It's very possible I am the only voice (speaking figuratively, of course) you will hear today who was around at the beginning of the 'Computer Revolution' in the 1970s.

And I'm here to tell you, nearly fifty years later, that we failed to deliver on the dream. That, in fact, what we ended up with was even more dystopian than the most pessimistic cyberpunk story – not because we got more of the cyberpunky bad shit (we didn't), but because we didn't get *any* of the good.

The worst part? For a ten year period, starting in 1994, it really looked like we were going to pull off the dream; perhaps not as originally envisioned, but close enough only Ted Nelson would complain.

Remember when Google's motto was, "Don't be evil?"

Now our best hope lies in VPNs, balkanized Federations of small nodes, and 'Information Poisoning'.

And that's not even a rear-guard operation. At best we are only carving out a small space for ourselves and making things just a little harder for the Internet giants.

For whatever short space in time we have left before governmental regulation makes the free Internet illegal…

I hate to say it, not least because I hate to admit David Brin is right about ANYTHING, but we should have listened to him back in 1998. He saw what was coming and even made a few stabs at workable countermeasures – none of which were followed up on.


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Rusted Neuron – an Intentional Community

Rusted Neuron is a Mastodon Instance operated by Jack William Bell