I just ran into the phrase “commoditization of intelligence” from Accelerando (Singularity). In the book’s context it is scary enough. But it is truly scary when it manifests itself today. Like when knowledge workers are treated like replaceable cogs in a software factory. Or when programming languages are lumped together with “it just doesn’t matter”.
Some technology has almost been commoditized – like the electric outlets in my house. Although, “almost” in this case means “you have heard of GFI, surge protection and true-sine wave UPS, right?”. “Commoditization” in this sense implies a lack of knowlege, a lack of intelligence to distinguish trivial differences from the important differences. Hence, the shock (irony?) of the phrase “commoditization of intelligence”.
I’ll continue building my own computers, because I find that even with commodity pieces, the complete solution provides an order of magnitude boost in the performance-for-price ratio.