaggedon. After all, even in PCs, do we not like it if we can switch to Linux and still play our favorite games and utilize our favorite pet software in their own ui? Do we not accept that sometimes we have to move on to an updated OS so that certain software can work with it? Is it not also possible (albeit with a ton of work) to move back to an older piece of hardware and software as long as you accept that you would have to sacrifice a necessary piece of innovation? None of this had gridlock innovation because innovation is not set up so that the new OS has to pander to the old OS except for Windows which is still just one piece of tech.
The modern paradigm of PC-net-mobile isn't heading towards that manner of simply being cross-platform. The convenience selling point of NFCs isn't simply being in NFCs otherwise it would still be an innovative curse/blessing on accessing information in ways that couldn't be done before. It's that NFC is not only exclusive to a piece of tech attributes: mobile and portable but it's aiming towards eating up everything of our known lifestyle in a manner that's never been done before except for oil. Not even by the internet on it's own.
To simplify this distinction (because I have a hard time in distinguishing too), take that sort of tongue in cheek image for NFCs in mashable's article:
If that's just a graveyard, then cool. But then it slowly increases in cost with each adoption.
People would be refurnishing old grave stones and rainy days would be an all time never before seen pain when you're visiting graveyards. That's bad but it doesn't kill innovation though it is a curse. (albeit minor compared to other curses related to NFC)
It only becomes tech armaggedon when every innovation, building, lifestyle is supposed to "port over" to NFC and that's what's accepted by the people
(this latter criteria being the most important).
A world where you don't just need and get addicted to mobile (like it goes with the internet) but a world where mobile has a different meaning to just being a portable phone/smartphone.
PC would lose it's exclusivity of being a PC and to get back that utility, you need PC + mobile + offline storage of net even when you do have access to the internet.
The internet would flip around. What used to be a place where you have tons of places to visit and maybe 1 or 2 spyware sites to avoid would have most popular sites filled with Facebook level spyware and the more you're just born to this world, the more you have to stumble on such sites before you can get on a site like DC unless forums don't innovate and innovation dies over mini-changes
. (Again, damned if you do, damned if you don't.)
Even the September that Never Ended did not kill innovation despite changing UseNet forever (based on the accounts detailed on it) unlike what this new paradigm is already changing in our society. The worse of this is that innovators have it bad most of all. There used to be a time when improving means usenet+ or forum+ or Facebook- (Diaspora) or mobile+ or internet experience+.
Now it's not. Now its:
- Smartphone + phone-
...and that combination is setting up for the equivalent of a class segregation but on tech rather than race, culture or materials. It's like oil. Oil is a battle all it's own. People would go to wars on oil, countries would become more powerful gaining oil, oil would have an unprecedented acceptance even if it's railed against. It would be a category of it's own and many innovations would often need to pander to oil.
The tech branch relating to PCs and smartphones, never used to be this way. There were some innovations on the area of sharing, some innovations on the area of portability, some innovations on the area of aesthetics. If something closely updated itself but didn't show any major feature changes, chances are most of it would have been major updates on the backend. Right now, it's getting to a spot where it's not. If you don't innovate, innovation like a skill tree stops adding and then it's dead. If you try to innovate, innovation as it's currently is, remains dead while a new definition of innovation becomes accepted for this branch of tech where having a great camera on a cellphone or having a great processor on a tablet = innovative.