If Web 2.0 is already bringing everything crashing down, Web 3.0 is going to finish the job.
This is what something in the process of Internet-based disintermediation looks like.
Don’t go there:
Twitter’s precarious position has left some users — traditionally those on the left — calling for Twitter to be pseudo-nationalized by the federal government through “social network neutrality” or classifying the platform as a public utility. Applying traditional monopoly analysis, they argue that Twitter’s dominant market positions could allow it to unfairly downplay competing services or prioritize the company’s own related commercial interests. Others say that privacy concerns should compel some kind of government regulation. […] Interestingly, these tides have recently turned. These days, I more often hear people on the right make the argument that services like Twitter should be run by the federal government. (Many on the left, meanwhile, have turned to petitioning internal social-network regulatory bodies, like Twitter’s aforementioned Trust and Safety Council, to implement their desired platform changes.) The baroque reasoning goes like this: Private companies don’t have to afford the same kinds of free speech rights that the federal government does. If the federal government takes control of the platform, U.S. users will be afforded the due process and First Amendment protections many feel are owed to them on Twitter. […] But the inherent surveillance and procedural problems presented by this “solution” should be immediately apparent. What’s more, the Twitter user base extends to millions of people outside of U.S. borders. Some Americans might not mind if their government ran a major social network, but plenty of people around the world certainly would. And let’s not forget HealthCare.Gov; the federal government doesn’t have the best track record running major public websites.
@Outsideness has been zapped by Twitter without any explanation (as of yet). It’s probably a useful hint that it’s past time to look more diligently for a censorship-resistant platform.
This prompted me to give minds.com a look. It’s still in beta, and will probably take a while to get used to, but there’s an @Outsideness account now if anyone’s tempted to experiment with exodus.
I’ve had trouble getting through to Gab.ai (might be a VPN / China Internet issue).
We’ll have Urbit eventually.
ADDED: I haven’t sought out a fight with Twitter, but had I done so it’s hard to imagine there could have been a way to hurt it more than getting Outsideness banned in this way. There’s simply no possible case to be made that this is about ‘abuse’. There has been nothing remotely like harassment in the history of the account. It’s naked thought control. The platform is an undisguised leftist ideological operation. First it collapses down to a partisan bubble with zero credibility beyond its own constituency. Then it dies.
ADDED: Twitter @Outsideness restored this morning. No explanation (or communication from Twitter of any kind) about what just happened. The word that comes to mind for this kind of arbitrary aggressive behavior is abuse.
Urbit perspective on the Chinese century:
The closest thing to a general-purpose personal server today is probably the Chinese service WeChat. If you don’t know much about WeChat, you should really watch this NYT video.
Catch-up would be sensible. (Abandoning the bizarre Western prejudice that the Internet is primarily for political expression would be a start.)
Pointed criticism follows. If Urbit delivers, we could actually see some geographically-distributed competition, which is otherwise looking increasingly unlikely. 2017 should tell, apparently.
The CIA edition.
Best line to come out of the insanity so far:
Mass concentration and coordination of autism via the Internet will [have been a] defining aspect of humanity’s history.
4chan, as always, is asking the serious questions.
Psychology is the canary in the Cathedral.
This is huge. It’s what media following the grain of the Internet looks like (if only as a preliminary glimpse).
Here‘s how it works:
WeSearchr has a select group of editors that we call “Askers” who watch the news cycle and figure out what people want to know. […] If an Asker believes that there is enough interest in a question, they will create a “Bounty” as a reward for the answer to the question. The minimum amount of funding to trigger a Bounty is called a “reserve”. […] Members of the WeSearchr community can browse the bounties and donate money to fund a bounty, like other crowdfunding sites. […] Once a Bounty hits its reserve, it is funded and WeSearchr will accept answers from people that have the answers to that question. […] WeSearchr will review the submissions and check them for veracity. […] If the submission fulfills the terms of the Bounty, WeSearchr will assign the reward and release the information to the Asker and assigned news outlets for distribution. […] 30 days after the story’s release, WeSearchr pays the Bounty.
75% of the Bounty goes to the person(s) that deliver a solution.
10% goes to the Asker
15% goes to WeSearchr
So: A decentralized market place for journalistic research.
The conception alone crosses an honesty threshold. There is no longer any need for meta-lies about the essential character of contemporary journalism (as a political apparatus screened by an increasingly-ludicrous pretense to disinterested ‘news’ curation). All research is interested, and its incentives are now openly formalized. The result is a germinal assassination market for hidden things. It targets enemy secrets. The information warfare that media have always been ceases to be promoted as anything else.
For the first time in over a century, it is now possible to envisage journalists making an honest living (by fulfilling private research contracts). This type of transition only goes in one direction. A piece of the future just came into view.
Spandrell digs deeper (to glorious effect).