Marshall Brain is an ongoing source of great, well articulated ideas.
I really like his "as simple as possible but no simpler" writing style. His way of removing the complexity and jargon while retaining the essence is why I always look forward to articles like this in which he points to a near future scenario in which our increasingly powerful computers become vastly simpler to use.
It's also great to see some fresh light on this subject.
I recall Eric Schmidt talked about the hollowing out of the computer in a similar manner quite a while back. Bob Metcalfe expanded on the concept in his article "The Coming Software Shift".
As our applications inevitably migrate from our computers to the network, the network literally becomes the computer.
This new supercomputer gets faster as bandwidth increases. A completely optical network means bandwidth would approach the speed of light. My computer could use your hardware as seamlessly as mine.
Meanwhile Ray Kurzweils predictions of $1000 of hardware with the processing power of a human brain arising within our lifetimes is also quite conceivable.
These factors, combined with Metcalfe's Law (The power of the network increases exponentially by the number of computers connected to it) all point to an emergent, distributed, networked, increasingly "intelligent" global nervous system.
And we've got front row seats :)