Most tech are frustratingly incapable of predicting the future, and 2006's 2.0 is no exception. But it holds up better than many, and identifies four key themes still relevant today: - by states, and by code - competing , and latent ambiguity.

"Nature. Essence. Innate. The way things are. This kind of rhetoric should
raise suspicions in any context. It should especially raise suspicion here. If
there is any place where nature has no rule, it is in . If there is any
place that is constructed, cyberspace is it. Yet the rhetoric of “essence” hides
this constructedness. It misleads our intuitions in dangerous ways."

"This is the fallacy of 'is-ism'—the mistake of confusing how something is with how it must be. There is certainly a way that cyberspace is. But
how cyberspace is is not how cyberspace has to be. There is no single way
that the Net has to be; no single architecture that defines the nature of the
Net. The possible architectures of something that we would call “the Net”
are many, and the character of life within those different architectures is

"...all of us must learn at least enough to see that technology is plastic. It can be remade to do things differently. And that if there is a mistake that we who know too little about technology should make, it is the mistake of imagining to be too plastic, rather than not plastic enough. We should expect—and demand—that it can be made to reflect any set of values that we think important. The burden should be on the technologists to show us why that demand can’t be met."

Find someone who looks at you the way that people in the 90s looked at the . The romance of as a place.

"[I] start thinking about this thing that buzzes around the entire world, through the phone lines, all day and all night long. It’s right under our noses and it’s invisible. It’s ... an entire goddamned world. Except it doesn’t physically exist. It’s just the collective consciousness of however many people are on it. This really is outstandingly weird." - J. C.

1996 Laurence Lessig warning that the Internet could be an instrument of control and .

"Whatever was, there's no reason it has to stay this way. The 'nature' of the is not God's will. Its nature is simply the product of its design. The design could be different. The Net could be designed to reveal who someone is, where they are, and what they're doing. And if it were so designed, the Net could become..'the most regulable space that mab has ever known."

data retention

"All... of these examples address a behavior that the government wants to , but which it cannot (easily) regulate directly... the government thus regulates that behavior indirectly by directly regulating technologies that affect behavior. Those regulated technologies influence or constrain the targeted behavior differently. They 'influence the development of code.' They are regulations of code that in turn make behavior more regulable."

"Too many miss how different architectures embed different values, and that only by selecting these different architectures—these different codes—can we establish and promote our values."

"But isn’t it clear that government should do something to make this architecture consistent with important public values? If commerce is going to define the emerging architectures of cyberspace, isn’t the role of government to ensure that those public values that are not in commerce’s interest are also built into the architecture?"

🔥🔥 🔥

"Architecture is a kind of law: It determines what people can and cannot do. When commercial interests determine the architecture, they create a kind of privatized law. I am not against private enterprise; my strong presumption in most cases is to let the market produce. But isn’t it absolutely clear that there must be limits to this presumption? That public values are not exhausted by the sum of what IBM might desire? That what is good for America Online is not necessarily good for America?"

Lessig talking about platforms as vehicles for surveillance and control is fascinating, especially because his example in 1999 is . The proto .

Architecture to regulate behavior.

"A large hotel in an American city received many complaints about the slowness of its elevators. It installed mirrors next to the elevator doors. The complaints ceased."

1948, Shelley v Kramer - the Supreme Court forbids covenants to explicitly forbid sale to people of a particular race.

"When the Court ended direct segregation, we should expect indirect segregation to emerge to replace it. Sure enough, after 1948 local communities shifted their technique for preserving segregation. Rather than covenants, they used architecture. Communities were designed to “break the flow” of residents from one to another."

"Highways without easy crossings were placed between communities. Railroad tracks were used to divide. A thousand tiny inconveniences of architecture and zoning replaced the express preferences of covenants. Nothing formally prohibited integration, but informally, much did."

The driving point of this chapter is that indirect regulation can obfuscate the entity doing the regulation and their intent.

"Three layers constitute the essential plumbing of the , hidden in the Net’s walls... At the very bottom, just above the physical layer of the Internet, in the data link layer, very few protocols operate, since that handles local network interactions exclusively. More protocols exist at the next layer up, the network layer, where the protocol is dominant. It routes data between hosts and across network links, determining which path the data should take."

"At the next layer up, the transport layer, two different protocols dominate— and . These negotiate the flow of data between two network hosts. (The difference between the two is reliability—UDP offers no reliability guarantee.) The protocols together function as a kind of odd UPS. Data are passed from the application to the transport layer. There the data are placed in a (virtual) box and a (virtual) label is slapped on."

