131 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2023
    1. It’s almost something of an arms race, where the Nerf internet community one-ups each other by making their toy blasters shoot more foam faster, farther, and more accurately, whether to show off or to perform that much better in an actual game of Nerf. And while Hasbro is clearly taking some notes from the upstart maker community, 3D printers in particular are giving makers an edge they’ve never had before.

      This is the classical story of the open source challenge to an incumbent / dominant actor in a market. In this case it's about Nerf and toy blasters. The interesting bit is that this was hardware-led revolution (3d printing); and the open source spirit is optional - chosen by some actors, but not others.

  2. Dec 2022
    1. Over the last year, historian Adam Tooze popularized the term “polycrisis.” Previously deployed by Jean-Claude Juncker in to describe the eurozone-Brexit-climate-refugee crises in 2016, and originally attributed to French complexity theorist Edgar Morin

      "polycrisis" (a European idea) {therefore fit for an EU-focused, and EU-based perspective on this crisis, which interests me a lot)

    1. In posting AI-generated content, we signal that willingness, which seems also to indicate a willingness to accept the established parameters of culture, to accept the world as given, to embrace the status quo as the horizon of imagination.
    1. Good stories are of diminishing importance — ironic, given how audiences were traditionally drawn into a world, like that of The Odyssey, by way of a single character’s journey.

      There's a Le Guin quote in the piece, on how a world of the story needs to be described in the story, and "that's tricky business". And this quote argues about the diminishing role of narratives. So what takes over their role? I think that, broadly speaking, databases and information: any narrative today quickly gets surrounded with coral-like growth of commentary, reviews, fanfiction, databases of world's details. This has some reference to Johnson's work on database as a modern media form.

    2. There is a palpable desire to manifest “reality,” however skewed or insular, from one’s own imagination.
    1. In September, the US Copyright Office granted a first-of-its-kind registration for a comic book generated with the help of text-to-image AI Midjourney. The comic is a complete work: an 18-page narrative with characters, dialogue, and a traditional comic book layout. And although it’s since been reported that the USCO is reviewing its decision, the comic’s copyright registration hasn’t actually been rescinded yet. It seems that one factor in the review will be the degree of human input involved in making the comic. Kristina Kashtanova, the artist who created the work, told IPWatchdog that she had been asked by the USCO “to provide details of my process to show that there was substantial human involvement in the process of creation of this graphic novel.”

      If copyright status hinges on the level of human involvement, then this will quickly become one more (c) grey area.

    1. Political attention is fixated on managing the present. Political discourse, on the left and right, is often backward looking. Politicians rarely grasp the fundamental changes in science and technology, or culture and values, that are reshaping our lives. When they do, change is presented as a question of adaptation rather than of something we can actively shape.
    1. But there should be an even deeper concern: These tools represent the complete corporate capture of the imagination, that most private and unpredictable part of the human mind.

      "complete corporate capture of the imagination". instant gratification hijacks curiosity

    2. Algorithmic artist Roman Verostko, a member of this early group, drew a contrast between the process that an artist develops to create an algorithm and the process through which the art maker uses an already developed set of instructions to generate an output. He explained that it is “the inclusion of one’s own algorithms that make the difference.”

      This stresses the difference between creators and users of AI, with only the former having (full) control over the technology

    1. If you talk to people about the potential of artificial intelligence, almost everybody brings up the same thing: the fear of replacement. For most people, this manifests as a dread certainty that AI will ultimately make their skills obsolete. For those who actually work on AI, it usually manifests as a feeling of guilt – guilt over creating the machines that put their fellow humans out of a job, and guilt over an imagined future where they’re the only ones who are gainfully employed.

      Noah Smith and soon spell out, in detail, the argument that the fear of replacement is misplaced - because AI will replace humans at task level, but not job level.

    1. This phenomenon isn't limited to free software – it also plagues open-licensed "content" – material released under Creative Commons licenses, say. A year ago, Paul Keller and Alek Tarkowski published an important essay on "openness" entitled "The Paradox of Open": https://paradox.openfuture.eu/
    2. In our new book, Rebecca Giblin and I call this "chokepoint capitalism". In today's highly concentrated creative labor markets, copyright's normal role of giving creators bargaining leverage over their supply chain is transformed.
    3. When a superdense, concentrated mass forms a black hole, the laws of physics around it change, giving rise to an eldritch zone where the normal rules don't apply. When corporations form a concentrated industry, the laws of economics likewise change.

      (Digital) monopolies as black holes with event horizons!

    1. Visions of planetary disaster “[leave] us with an intuitive understanding of infrastructure as almost necessarily a source of friction or impasse,” notes anthropologist Dominic Boyer, in his incisive argument regarding “revolutionary infrastructure.”18 Solarpunk worlds, meanwhile, are rooted in infrastructural logics that promise a viable (and truly revolutionary) way forward.

      Infrastructures! we need more narratives about them. Yet ... my experience is that the moment you mention things infrastructural - #interoperability, for instance - eyes of many people glaze, even those technically minded. Solarpunk is a valiant effort to expose infrastructures.

    1. Among dominant social networks, the guiding approach to governance has been what the anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing calls “scalability.” This doesn’t just mean large scale. It means, according to Tsing, “the ability to expand — and expand and expand — without rethinking basic elements.” It means exponential growth while retaining a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with problems, and it’s what venture capitalists look for in their investments.

      This is for me the crucial issue. Creators of the pre-TwitterMigration Mastodon argue that they oppose scaling / growth as a goal. but they need to face the reality, that their network just grew by around 50%

    1. Just a few days ago, Meta released its “Galactica” LLM, which is purported to “summarize academic papers, solve math problems, generate Wiki articles, write scientific code, annotate molecules and proteins, and more.” Only three days later, the public demo was taken down after researchers generated “research papers and wiki entries on a wide variety of subjects ranging from the benefits of committing suicide, eating crushed glass, and antisemitism, to why homosexuals are evil.”

      These models are "children of Tay", the story of the Microsoft's bot repeating itself, again

  3. Nov 2022
    1. A project by the Carnegie Endowment and Princeton University proposes the creation of an international Institute for Research on the Information Environment (IRIE), modeled in part on the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3) tabled a similar proposal. Such an institute could serve as a hub for data and technical resources to facilitate research. The Forum on Information & Democracy separately proposed the creation of an “Observatory on Information & Democracy,” modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Both IRIE and the Observatory could support global socio-technical research capabilities and coordination, and partner with policymakers to improve government understanding of the information environment.

