August 4, 2003

Internet for Dummies, Redux

Doc Searls and David Weinberger take everyone back to school with:
What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else.
The entire article is, as my source says, "interesting," but the summation reads:

The companies whose value came from distributing content in ways the market no longer wants -- can you hear us Recording Industry? -- can stop thinking that bits are like really lightweight atoms. You are never going to prevent us from copying the bits we want. Instead, why not give us some reasons to prefer buying music from you? Hell, we might even help you sell your stuff if you asked us to.

The government types who have confused the value of the Internet with the value of its contents could realize that in tinkering with the Internet's core, they're actually driving down its value. In fact, they maybe could see that having a system that transports all bits equally, without government or industry censorship, is the single most powerful force for democracy and open markets in history.

The incumbent providers of networking services -- Hint: It begins with "tele" and ends with "com" -- could accept that the stupid network is going to swallow their smart network. They could bite the bullet now rather than running up hundreds of billions of dollars in costs delaying and fighting the inevitable.

The federal agency responsible for allocating spectrum might notice that the value of open spectrum is the same as the true value of the Internet.Those who would censor ideas might realize that the Internet couldn't tell a good bit from a bad bit if it bit it on its naughty bits.

Whatever censorship is going to occur will have to occur on the Net's ends and it's not going to work very well.

Perhaps companies that think they can force us to listen to their messages -- their banners, their interruptive graphic crawls over the pages we're trying to read -- will realize that our ability to flit from site to site is built into the Web's architecture. They might as well just put up banners that say "Hi! We don't understand the Internet. Oh, and, by the way, we hate you."

Enough already. Let's stop banging our heads against the facts of the Internet life.

We have nothing to lose but our stupidity.

Ah, I love the whiff of sanity in the morning.

[Pointer via Michael's Web]

Posted by Vanderleun at August 4, 2003 7:03 AM
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