[…] deep addressability would allow for the identification not only of things with mass but also of relations between things. Once again, each letter in the sentence you are reading right now could have an address, but your act of reading of each one of them, those immaterial relations between two things, it and you, could be addressed as well, and from this graph and set traces proliferate and become techniques of a new geography. One can address both a discrete thing and the abstract reverberating envelope of relations around it that could extend toward infinity. Put differently, deep addressability includes not only discrete entities but also multiple levels of abstraction, as well as the traces of those entities and in turn the abstractions we hold for those — not just addressable nouns but addressable verbs, events, and allegories. While it’s unlikely that I could exhaust 1028 addresses for familiar physical things over the course of my life span, I could easily exhaust that many relations of relations of relations of relations. I could spend all my addresses in an instant of we were to extend relationality all the way down into the abyss. The exhaustion of any full allocation of deep address exists therefore somewhere between never and instantaneously, and the measure of that vast middle ground is essential to the design brief of the Address layer of The Stack. Whereas the traditional Internet of Things situates a network of physical objects, the full Address layer would include all these but also concepts, events, procedures, and memes, addressable at a common level through a generic protocol. While there are real barriers to a global IPv6 implementation, some technological, others economic, and others political, we should assume that for The Stack, some platform for deep address will in time enumerate things and events at a similar or even more granular scale, giving way to disorienting associations between micro- and macrocosmos, linking, delinking, and blurring across natural scales.
The Stack, On Software and Sovereignty, Benjamin H. Bratton.