      It is super interesting that analogous settings for regulation of the information environment are found in the regulation of nuclear energy and climate change.

    2. A starting place for consideration of the nature and structure of such a body, as well as for the substance of a suitable standard, is in the recent report of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). It proposes that an Independent Intermediary Body (IIB) be established to approve research requests for access to platform data consistent with data protection requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. Critically, the bodies set up to carry out these functions would not directly enforce violations of underlying law, but rather would reduce the need for government enforcement by facilitating agreement between the platform and the researcher. Where agreement is not reached, the modular body could provide the regulator with a developed record. And in the context of the Digital Services Act (DSA), which includes provisions regarding platform-to-researcher data access, a delegated act could empower entities operating in a module to assume these transactional duties.

      There are aspects of our #PublicDataCommons here, in the sense that there is a public intermediary managing access.

    3. Modularity is a form of multistakeholder, co-regulatory governance, in which modules—discrete mechanisms, protocols, and codes—are developed through processes that include a range of perspectives. This novel co-regulatory approach proposes to achieve greater multinational alignment in internet governance, while respecting the inherent sovereignty of national and regional governments, some of which have already adopted new digital platform accountability regimes. Modularity works by identifying tasks common to laws in multiple countries and creating global, multi-stakeholder processes and institutions that can operationalize those tasks. It facilitates compliance with different jurisdictions and reduces the cost of enforcement, all without the necessity of treaties or other mechanisms that constrain or replace official authority.

      Sounds cool. Connects with the idea, borrowed from #web3 space, that you can think of policies as built of "primitives". In the case of primitives, it's about managing complexity of regulation - here it seems to mainly focus on managing incompatibility of jurisdictional law.

    1. In the last two years while teaching in various schools and institutions all around the world, we’ve been experimenting with a new workshop format called Design with Other Intelligences.
    1. How will this new mental model of talking to machines impact the everyday and more common ways we interact with algorithms?

      This is the [[T . Inspired by the Internet theme]], a new iteration of it.

    2. My mental model in searching is somewhat related to the way I think the algorithm works. It understands words, sometimes it does understand sentences, but it's more about whether I'm using the right word, rather than the right concept. It’s about the minimum viable amount of words that I need to jam in that box to get what I'm looking for.
    1. So the first thing that I want to make clear is that Mastodon has a history of being inhospitable to marginalized users. This history is born out, as I’ve learned, through the marginalization and eventual shuttering of instances of color, of instances that were dedicated to hosting and supporting sex workers, of harassment of disabled users and so on. So Mastodon– while its federated model was premised on, well, the activity protocol, if I understand the history correctly– it was built in some ways to produce affordances that would avoid the kinds of harassment on Twitter. Things like quote tweet pile ons, things like other kinds of usage of the quote tweet or the comment or the reply feature to do violence. What that hasn’t done is prevented the violence.

      Interesting point, as a lot of Mastodon's design decisions are focused on reducing risk of violence. This is an argument that it does not work.

    1. Perez identifies 5 historical technological waves. Each wave is powered by the introduction of a new low-cost input: coal and iron for the railway age, steel for the heavy engineering age, electricity, oil, and plastic for the mass production age, microchips for the ICT age.Credit: Perez, 2018

    1. See also Dan Hon’s excellent suggestion for news organizations— or universities, companies, or any organization or institution — to set up their own Mastodon servers to verify and control their users. Say The Guardian set up a server and created accounts for all its journalists, then when you see someone coming from that server, you know for certain who she is. That is a new blue check of verification (now that Twitter’s blue check becomes the mark of the $8 shmuck).

      this is interesting, but begs the question: how will a server be verified?

    1. How should we treat ownership in a world of non-rivalry? Do we need a radically permissive approach to intellectual property? And what about Digitalland’s territory? Should parts of the territory be classed as a digital commons, open to anyone? Should we, for example, treat the data we generate when we live and work in digital spaces as a public good, open for entrepreneurs and researchers to use? Could those rules of interoperability and open data amount to a digital right to roam, so that we can move more freely across Digitalland? We need to answer these questions in a way that is unconstrained by the old paradigms of Physicalland.

      This is an argument in favour of what we've been calling, at Open Future, the Public Data Commons.

    2. This all means working harder to make digital markets less prone to concentration. So how do we do that? An example is using interoperability policy to force big technology platforms to adopt common standards, so that people can move between spaces in Digitalland. This would allow people to take their data with them when they leave a space and it would let people message friends in another platform without having to join it. The ultimate goal is to make it harder to wall off Digitalland into private estates and to diminish those winner-takes-all effects.
    3. Most radically, Digitalland is a place where the substrate of reality itself is open, like text in a book. If you know how to read that text, you can see anything that’s happening in your part of Digitalland. And if you know how to write the text, well, then you can change reality itself. And so Digitalland affords some people a form of omniscience and omnipotence that in Physicalland we could make sense of only by reference to God.

      This is a great observation - platforms are typically described today as "walled / closed gardens" - Plunkett observes that they are in fact an "open substrate" - it's just that it's open to but a few platform owners / controllers.

    4. So what about the platforms that these companies spend their time designing, building, and optimising? The platform is a thing so new that we don’t yet have the words to describe it. That I’m using the word ‘thing’ shows that even the category is unclear. Is a platform a tool? Or a service? Or an institution? We could argue that it’s all or none of these. And so the best we can do, to avoid the trap of the horseless carriage, is to use metaphor to grasp the kind of thing a platform is, and what its ramifications might be.

      This is interesting. My intuition is that by now - after at least 5 years of public debate - platforms are becoming something quite well defined (in general terms of the public debate): two sided markets, etc. Curious to see this argument develop - that in fact we still lack words to describe them.

  4. Oct 2022
    1. However, open source licenses do not take the technical nature and capabilities of the ML model as a different artefact to software/source code into account, and are therefore ill-adapted to enabling a more responsible use of ML models.

      This statement assumes that different approaches to ethics / responsible use are directly related to the technical differences / nature between code and ML artefacts. I am not sure this is true.

    2. This phenomenon is characteristic of modern ML models, where an active community creates many new versions based on an original ML model that may enable greater use for different user groups. Each version may have its own license, though some model developers are now requiring all downstream models (derived models from the original model) to at least have the same use restrictions as included in the original license.

      Share-alike for restrictions, assuming that there will be proliferation of different choices of restriction sets.

