The internet as a system contains values such as freedom and privacy that are deeply embedded in the implementation and it’s evolution. For example, by default the system is open, anyone can share their work by publishing (hosting a website) and anyone can access everything.
This is most obvious when observing an opposing ideology try to exert control over the internet–Chinese censorship and firewall, ‘shutting down’ the internet during protests in Iran. It’s counter to how it works and how people expect to use it.
- Audrey Tang first mentioned this in an interview with Tyler Cowen
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Digital Status Symbols Arise from Homogeneity
When everyone gets the same thing, the smallest differences become status symbols.
A country with a frontier is shaped by it. It favors people with rugged individualism because common services are not readily available without an existing economy in place. Positive-sum interactions in settled areas are required because people always have the option to leave. Finally, people seeking high variance opportunities will follow the frontier in search of outsized gains.
With so much of our time spent with computers and the internet, we ought to think about the quality of our digital lives. What makes for a good digital life? How do you achieve it? What should we do to improve it?
Decentralized Systems Are Most Attractive to Outcasts of Other Systems
One issue with decentralized systems is that, from the onset, such systems are most appealing to outcasts of other systems. These outcast groups are more extreme (political views, illicit activity) than those using mainstream systems. This can be an impediment to development and growth of a network.
A Data Dividend Law Would Undermine Privacy and Encourage Acceptance of Exploitative Behavior
In order to share some of the captured value from data collection, a monetary value would need to be determined. This is problematic because data collection practices are synonymous with privacy—assigning a value to privacy undermines the notion of privacy altogether.