Media critic Douglas Rushkoff has a provocative, short essay about a new plan to protect decentralized, freedom-juicing networking: abandon the Internet. He proposes replacing it with a new system that is less controlled by corporate interests and that functions more like the network of old BBSs known as FidoNet.
That's right. I propose we abandon the Internet, or at least accept the fact that it has been surrendered to corporate control like pretty much everything else in Western society. It was bound to happen, and its flawed, centralized architecture made it ripe for conquest...
Now FidoNet employed a genuinely distributed architecture. (And if you smart hackers can say why that's wrong, and how FidoNet could have been more distributed, please continue that line of thought! You are already on your way to developing the next network.) 25 years of networking later, lessons learned, and battles fought; can you imagine how much better we could do?
So let's get on it. Shall we use telephony, ham radio, or some other part of the spectrum? Do we organize overlapping meshes of WiMax? Do we ask George Soros for some money? MacArthur Foundation? Do we even need or want them or money at all? How might the funding of our network by a central bank issued currency, or a private foundation, or a public university, bias the very architecture we are trying to build? Who gets the ability to govern or limit what may spread over our network, if anyone? Should there be ways for us to transact?
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