    1. Just as in the physical world, this kind of ephemeral communication will exist alongside persistent messages and communication, but is likely to be far more common. If I want to communicate with you in today’s internet, the first thing I’d do is write text — a post or message, for example. But to communicate with you in a shared metaverse space, I would speak.

      Nope. This would mean giving up on rich data troves. Everything will be tracked / recorded, not ephemeral.

    2. In this progression, the metaverse is a logical evolution. It’s the next generation of the internet — a more immersive, 3D experience. Its defining quality will be a feeling of presence, like you are right there with another person or in another place.
    1. “I think we were so happy to develop all this critique because we were so sure of the authority of science,” Latour reflected this spring. “And that the authority of science would be shared because there was a common world.”

      This is crucial. Latour was constructing science based on the belief of its authority - not deconstructing science. And the point about the common world, as inherently connected to the authority of science, is great.

    1. Secondly, we want to ensure that the users’ governance power over Wildland reflects their commitment to the project. Higher usage should result in more decision-making power. Users who buy services on the Wildland marketplace, or contribute significant amounts of their time and skills to the community, signal their interest in the project by committing actual resources to it, and consequently should have more say on how the service should evolve than those who just use the free tier.

      This makes an assumption that every user is committed to the network they use, instead of just being a passive 'consumer'. If this assumption is not true, then asymmetries will emerge due to the passivity of most of PoU token holders.

    2. Users who pay will receive a non-tradable proof of usage token attesting that they have spent money on the marketplace. This token will enable them in turn to vote on how the funds from the Build Fund should be spent to further enhance the UDO-controlled platform and services. We believe that such a setup is much more sustainable and should make the organization more responsive to users’ needs.

      OK, but what about other forms of usage beyond financial transactions in the network?

    3. With UDO we are also trying to solve the problem of sustainable financing for user-facing projects. All projects need a long-term development model that secures a steady stream of funding for their future development and continuous adoption. Most currently operating web3 projects rely on funds acquired through ICOs or NFT token auctions. While many of them are able to acquire substantial capital this way, this is not a sustainable financing model. It is also not a model that prioritizes the users’ needs.

      This is great: sustainability defined through user-orientation.

    1. in practice most of them follow similar operational blueprints and make use of the same “organization legos”. DAOs may aspire to be decentralized and autonomous, but they are not as diverse in their design as one would hope considering their globe-spanning, culture-crossing, and regulation-free nature.

      This blogpost gives a good high-level view of the problems with current, mainstream DAOs. Broadly speaking, they are not democratic, and susceptible to a range of attacks / failures

    1. Ortega’s brilliant insight came in understanding that the battle between ‘up’ and ‘down’ could be as important in spurring social and cultural change as the conflict between ‘left’ and ‘right’. This is not an economic distinction in Ortega’s mind. The new conflict, he insists, is not between “hierarchically superior and inferior classes…. upper classes or lower classes.” A millionaire could be a member of the masses, according to Ortega’s surprising schema. And a pauper might represent the elite.
    1. That said, Maffulli thinks, "Legally, it appears that GitHub is within its rights." However, it's not worth getting "lost in the legal weeds discussing if there is an open source license issue here or a copyright issue. This would miss the wider point. Clearly, there *is* a fairness issue that affects the whole of society, not just open source developers."

      Interesting, and there are other, structurally similar cases where indeed the case can be framed as one about fairness, not license compliance. For example the 2016 case where Flickr (Yahoo) created a project to sell posters based on CC BY licensed Flickr photos, without sharing revenue with the authors.

    1. It’s closer to the early Web 2.0 years, when Tim O’Reilly surveyed the tech landscape and realized that Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists and entrepreneurs had lost the air of futurity – the sense that they were builders of a bright and better, inevitable tomorrow. The dotcom crash had shattered their collective confidence. The years that followed were dreary. There were some exciting new developments – Wikipedia, the blogosphere, and social network sites were all gaining traction – but the tech sector was still “haunted by its recent past but fiercely needing to believe that heady days lay ahead.” Web 2.0 may have been just a meme, but it was a load-bearing meme. It helped make Silicon Valley feel like the future again.

      It confirms something that we wrote in the Paradox of Open - that there was an 'open revolution', launched in early 00s, but then the platform revolution happened, and it did not build on the open blueprint.

    2. The most noteworthy part is what their stories leave out. To really invest yourself in the digital future that artificial general intelligence/metaverse/web3 visionaries propose, you have to treat the climate crisis as though it won’t be a major shaping force in the next few decades.

      THe question is: why some words are buzzwords and others are not? Why can't "green" (if not "climate" itself) be spun into a buzzword, for the public good?

    3. as a reaction to the techlash, the power centers of Silicon Valley have diverted our attention by spinning up tales about the next chapter of the digital revolution.
    1. The opposite of this more narcissistic, expectant mindset is an attentive one, which, Crawford argues, one can find in the art of maintenance.

      This is nice. Maintenance is an important "hybrid" category that balances the innovation-focused digital world.

    2. Crawford gets a little heady here. He’s saying that frictionless experiences with technology mean that we notice less about the tools we’re using and what it is they actually do. This, he thinks, promotes a kind of self-absorption. We don’t see ourselves as being in conversation with our tools or the physical world; instead, we see ourselves as masters of our environment, with the expectation that every tool and service ought to perfectly attend to our needs

      I like this take on the #hybridmind argument, one that focuses not on the environment (digital vs nature) but on tools.

    3. Last week, while taking the week off, I read one of those books: Matthew B. Crawford’s 2009 best seller, Shop Class as Soulcraft. Crawford—a Ph.D think-tank dropout turned motorcycle mechanic—offers a passionate case for the value and dignity of manual work and elaborates at great length on what I like to call the art of slow progress.
    1. This academic-to-commercial pipeline abstracts away ownership of data models from their practical applications, a kind of data laundering where vast amounts of information are ingested, manipulated, and frequently relicensed under an open-source license for commercial use.
    1. where free software is misguided and quixotic, open source is spineless and centrist. and as tends to happen with spineless centrism, it has eaten the world.

      open source software is eating the world

    2. so big companies, like Apple, saw new restrictions coming in at the same time as more aggressive enforcement, and said "well shit, we want to base our software on these handy convenient tools like GCC but we can't use GPLv3 software while keeping our hardware and software as locked together as we'd like." so they started pouring money into a new C compiler, LLVM, that was instead open source.

      THis is new for me, and a fascinating case of how open source ecosystems work today. This is no longer about alternatives to dominant, corporate code, but about a standard for creating dominant code.

