I knew things were bad -- but they could get worse.
At Personal Democracy Forum, Dave Winer, that old hippie control freak, first demanded that a separate meeting be held "for the techs". He was very irritated that this general audience of people who were NOT coders for the most part was getting involved in these issues. TERRIBLY irrated. He even asked for a show of hands as to who in the audience was a programmer, and there were a significant number, but I'd say no more than about 30 percent. He then pretended like it would be "boring" for everyone else to sit in on "boring discussions of the technicalities of Net Neutrality". Um, no Dave. Not boring at all. You bear watching, and you can explain yourself to people and not pretend "technicalities" require creating more secret factions.
He was trying the usual geek gambit of pretending that tech was not political; but of course it was VERY political.
Before he spoke, Rebecca McKinnon had spoken enthusiastically about the need to make an Internet free of corporations that "place a chill on freedom of expression" and are "coercive" ostensibly (although it's Anon that is coercive, taking down their websites). She spoke enthusiastically of "darknets" and "peer-to-peer networks" -- and it was like the reprisal of Second Life and its educators of the "edupunk" type who are maliciously hateful of "walled gardens" and demand that they be able to export not only their own but anyone else's content to "free" servers -- reverse-engineered Open Sims. All of this is known and the arguments for choice to have EITHER walled gardens OR open sims are all legitimate.
But the cyberutoipans are never happy; they always want to force the "open," which is really, as we have seen particularly graphically with Anon in this last week, forcing the closed. Open source=closed society. Does it get better than this new darknet fanatacism to prove my point!
Yeah, I've heard Lindens talk about darknets and p2p and all that "good stuff" any number of times so I have a rough picture of it. I don't have to be some technically proficient coder to understand what the basic premise is: building an architecture of the Internet that is outside the commercial Internet as it is now, which these Leninist purists chafe at terribly the way Malevich used to chafe at the oiliness of the "grub world" and long for endlessly perfect symmetrical lines disappearing into white infinity.
In fact, if you read about Darknet, you come to an awareness that what happened is that the original Internet was a darknet, or there was a darknet that grew up around the Arpanet that had the copyability built into it as a thesis and a coded exigency and an entire philosophy, then that darknet become web 1.0 but then got overtaken by the commercialized Internet, that began to grow hierarchies and domains and structures that roughly accorded to real-life countries with governments and sovreignty -- yes, at a flick of a switch, you can be removed from a domain, and yes, it's like being PNG'd from a country.
Then with first Napster then all the other p2p stuff like Kazaa and such and then all the social media hype with all its "sharing" and "liking" it seemed like Darknet might be prevailing again, having succeeded in destroying the music and news businesses (it's kinda of like Midas, at first, everything it touches is gold, seemingly, and then it is stuck with not being able to eat because it turned its food into a metal, and then even its daughter) -- and is now heading like a rapacious Pacman to destroy government.
Darknet was getting pushed back and made obsolete by Facebook (I think) and even Twitter (less so) but then WikiLeaks got booted and b& by Amazon. And so Dave started talking up Darknet again -- which he wants first and foremost to save his own stuff for ever, etched like words in the Parthenon.
So, keep that in mind, all ye who venture here. Dave's Darknet (and crypto-anarchism lurking nearby) is about him first of all being able to save his own stuff. He's terribly pissed off at Amazon for not hosting stolen government property and is dramatically -- hysterically! -- claiming that "journalism is not possible" and "saving all his back blog files" is not possible because of Amazon's action and that we can "no longer trust" the Amazon cloud. (There were other reasons not to trust the cloud; this would not be one of them).