The government structure of the Internet, too, is highly libertarian. Most of the critical work consists of defining standards, and these are hammered out by ad hoc engineering task forces on a “just-in-time” basis. When I first heard Vint Cerf proselytize about the Internet in 1993, what sold me was not the network structure. It was the political structure. I remember thinking to myself, “My goodness, this is how government really ought to work. When a problem comes up, a task force gets together and proposes a solution. When the solution is adopted, the task force dissolves. How refreshing!”
Arnold Kling, “The Collectivist Feeling”.
Quiz question: How does this comment apply to our recent discussions about the EU?
(The Arnold Kling article is exceptionally good, BTW, so be sure to RTWT.)
2 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”
“My goodness, this is how government really ought to work. When a problem comes up, a task force gets together and proposes a solution”…so..if we find ourselves in a war, we ought to get a team together and figure out how to create an army?
Obviously, there are many things that require organizational continuity. And the “decentralized” and “ad-hoc” nature of the Internet should not be overly romanticized. The entities that actually run the backbones and the server farms are corporations with continuous existence over time and usually with quite-hierarchical structures..
David, actually, that is how the USA used to “organize” its wars, up to 1941. It was the traditional Anglospheric way — raise an army on an “as needed” basis. It is not a good idea to do it this way any longer.
As to the EU analogy, I like this point: “The entities that actually run the backbones and the server farms are corporations with continuous existence”. The countries are this part of the governance model, the EU should be doing the “defining standards” part, on an as-needed basis. It appears that the Union-level government is going far beyond what it is optimal for it to do.
Comments are closed.