    3. Imo, open source as a community endeavor is falling apart right before our eyes, and being replaced by open source as Big Corp entrenchment strategy.
    1. In Mostaque’s explanation, open source is about “putting this in the hands of people that will build on and extend this technology.” However, that means putting all these capabilities in the hands of the public — and dealing with the consequences, both good and bad.

      THis focus on responsibility and consequences was not there, in the early days of open source, right?

    2. “The reality is, this is an alien technology that allows for superpowers,” Emad Mostaque, CEO of Stability AI, the company that has funded the development of Stable Diffusion, tells The Verge. “We’ve seen three-year-olds to 90-year–olds able to create for the first time. But we’ve also seen people create amazingly hateful things.”

      Mostaque seems to bet on a vibe that's about awe and the sublime

  5. Sep 2022
    1. the court upheld a preposterous Texas law stating that online platforms with more than 50 million monthly active users in the United States no longer have First Amendment rights regarding their editorial decisions. Put another way, the law tells big social-media companies that they can’t moderate the content on their platforms.
    1. The question looming over the book is not whether the future will be horrifying but whether there’s even the possibility of a future that isn’t.
    1. After following half a dozen platforms through this shift, I’ve come to see it as a test for platform health in general. I call it the Bootleg Ratio: the delicate balance between A) content created by users specifically for the platform and B) semi-anonymous clout-chasing accounts drafting off the audience. Any platform will have both, but as B starts to overtake A, users will have less and less reason to visit and creators will have less and less reason to post. In short, it’s a sign that the interesting stuff about the platform is starting to die out.

      That's another interesting observation - that users somehow sense how fresh / stale platforms are, and gravitate towards the new ones. Though I don't fully understand what's the logic behind this trend.

    2. At first, TikTok was exciting because there was culture that could only happen there. Now that on-platform culture is being overwhelmed by viral arbitrage, and the actual content is getting closer to what you see on every other network. As the platform gets bigger, it gets more generic, and there’s less to distinguish it from every other mass-market social network.

      There was a sense of newness to TikTok that's gone. Instead of a "TikTok culture", there's a sense that it's part of a bigger, algorithmically arbitraged and filtrated whole.

      And that's by the way an interesting idea, that "viral arbitrage" is cross-platform - as there are so many narratives about platforms as closed gardens with moats, pitching their services against each other.

    1. the interconnected world of the open internet

      This is the "open internet" that is a tool for furthering freedom and democracy - a mission that FB supports. There's another take on "open internet", where it is about curbing the power of corporate monopolies.

    1. At the time, Benjamin Noys took note of this philosophical trajectory, initially calling it “Deleuzian Thatcherism.” Eventually, in his 2010 book The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Critical Theory, he gave it a pithier name, the application of which has been both broadly extended and hotly contested: accelerationism. Noys focused his critique on a particular misreading of Marx as a hybrid technological determinist and catastrophist, which licensed the idea that if the accumulation of capital generates and exacerbates the conditions that lead to its dissolution, then it is the duty of radicals to urge capital to fully realize and hence negate itself.
    2. If Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher had served up an all-you-can-eat shit buffet in the 1980s, promoting the free market at the expense of the majority of their citizens, the Ccru responded by taking laissez-faire economics to a perverse extreme. They saw capital itself as the protagonist of history, with humans as grist for the mill. “What appears to humanity as the history of capitalism is an invasion from the future by an artificial intelligent space that must assemble itself entirely from its enemy’s resources,” Land wrote in his essay “Machinic Desire.” For Land, the Basilisk was already here.
    1. This is what it sounds like when the European Commission president appears in her favorite role as a great transformer. Von der Leyen wants to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent. Most importantly, the former German defense minister has dedicated herself to shaping the EU into a self-confident geopolitical actor, the defining force of the post-globalization era. "Europe," her slogan goes, "must relearn the language of power."Von der Leyen sees the EU in a position to finally fulfill the hopes long placed on it to become the global pacesetter for the 21st century.
    2. Between 1970 and 2010, the share of democratic governments in the world more than doubled to 53 percent. Since then, however, the trend has been steadily downward. At the same time, autocracies are increasingly successful economically. They are now the source of a 60 percent share of all patent registrations.
    1. It’s a database. It’s a living, breathing, very, very large-scale, high-fidelity, true-to-integrity, high-integrity database, that you can use for virtual worlds for user-generated content, but very importantly that you can use for manufacturing. So the screw, the little piece of the tabs, the screw, the pieces of metal, all the way up to an engine, the wheels, the tires, all of it has to be its true form. It has to be the real asset otherwise you can’t use it for manufacturing, you can’t use it for supply chain and such. So this is a database, it’s the first USD [Universal Scene Descriptor] database of its kind. It’s very large scale, it has to be distributed, and it has to be shared. Meaning you and I could use it in different countries, we should be able to use it in different clouds, we should be able to use the same database, whether we’re on-prem, or in the cloud, or at home.
    1. Machine learning generated content is just the next step beyond TikTok: instead of pulling content from anywhere on the network, GPT and DALL-E and other similar models generate new content from content, at zero marginal cost. This is how the economics of the metaverse will ultimately make sense: virtual worlds needs virtual content created at virtually zero cost, fully customizable to the individual.
    1. But we should resist surrendering to a destiny predefined by technological development. We urgently need to imagine a new world order and seize the opportunity provided by the meltdown to develop a strategy that opposes the relentless depoliticization and proletarianization driven by the transhumanist fantasy of superintelligence.

      Against longtermism

    2. Take China as an example: the defeat of China during the two Opium Wars led to a rampant modernization in which such a technical membrane became virtually unsustainable due to fundamental differences in technological thought and development (the most significant existing membrane is probably the Great Firewall of China, but its construction is only possible thanks to Silicon Valley).

      Both the concept of "technological membrane" (André Leroi-Gourhan, and how Hui applies it is fabulous.

    1. I believe this needs to change because, as a former longtermist who published an entire book four years ago in defence of the general idea, I have come to see this worldview as quite possibly the most dangerous secular belief system in the world today.

      this is a "prodigal techbro" stance

    2. This has roots in the work of Nick Bostrom, who founded the grandiosely named Future of Humanity Institute (FHI) in 2005, and Nick Beckstead, a research associate at FHI and a programme officer at Open Philanthropy. It has been defended most publicly by the FHI philosopher Toby Ord, author of The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity (2020).
    1. Planetary futures are reckoned through an oddly provincial lens of California coastal cosmopolitanism, academic-industrial systems theories and Silicon Valley techno-determinism. What emerges is ambiguous, but also remarkably generative: a lively crossroads between stunning brilliance and fringe speculation, between brash countercultural idealism and pragmatic collaboration with society’s most influential powerhouses. 