"That label ties the contents of the box to particular processes. (This is the work of the TCP or UDP protocols.) That box is then passed to the network layer, where the protocol puts the package into another package, with its own label. This label includes the origination and destination addresses. That box then can be further wrapped at the data link layer, depending on the specifics of the local network (whether, for example, it is an network)."

"On top of these three layers is the application layer of the . Here protocols “proliferate.” These include the most familiar network application protocols, such as (file transfer protocol, a protocol for transferring files), (simple mail transport protocol, a protocol for transferring mail), and (hyper text transfer protocol, a protocol to publish and read hypertext documents across the )."

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Next book is "Thinking in Systems", by Donella H. Meadows, because eventually I'll have to back up all my mutterings about "self-reinforcing behaviors".

"Resilience is not the same thing as being static or constant over time. Resilient can be very dynamic. Short-term oscillations, or periodic outbreaks, or long cycles of succession, climax, and collapse may in fact be the normal condition, which resilience acts to restore."

Forest fires?

"And, conversely, systems that are constant time can be unresilient. This distinction between static stability and resilience is important. Static stability, is something you can see; it's measured by variation in the condition of a system week by week or year by year. Resilience is something that may be very hard to see, unless you exceed its limits, overwhelm and damage the balancing loops, and the system structure breaks down."

"Because resilience may not be obvious without a whole-system view, people often sacrifice resilience for stability, or for productivity, or for some other more immediately recognizable system property."

"Loss of resilience can come as a surprise, because the system usually is playing much more attention to its play than its playing space. One day it does something it has done a hundred times before and it crashes."

"Since Adam Smith, it has been widely believed that the free, competitive market i see one of these properly structured self-regulating . In some ways, it is. In other ways, obvious, to anyone willing to look, it isn't. A does allow producers and consumers, who have the best information about production opportunities and consumption choices, to make fairly uninhibited and locally rational decisions."

"But those decisions can't, by themselves, correct the overall system's tendency to create monopolies and undesirable side effects (externalities), to discriminate against the poor, or to overshoot its sustainable carrying capacity."

The best explanation for "the tragedy of the Commons" I've seen.

Each actor in a system gets the full benefits of exploiting the Commons but share only a fraction of the effects of erosion. Bounded rationality dictates that all actors will overuse a resource.

"If you define the goal of a society as GNP, that society will do its best to produce GNP. It will not produce welfare, equity, justice, or efficiency unless you define and regularly measure and report the state of welfare, equity, justice, or efficiency."

"The world would be a different place if instead of competing to have the highest per capita GNP, nations competed to have the highest per capita stocks of wealth with the lowest throughput, or the lowest infant mortality, or the greatest political freedom, or the cleanest environment, or the smallest gap between the rich and the poor."

"So how do you change paradigms? Thomas Kuhn, who wrote the seminal book about the great paradigm shifts of science, has a lot to say about that. You keep pointing at the anomalies and failures in the old paradigm. You keep speaking and acting, loudly and with assurance, from the new one. You insert people with the new paradigm in places of public visibility and power. You don't waste time with reactionaries; rather, you work with the vast middle ground of people who are open-minded."

Next book is "Winning the Green New Deal: Why We Must, How We Can", edited by Varshini Prakash and Guido Girgenti of the Sunrise Movement. A collection of essays by environmentalists and policy folks.

"Is it just human nature that hold us back, then? In fact, we humans have shown ourselves willing to collectively sacrifice in the face of threats many times, most famously in the embrace of rationing, , and victory bonds during World Wars I and II."

"Indeed, to support fuel conservation during World War II, pleasure driving was virtually eliminated in the UK, and between 1938 and 1944, use of public transit went up by 87% in the US and by 97% in Canada. Twenty million US households - representing three-fifths of the population - were growing in 1943, and they accounted for 42% of the fresh vegetables consumed that year. Interestingly, all of these activities together dramatically reduce carbon emissions."

In his book, "Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America", Ian Haney López compared two economically populist narratives with a nationally representative sample of 2,000:

"To make life better for the working people we need to cut taxes, reduce regulations, and get government out of the way."


"To make life better for working people we need to invest in education, create better-paying jobs, and make health care more affordable for people struggling to make ends meet."

"The progressive message beat the unrestrained-capitalism message by a whopping 32 points. This result confirms that voters generally prefer progressive over pro-business economic policies." However, the study found that messages that relied on racial fear were more effective. So the developed and tested a counterveilling core narrative:

"(1) distrust greedy elites sowing division, (2) join together across racial lines, and (3) demand that government work for all racial groups, whites included. These elements provided the scoffolding on which we built nine diffeerent messages. The race-class sotry they told proved remarkably powerful." - Studies found that the majority of the represeanttive sample found it compelling.

