February 9th, 2016 Thought

Can you even make a website to organize protests or acts of civil disobedience, or for that matter something to change the current system? An application / piece of software that does this loses a lot of credibility in the minds of the elected officials. Perhaps this is due to most elected officials having been born and lived the early parts of their lives without computers. That is an attractive explanation.

I think it could be something more related to the ways in which the internet has been instituted. It has been designed by people who didn’t have the internet during their formative years. The developers of Ethereum are very young, and the developers of OpenBazaar etc are also young. IPFS guy, Juan Benet is young. The people designing the internet now, like myself, have had an idea of what we think the internet should look like. Sir TB-L had an idea of what libraries should look like, among other analogies to the existing world. Those of us who have grown up with the internet as part of our world conceive of it as a natural idea, as the internet even having a nature. “The nature of the internet/internet technology is…” is something that people say, even people older than the internet.

But even segregating generations like that is unfair to do, probably a European tendency of mine. Back to civil disobedience. The problem as I see it using the internet for civil disobedience, or trans-systemic applications, is that most people feel some personal sense of guilt in the way they are using the internet. Only someone who uses public wi-fi or steals access, uses bitcoin for money, uses diaspora / own self-built server for social networking, etc, is free of the influence they are trying to affect. The only way to form a resistance against the hierarchy is to do it in meatspace, in a context beyond their control. That’s one of the reasons wiretapping is such a large concern right now: because that reveals a level of control which we hoped not to fear when confronting flaws or malice within “the system.”

In conclusion, the old system is hierarchical and built into the current version of the internet. The new system being built now is something new, seen by “millennials,” “digital natives,” and other similar terms all meaning “born in the last 20 years"