      Again and again, planetary vision with a local California vibe. It is as if "planetary" is a California lifestyle.

    2. Since moving to Texas, however, the clock has become a lightning rod for criticism and scorn. In 2012, the eco-philosopher Michelle Bastian dismissed it as a distraction from “the other ‘clock’ Bezos is building” — the “clock of Amazon,” powered by one-click ordering immediacy, fulfilment center time-crunches, short-term labor contingency and federal tax avoidance.

      THis indeed a paradox, that the principal funder of the Long Now clock is also the inventor of one-click purchase

    1. Artificial intelligence is the defining industrial and technical paradigm of the remainder of our lifetimes.

      BOOM! This is a strong claim. 20-30 years ago we would have said the same, starting with the word "internet". which begs the question - what's the Venn diagram for AI and the internet? Are they the same? Is one a necessary condition for the other?

    2. The greats, like William Gibson, Robert Heinlein, Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany, have long been arcing towards the kind of strangeness that Wang is talking about. Their AI fictions have given us our best imagery: AI, more like a red giant, an overseer, its every movement and choice as crushing and irrefutable as death; or, a consciousness continually undoing and remaking itself in glass simulations; or, a vast hive mind that runs all its goals per second to completion, at any cost; or, a point in a field, that is the weight of a planet, in which all knowledge is concentrated. These fictions have made AI poetics possible.

      So "alien intelligence" rather than "artificial intelligence". And then "artificial poetics", to grasp this so-called intelligence, that has to be understood not in the sense of something intelligent, but of something doing (alien) thinking.

    1. We believe that the net benefits of scale outweigh the costs associated with these qualifications, provided that they are seriously addressed as part of what scaling means. The alternative of small, hand-curated models from which negative inputs and outputs are solemnly scrubbed poses different problems. “Just let me and my friends curate a small and correct language model for you instead” is the clear and unironic implication of some critiques.

      This is the classical de/centralization debate, visible today also with regard to online platforms. Which, by the way, are or will be inserting LLMs into their infrastructural stacks. Thinking about de/centralization always reminds me of Frank Pasquale's "Tech Platforms and the Knowledge Problem" https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3197292

    1. We should recognized Longtermism as something more pernicious, though. It is a philosophy that says we need not concern ourselves with the fates, the dignity, or the injustices that people living today face, because those people matter no more nor less than the people who will live millennia from now. It is a philosophy that instructs our privileged elites to imagine themselves at the fulcrum of history and ignore the suffering they might cause on their path to greatness. It is a philosophy that imagines, centuries from now, people will still tell the tales of this era, and of the great men (always men. Always.) who set the course of the future.

      Key problem of longtermism: it throws away solidarity as a social value

    2. Now consider a hypothetical from science fiction. William Gibson’s two most recent books (The Peripheral and Agency) occur in two time periods — one in the near-future, the other in the far-future. Gibson’s far future is a techno-optimist paradise. It is filled with the future tech that today’s most wild-eyed futurists only dream about. Heads-up displays! Working robots that you can pilot with full telepresence! Functional seasteads! It is a world of abundance and wealth and fantastical artistry. But it is also a world that is notably… empty.

      Using Gibson’s Jackpot as a thought experiment for evaluating longtermism

    1. Ferrandis and Solaiman said in a joint statement. “From a competition and innovation perspective, if you already place overly heavy burdens on openly released features at the top of the AI innovation stream you risk hindering incremental innovation, product differentiation and dynamic competition, this latter being core in emergent technology markets such as AI-related ones … The regulation should take into account the innovation dynamics of AI markets and thus clearly identify and protect core sources of innovation in these markets.”

      HuggingFace representatives seem to gloss over enforcement challenges that their licensing framework will face. Though it is a good question - raised in the RAIL license white paper - what is more efficient: regulation or license enforcement.

    2. In a recent example, Stable Diffusion, an open source AI system that generates images from text prompts, was released with a license prohibiting certain types of content. But it quickly found an audience within communities that use such AI tools to create pornographic deepfakes of celebrities.

      This is a big question, whether use restrictions, which are becoming prolific (RAIL license, for example), can be enforced. If not, and that's a big if, it might create a situation of "responsibility washing" - licensors can argue they did all that's possible to curb harmful uses, and these will continue to happen in a gray / dark zone

    3. “The road to regulation hell is paved with the EU’s good intentions,” Etzioni said. “Open source developers should not be subject to the same burden as those developing commercial software. It should always be the case that free software can be provided ‘as is’ — consider the case of a single student developing an AI capability; they cannot afford to comply with EU regulations and may be forced not to distribute their software, thereby having a chilling effect on academic progress and on reproducibility of scientific results.”

      This is a very strange, axiomatic argument. That open source should be exempt because .... open source. There are no reasons to lift regulations meant to limit harms for a certain code production model, even if it's beneficial in itself.

    1. Many of you are already aware of recent changes that the Foundation has made to its NDA policy. These changes have been discussed on Meta, and I won’t reiterate all of our disclosures there,[2] but I will briefly summarize that due to credible information of threat, the Foundation has modified its approach to accepting “non-disclosure agreements” from individuals. The security risk relates to information about infiltration of Wikimedia systems, including positions with access to personally identifiable information and elected bodies of influence. We could not pre-announce this action, even to our most trusted community partner groups (like the stewards), without fear of triggering the risk to which we’d been alerted. We restricted access to these tools immediately in the jurisdictions of concern, while working with impacted users to determine if the risk applied to them.
    1. a big setback for the Republican-led states that have been suing the president over the metric, known as the social cost of carbon: a measure, in dollars, of how much damage results from emitting 1 ton of carbon dioxide. Being able to discuss the damage in terms of a precise dollar amount is important because it allows policymakers to show when the benefits of preventing global warming are greater than the costs. At some point it just becomes cheaper to switch to sustainable systems instead of coping with all the wildfires, floods, droughts, and heat waves that result from unsustainable systems.

      The idea of social cost of carbon (SCC) is fascinating: seemingly it aims to make the social costs of climate crisis objective by giving them a price tag. But then it becomes clear that the price tag depends on political / value judgements concerning the future, on which the idea of "discounting" depends.

