a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by veen
veen  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Web3 Renaissance

Here's what I have been mulling about recently; what do we lose when we monetize the Internet, when we let go of the ol' paradigm of "information wants to be free"?

I, too, am very excited about it. Yet at the same time I do not hold the illusion that web3 won't be without its downsides. I have to admit my reluctance to do more with Web3 stems largely from not (yet) understanding what kinds of downsides there will be, besides the current obvious ones (grifting, market manipulation, to name a few).

Web2 has given us enormous amounts of information and entertainment at our fingertips. To make an imperfect analogy, I sometimes worry if we're trading a library for a bookshop; trading a public, nearly free realm for a commercialized place of exclusionary / elitist information. I hope the global scale means the payment per user becomes so marginal that this won't be a problem, but at the same time I can't be sure of that.





kleinbl00  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Information wants to be free" has, since the moment Stewart Brand uttered it, meant "I'm not paying you for your intellectual property." It has never meant "I'm giving my shit away" but has always meant "I'm not paying you."

Your article bitches about the accumulation of wealth at the top of streaming services and such without acknowledging that accumulation of wealth at the top is a function of capitalism. Hell, it's a function of statistics. What it doesn't acknowledge is the highest earners on Spotify, all time, aggregated, have earned about as much as ABBA.

Information was never free. HAS never been free. The idea that it might somehow be free is a crass sleight-of-hand to obscure the costs of information propagation and enrobe the act of theft in a gloss of nobility.

Libraries cost. Someone has to pay for them. Google's whole thing was "fucking make us." "I'm not stealing from you, I'm sharing your information" only works if the world has already decided you're not entitled to stuff you paid for but from the very fucking beginning the architects of the Internet have had "charge people for things we get for free" as their business model. Your authors are no better:

    Payments weren’t built into the internet’s infrastructure—it was considered too risky. Marc Andreessen called this “the original sin of the internet.”

How do you quote Marc Andreessen without context, particularly when talking about payments? His whole thing was stealing NCSA Mosaic from a public university, privatizing it, going public and then proceeding to profit off of others following his business model.

dublinben  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·  

As someone who was inspired by A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace when I was younger, I'm endlessly disappointed by the all-consuming nature that "crypto" has over the discussion of the future of the web. From my perspective, commercialization ruined web1, and the so-called idealists of today are merely doubling down on that in web3 because they see it as a get-rich-quick scheme.

mk  ·  155 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's a shame that crypto is judged by its first applications and the scammers trying to make a quick buck on speculation. I could go into the .com bubble and blah blah, but the technology is revolutionary and I do believe it will lead to a better world. IMO commercialization isn't what's coming, but something more like communist-capitalism. Technology enables new economics which enables new politics.

kleinbl00  ·  154 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Photography is not judged by porn. VCRs are not judged by porn. Social media is not judged by image boards (which were also porn).

We pretty much owe the modern existence of technology to Ismail al-Jazari, who came up with several hundred ways to use cutting-edge technology in order to sell useless farkles to rich people. Since he was Islamic none of it was porn but as soon as that shit hit Europe? Porn.

Frankly we'd be a lot further along if you could fuck a blockchain.

kleinbl00  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The overwhelming majority of the Web3 space is populated by scammers who miss the good ole days of ICOs.