Bill McKibbon - "As it turned out, the big fossil fuel companies had known well before Hansen what was happening. They'd begun a serious study of global warming in the 1970s, as supercomputers began to become fast enough to model the clinate. , for example, was in those days the biggest company on earth, with a crack staff of scientists, and its *product was .*"

"([Exxon's] predictions have proven startlingly accurate, with carbon levels today basically in line with their graphs.) And they were believed by their bosses: began building its drilling rigs higher to compensate for the rise in sea level they knew was on the way."

😱 That's... astounding. They knew that the seas would rise, and their response was to hide this fact and protect their assets? How can anyone think that unregulated business is safe?

Rhiana Gunn-Wright says the pillars "problem, principles, and power... anchor policymaking from conception to execution."

"When it comes to climate change, you will hear people support (or refute) certain policies because it's what 'science dictates.' Science can help us to understand the extent of the climate crisis, identify its causes, and measure its severity. It can even suffrage timelines for action. But science cannot tell us what policy options to pursue. That is a matter of principles."

"If you cut your teeth in policymaking anytime in the past forty years of American politics, you've been surrounded by neoliberal theory presenting itself as 'common sense'."

Yes! It reminds me of the point made in "Inventing the Future", how itself unseated the reigning ideology of Keynsian economics. Every dominating paradigm is "common sense" until it is displaced.

"... the most significant influence - at least during the early development of the GND - was a body of economic theory called the 'new consensus.' Exemplified by work of economists like Ha-Joon Chang, Mariana Mazzucato, Kate Raworth, Ann Pettifor, and Joseph Stiglitz, the new consensus rejects neoliberalism as the 'right 'governing paradigm for modern states."

"...Instead, [the new consensus] contends that many of the crises that we face are the result not of government overreach but of government's abdicating its economic responsibilities: as a market creator, as an industrial planner, and as an innovator. "

"Three additional principles from the New Consensus economists guide Green New Dealers as we craft policy.

First, the US government, at levels, must have a coordinated vision and strategy for a new "green" economy...

Second, public spending and investment are essential, not just for infrastructure and 'public goods' but for innovation.

Third, the should invest in the real economy, not financialization."

"...But vision alone is not enough. The US has not undertaken a substantial economic mobilization in eighty years, and, in the wake of neoliberalism, policymakers do not know how to design one. They need a framework, which the New Green Deal provides."

"... all GND policy, whether narrow or , serves a triple bottom line: achieve decarbonization goals set of by H.R. 109, reduce income inequality, and redress systemic oppression."

" Second, GND policy works to shape markets and create demand so the low-carbon and no-carbon goods become the default, rather than the alternative to carbon intensive goods."

Joseph Stiglitz - "Even the way the question ["can we afford it?"] is posed wrong: when the US was attached in 1941, no one asked, "Can we afford to fight the war?" It was an existential matter. We could not afford *not* to fight it. The same is true for climate change. Moreover, as we have ... noted, we will pay for one way or another, so or makes sense to spend money now to reduce emissions rather than pay a lot more to manage the consequences... in short, we *must* afford it."

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Seems like God made a slight miscalculation by staffing the exit to Hell with Satan's children and then creating a hostile work environment.

Next read is "Concrete Economics" by Stephen S. Cohen and J. Bradford DeLong.

First book from the reading list.

@Argus Rutger Bregmann argues that the GNP war a useful device during WW2, as governments needed to know how productive the war-machine was but it's not usefull to value a society in peace. The GNP grows when one company poisons the water and another one cleans it up.

@Argus He also says that the alternatives like the happinessn index are also to be taken with a grain of salt. But maybe you can't turn the state of society and economy into just one number. How about we select several statistics?


It is something fighting in me.
While I strongly agree because of
we should put all our efforts in solving the problem how to cross oceans emission free because unfortunately my deepest belief is that more young people become racists simply because they are less able to travel to learn and profit from other cultures.

There is nothing commonsense about #corporations being able to destroy savers with #moneyPrinting, though.

Neoliberalism ideology starts with the premise that #savers are bad and must be financially castrated. That people should not be able to store wealth, that #banks get to create #wealth by typing numbers into a computer.

The system is designed to liberate a 1% group. Ask people how #banking should work — that's #commonSense.

#corporatism #neoliberalism #ruledByTheLeastQualified

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