    1. “That’s the mantra of web3, to be open and composable, and with CC0 no one owns the rights to the intellectual property. This creates huge potential for what can be created in the future. But the bigger corporations are coming into the space and trying to close things down, tracking wallets and essentially bringing web2 into web3. I don’t want that. I want web3 to continue to be built by the people, for the people, which is why all these public goods are crucial for the future of web3.”

      This is extremely interesting: the conviction that public domain approach is what differentiates web3 from web2. Quite different from a. typical spin that attributes this to the technological stack - here the stack is law + norms.

    2. The warm reception that followed his post helped Beans realize that CC0 communities are just built differently—he knew that if he ever created a project of his own, he would have to release it into the public domain. That is exactly what happened with Mirakai.

      Share alike norms! Despite CC0 / public domain legal framework

    3. “Chain Runners was the first community where I spent a significant amount of my time in their Discord server,” Beans recalls. “It was different because I wasn’t solely in it for profit, but rather talking about how cool the tech was. The CC0 vibe was far different than other projects I encountered; everyone in the server was talking about pushing the space forward.”
  6. Aug 2022
    1. The unconscious is a biological system before it is anything else. To put it as pithily as possibly—and as accurately—the unconscious is a machine for operating an animal.All animals have an unconscious. If they didnt they would be plants.
    1. The vibe shift concept has more or less dissipated into meaninglessness, but it originated as an acute collective sense that something suddenly felt different in early summer 2021, following widespread vaccination and the world reopening. The preceding pandemic year had been a time of unprecedented digital immersion. With less material to draw upon from the outside world, we frantically generated content about content. Memes evolved at an accelerated rate, all the more recursive because they were all we had. At the time, this didn’t even feel strange, because it was the mere culmination of what we’d been building toward for the prior decade, and we were already acclimated. 2020 put the finishing touches on that process of rewiring our brains for social media, fully orienting us toward a world where everything is content and potential raw material for memes and discourse
    1. She’s already created an avatar, War Nymph, that will substitute for her in various promotional activities during her pregnancy in ways that may have to be seen to be understood. Among many other ideas, they’re talking about making their own deepfakes — AI-rendered faux-footage of Grimes — that they’ll map onto the avatar’s body. “I like the idea of having numerous consciousnesses acting simultaneously in the future,” she says, deeply on-brand.
    1. But what does ownership mean in this context? The presence (and control) of a fee switch that can be turned on across the protocol. This creates a dynamic called the "threat of the fee". This means that owners of the Hyperstructure have the right to turn that fee on across the protocol at the base level at any time via a vote. It’s the threat of the fee, because it’s long term value-destructive to ever turn it on. Turning the fee on is a value destructive action because it would immediately lead to an incentivized fork

      I'm trying to wrap my head around this: why is the threat of financialization of value necessary for value to accrue around a protocol. Why non-monetary value generation hinges on the threat of monetary value being introduced?

    2. By nature of running on a blockchain, Hyperstructures can run forever with no ability to stop them. They can continuously function without a maintainer or operator, and they can run for as long as the underlying blockchain is running

      Seems to me that the same can be said of internet protocols, which are unstoppable as long as the internet is running. Where's the difference? Also, the equation of "forever" with "at least a decade" is funny.

    1. Looking for a legal framework to support Berners-Lee’s innovation, Jack Balkin and Jonathan Zittrain came up with the concept of information fiduciaries.

      This article offers a good overview of the broadly understood data trusts, including policy developments around more broadly understood data institutions.

    1. As well as a widespread sense of a cancelled future, young people are for the most part much more left-wing than their forebears. Keir Milburn has labelled this trend “Generation Left,” and argues that what is occurring is not just a culture war played out across generations, as has occurred in the past, but a fundamental recomposition of class largely along age lines in Britain, America, and the many Western European countries that saw left populist insurgencies.

      Sounds not necessarily true, looking at the right of right-wing politics in Europe. Though it's possible that these are fuelled by older generations.

    1. We feel that there is a balance to be struck between maximizing access and use of LLMs on the one hand, and mitigating the risks associated with use of these powerful models, on the other hand, which could bring about harm and a negative impact on society. The fact that a software license is deemed "open" ( e.g. under an "open source" license ) does not inherently mean that the use of the licensed material is going to be responsible. Whereas the principles of 'openness' and 'responsible use' may lead to friction, they are not mutually exclusive, and we strive for a balanced approach to their interaction.
    1. The ability to exit with your data intact is a core tenet of web3; web3 turns your data into your personal, programmable property.

      Yes, but without other platforms to go to (or the capacity to code own platform) the data, though owned, has little value. Thus the user remains dependent on platforms also in the web3 space

    2. As design theorist Yin Aiwen puts it, “joining a platform today is much like going to a new town; not only do you need to familiarize yourself with the interfacial environment, you also must adapt to a particular culture to communicate, exchange, and so on.”

      This is not necessarily the only option of using a platform - that of adjusting to the dominant / mainstream mode. Platforms are relatively flexible tools, creating opportunities for idiosyncratic uses / niches. And these actually are often encouraged by platforms, as they aim to spawn new niches.

    1. Every day, there is a new spike of anger, recrimination, or legislation directed at “information disorder,”

      The piece provides a pretty canonical - to me, by now - framing of "digital public space" efforts as an alternative to market regulation / market competition measures. Interesting #digitaldivide aspect in the 2nd part, showing how "broadcast internet" from public broadcasters could help bridge the gap (25M people without the internet in the US)

  7. Jun 2022
    1. As the technologist Bruce Schneier wrote, “It used to be that things had computers in them. Now they are computers with things attached to them.”

      And to this William Gibson would add: the world is a global cyborg because of the internet, and we live inside it. (

  8. May 2022
    1. I don’t think that’s a problem, though, because ideally we want lots of people conducting lots of public experiments.

      It is a problem if the EA approach dominates philanthropy; and the market of philanthropic ideas is not a level one, as it depends on asymmetries in the ability to fund philanthropic endeavours; thus it skews in the same way that the markets, in which the money for philanthropy is made, skews.

    2. If we were to take EA literally, however, we’d be saying that there is an objectively best way to accomplish these outcomes, and that that way is discoverable: that complex social problems are a finite, solvable game.

      Asparouhova voices the criticism in a soft way, but the argument could be made stronger: that there's a tendency of centralisation / dominance that's characteristic of EA in the same way that it's characteristic of the major commercial tech project. There is something in the socio-technical setup of tech, business models, but also individual egos of the founders, that leads to these outcomes.

    1. Content moderation takes place within this ecosystem.

      The essay makes the point that "Facebook has many faces - it is not a monolith". But algorithmic content moderation is monolithic. Let's see whether this tension is investigated.

  9. Mar 2022
    1. America also should strengthen Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia to meet the demands of the 21st century. This would entail building on existing programs to help dissidents and activists shield their electronic communications from their regime’s secret police and pursue satellite technology to provide uncensored Internet in Russia, China, and other despotic countries. This is especially urgent in Russia, where Putin has banned most Western social media.

      This creates an opportunity to build public, digital media infrastructures - necessitated by "Cold War" realities.

    1. For this reason, equitable power structures must be proactively designed in Web3 systems.

      This is a call for a "democratic governance of X" type of solution.

      Makes me think how some DAOs apparently move beyond the code-based determinism and design social institutions / norms.

      But I also think of the marginal nature of digital coops, which were meant to offer the promise of 'digital governance'. This suggests that unless something changes, we cannot home for this solution to work.

    1. Web3 wants to take politics as we know out of many things but not to be “neutral” but to take democratic rights and rules for participation away. When only the code decides and there is no place for debate and political struggle, how do the disenfranchised get heard? How do the powerless organize and revolt? 

      This is for me a strong, and original argument added by tante to the web3 debate - that token-based participation rights lead to exclusion.

    1. “Memeification, the Marvel-ization, the spectacle of an ongoing war rendered as entertainment, etc. This is less about a lack of empathy or understanding of human suffering, and far more indicative of platforms doing what they were designed to do in producing everything as content,” he wrote this morning.

      When he writes of "platforms doing", I actually think he means the result of both the platform's structure, and the activities of it's users - I appreciate that, as public debate often reduces the issue of responsibility to that of platforms. While we should give agency also in part to their users.

  10. Oct 2021
    1. In a world where finding someone online is a commodityOne sign that it is a commodity is that messaging apps, while massive, are for the most part lousy businesses that generate little in revenue. That's the financial profile you'd expect of a commodity business., the niftier trick is connecting to the right people in the right context. I have over a dozen messaging apps installed on my phone, they all look roughly the same. While I've discussed graph design largely defensively here—how to avoid mistakes in graph design—the positive view is to use graph design offensively. How do you craft a unique graph whose very structure encodes valuable, and more importantly, unique intelligence?

      THis is obviously about scenium.

    1. In a post this month, Mr. Zuckerberg said it was “deeply illogical” that the company would give priority to harmful content because Facebook’s advertisers don’t want to buy ads on a platform that spreads hate and misinformation.

      I think that advertisers are fully aware that the space is at once unified and divided, and they can easily target certain preferable groups, while avoiding the parts of Facebook that might be toxic.

    1. As the Chinese example shows, allowing alternatives to thrive will likely require existing platforms to be neutered, whether by blocking them or pursuing policies to tear down their “walled gardens.”

      The problem here is that the most plausible strategy to achieve it is that of state interventionism, often due to some sovereign agenda.

    1. So we’re not very good with rapid change and lots of information—it just causes our brains to go crazy, with maybe a few notable exceptions. For normal people it’s like, Oh my God, I just can’t take it anymore. And it leads to rises of cortisol stress, perhaps mental illness, God knows. So we have a problem that the information that is coming at you is so profound. In our book, what we talk about is that this coexistence with this information resource—it’s driven by features that are not human—is a change in the information space that is profound. We worry a lot in the book about how you regulate it.

      THis is not about regulation, this is about learning to co-exist. And Schmidt is avoiding the question whether this scale is too big, too inhuman - focuses on how to make it work

  11. Dec 2020
    1. That was, at least, until the pandemic brought tourism to a standstill. “In a certain sense Covid has created an opportunity,” Fernando Medina, the mayor of Lisbon, told the Guardian. “The virus didn’t ask us for permission to come in, but we have the ability to use this time to think and to see how we can move in a direction to correct things and put them on the right track.”
  12. Nov 2020
    1. Between 1950 and 1973 GDP doubled or more. This prosperity was broadly shared, with consistent growth in living standards for rich and poor alike and the emergence of a broad middle class.
    1. These hacks also function as a form of censorship. Once, censorship worked by blocking crucial pieces of information. In this era of information overload, censorship works by drowning us in too much undifferentiated information, crippling our ability to focus. These dumps, combined with the news media’s obsession with campaign trivia and gossip, have resulted in whistle-drowning, rather than whistle-blowing: In a sea of so many whistles blowing so loud, we cannot hear a single one.



  13. Sep 2020
    1. The reason I’m optimistic is not that I think QAnon will disappear in a year but that something like QAnon is proof that people care and people like being involved in pursuit of truth. In QAnon that care and pursuit are dangerously twisted. But it gives people who feel unwelcome in lots of places a sense of purpose. You can make projects and build community that harnesses that positively. The same way bad actors can look at QAnon and find a playbook, so can good actors. We can find similar ways to motivate alienated people in a more constructive way. At least I hope so.
  14. Apr 2020
    1. Finally, any certificate that affords special status, like the ability to work while others are quarantined, will create incentives for people to deliberately infect themselves or game the system with counterfeits. Immunity passports would unfairly “favor individuals who didn’t comply with social distancing and got sick early on,” said Alexandra Phelan of Georgetown University, who works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases. And “the idea that there would be a midpoint where some people could resume the right to be citizens and others could not is effectively an apartheid system,” said Sharon Abramowitz, a consultant at UNICEF who studies community responses to pandemics. “It might serve specific public-health ends, but in this society would be very problematic.” History affirms that concern: When yellow fever hit the American South in the 19th century, “immunoprivilege” worsened existing forms of discrimination while creating new ones.


    1. I say humility because, as it turns out, unimaginable says more about the limits of our imagination than about reality itself.


  15. Feb 2020
    1. This is an example of how a smart city could work: a place through which you move in relative anonymity, identified only when needed, and under conditions that allow for significant controls over what can be done with your data. Such a city depends on a responsive, legitimate government, and on devices that are open and transparent, freely auditable and secured through widespread scrutiny of their inner workings. It is a city and a technology and a government oriented around its people, designed to treat people “as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else”.

      Dobry cytat dla władz Warszawy.

    1. But Washington’s extreme dysfunction forces decision-making onto cities and states. To make matters worse, extremists on both the far left and the far right—who make up the majority of voters in low-turnout local primary elections—now hold most of the power. When that happens, balanced decision-making goes right out the window. So instead of weighing the pros and cons of each public policy, reaching a compromise, and then giving everyone certainty and resolution, tech regulation today is a battle zone.
    1. Our digital century was to have been democracy’s Golden Age. Instead, we enter its third decade marked by a stark new form of social inequality best understood as “epistemic inequality.” It recalls a pre-Gutenberg era of extreme asymmetries of knowledge and the power that accrues to such knowledge, as the tech giants seize control of information and learning itself.

      A rare case of a non-privacy argument made against platforms - in this case, it's about inequality of access to knowledge (about ourselves!)

  16. Jan 2020
    1. “Privacy aside, they are building tech to mine our attention and manipulate our behavior just as Web 2 has. There’s nothing particularly decentralized, user-centric, or self-sovereign about their approach.”

      Good argument about going beyond privacy issues.

    1. When I defend internet platforms against what I see as media’s growing moral panic, irresponsible reporting, and conflict of interest, I’m defending the internet itself and the freedoms it affords from what I fear will be continuing regulation of our own speech and freedom.

      Moral panic in reporting about platforms makes it difficult to address the real challenge - of balancing the power of platforms and (authoritarian) governments as they aim to curb freedoms of use.

    2. But as I sat there I saw something missing: the larger goal and soul of the effort and thus of the company and the communities it wants to foster. They have structured this effort around a belief, which I share, in the value of freedom of expression, and the need — recognized too late — to find ways to monitor and constrain that freedom when it is abused and used to abuse. But that is largely a negative: how and why speech (or as Facebook, media, and regulators all unfortunately refer to it: content) will be limited.Facebook’s Community Standards — in essence, the statutes the Oversight Board will interpret and enforce and suggest to revise — are similarly expressed in the negative: what speech is not allowed and how the platform can maintain safety and promote voice and equality among its users by dealing with violations.

      Jarvis raises the issue of a lack of positive vision for online space / communication

    1. Minimizing interaction has some knock-on effects—some of them good, some not. The externalities of efficiency, one might say.

      Byrne makes a good point that interactions, maybe even humanism, become an externality of efficiency in the artificial culture.

    1. The surveillance capitalists didn’t just sell more deodorant; they had built one of the most powerful tools ever invented for winning elections. Roughly the same suite of technologies helped elect Obama, a pragmatic liberal who promised racial progress and a benevolent globalism, and Trump, a strident nationalist who adeptly employs social media to stoke racial panic and has set out to demolish the American-led world order.

      The fact that Obama, and not just Trump used political micro-targetting is often overlooked.

      More importantly, we still lack data as to the actual effects of such microtargetting on electoral behavior.

    1. "Movements," as opposed to institutions, tend to go somewhere, and then they stop. So "Making" was an eclectic tumbleweed of a lot of moving novelties that I enjoyed learning about, such as Web 2.0, open source hard ware, 3Dprinting, artisanal electronics, shareables, fabrication labs, public hacker events, sneaking weird cyberpunk DIY personal projects into dead Italian factories, and even more! I'm happy I was involved with that. It was truly illuminating, and worth every minute. Thanks to Making, I'm much more at ease with topics and activities that would likely have been forever closed to me as a career novelist. I know a lot more about material culture now, and I'm even far more personally handy than I once was. However, fifteen years is a rather long time for any "movement." Nobody talks about "Web 2.0" any more; the Internet was famously "built with O'Reilly books," but Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, those vast post-Internet entities are not built with O'Reilly books, and O'Reilly was the source of Make, the way Whole Earth was the source of the WELL.

      Sooooo relevant to Creative Commons, is it in a post-movement phase?

    1. One protest sign at the youth climate strike put it succinctly: “You’ll die of old age. We’ll die of climate change.” Today’s kids never had the chance to believe in a simple progress narrative.

      This is the key point, albeit not made very strongly - this is not about progress / wealth - this is abot changing outlooks on survival. Which leads for example to psychological, not economic / social outcomes - like existential dread / anxiety.

  17. Dec 2019
  18. Nov 2019
    1. with books lining the walls of study spaces but not jutting out perpendicularly like the old, high-capacity stacks, so as to leave most of the floor open for tables, chairs, and spaces for group work.

      and for laptops to be used...

  19. Sep 2019
    1. In approaching these challenges, policy makers should avoid the trap of treating all emerging ecosystems as commercial monsters in need of control. Ecosystems can provide new ways of bridging private benefit and public good. IDEO’s CoLab circular economy portfolio advises firms in the textile and food sectors on reconfiguring their ecosystems to encourage the reuse of resources and the reduction of waste. Traipse’s My Local Token provides localized digital currencies for U.S. downtowns that reinforce connections between residents and tourists on one hand and local businesses on the other. Velocia is creating a rewards ecosystem that encourages the use of public transit alongside on-demand services such as carpooling and carsharing to improve people’s commutes.

      Funny to see positive examples of very small ecosystems after earlier examples of big ecoystems that indeed are in need of control

  20. Aug 2018
    1. The idea about an alternative internet may actually be somewhat relevant to our endeavours

      This is an important question - to what extent are we framing an alternative internet (and with it, an alternative public space) and to what extent are we reframing policy shaping the current internet?

  21. Apr 2018
    1. The bigger a platform gets, the harder it is to maintain a particular sense of style. By opening the platform, Pieratt had tried to “convert from a human-driven community into a machine,” he explains. “When we lost the exclusivity, people didn’t really care anymore.” Svpply’s innate sense of uniqueness didn’t survive: “If everyone’s editing Vogue, it wouldn’t be Vogue.”

      This suggests that Big and Open will never be a Commons, as there is no shared sense of uniqueness, identity, commonality. there's just a big open space.

    1. At other times, Zuckerberg tried to repeat a trick he’d deployed successfully in front of the Senate. When asked about data Facebook collects about users, he answered by talking about the data users upload to Facebook. “The content you share, you put there,” he told Democrat Bobby Rush shortly after the congressman asked him the difference between Facebook’s techniques and “the methodology of the American political pariah J Edgar Hoover”. Zuckerberg continued: “You can take it down at any time. The information that we collect, you can choose to have us not collect. You can delete any of it, and, of course, you can leave Facebook if you want.”


      Good quote distinguishing the content and data layer

  22. Apr 2017
    1. The “domain of one’s own” isn’t owned; it’s leased

      There's a possible solution to this, which would involve having control over a high level domain, and then finding a sustainable way not to collect fees for domains in this TLD. There is a precedent of sorts, from Poland around the turn of the century: the Polish domain registrar registered the art.pl domain, and within that domains artists could get a domain for free. Not sure how the sustainability / economics of that worked.

  23. Jan 2017