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  • Best thing I’ve read all week

    Posted by TM Lutas on April 16th, 2018 (All posts by )

    “What if the Internet interprets Silicon Valley as damage and routes around it?” – Glenn Reynolds


    17 Responses to “Best thing I’ve read all week”

    1. PenGun Says:

      Its unlikely the internet agrees with Glenn. ;)

    2. Mike K Says:

      We are very fortunately to have an internet guru posting here as PenGun.

    3. Brian Says:

      If you read SV-related media for more than a few minutes you realize it’s basically nothing but business development for a few VC firms. It’s quite odd. Why should anyone think Marc Andreessen is some sort of guru to be worshiped? OK, he was there for the founding of Netscape. That was 25 years ago! The fact is that these jokers pretty openly admit they are TERRIBLE investors, their failure rates for picking companies is very close to 1. You happen to invest in Facebook at an early stage, and your career is made. Look at the Theranos con, how much was raised by what was obviously a fraud, and how much kept being raised even after the world knew about it.

    4. PenGun Says:

      The minds of the kind, that wrote the code everything runs on, are not usually interested in business much. Especially when they were young and conquering the world. A world you might find a little opaque.

      Mike, I doubt the internet’s built in resiliency and self healing nature care much about things other than router feedback and traffic shaping. ;)

    5. Anonymous Says:

      If any company or economic sector becomes overtly or covertly hostile to a diversity of political persuasion or any other human characteristic that is not an essential value to its core purpose, it is domed to be displaced by those who are not willing to exclude the brilliant, talented who hold the full range of values and opinions. My experience is that the innovation and disruptions come from across the ideological spectrum.

      Commercial or other competitive success brings the real challenge of avoiding the idea that whatever brilliant insights lead to that result implies that all of the values of the creators are validated beyond improvement. Zuck (and the rest of his kind) obviously believes that all of his ideological bents are integral to his product’s success and that he is now empowered and compelled to infect the rest of us with all of them, like it or not. I consider the culture of Silicon Valley to be seriously diseased. To the extent I learn of alternatives to such intrusion and manipulation I will bypass it and all of its tentacles. There need be no agreement for it to be bypassed. People vote with their choices.

      This is how the big tech social media will fall. This could be helped greatly by a simple law prohibiting the sale or access of third parties to personal information without the explicit permission of the individual on each occasion. I view this as both a privacy and a security issue.


    6. Brian Says:

      Penny: I hesitate to ask, do you even know who Marc Andreessen is? He’s a VC, has been for decades. All he does is sell himself as a know-it-all businessman.

    7. Ginny Says:

      Death 6 is the most optimistic take I’ve seen – and I hope the wisest. Zuckerburg seems to think the world is a comic book place where he can do “good” and eliminate “evil”. This is unattractive since pretty much the American version of the Enlightenment doesn’t seem to have entered his thinking but also because it is silly.

    8. TM Lutas Says:

      PenGun – Are you really looking to argue against the very old (and widely accepted) proposition that the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it? Because all that Prof. Reynolds did was to restate it and substitute Silicon Valley (which is discovering the joys of being the censor) for the generic concept of censorship. Is the Internet’s anti-censorship feature built into the protocol stack or was it always a feature of a specific culture rampant in the engineers who created the thing and gone along with those engineers?

    9. PenGun Says:

      TM I just explained how it works. Censorship has to impact the router’s scheme to make a difference. Its not impossible that would happen, but not a given. Prof Reynolds eh’, what’s his degree?

      Sure I know who Marc Andreessen is. What has that got to do with the price of eggs in China? He wrote some browser code and was so bad he ended up in management. That may be an unfair slam. ;)

    10. PenGun Says:

      Its pretty well always a mistake to anthropomorphize your political beliefs onto a system. ;)

    11. TM Lutas Says:

      PenGun – Yes, censorship is impacting routing via DNS database political manipulation. Haven’t you noticed?

      The canaries in the coal mines are the Nazis these days (which I find somewhat funny) and the shift to censorship of center-right people is going very fast.

      You’re taking a literalist interpretation of the statement. I think that Glenn Reynolds is more metaphorical as are most people these days. For the record, he teaches law and is an expert in space law. He’s also been hip deep in the whole blogger movement from pretty much the beginning. You might have clicked the link.

    12. PenGun Says:

      “DNS database political manipulation.”

      You will have to explain that one.

      “he teaches law and is an expert in space law”

      So no degree, I’m a terrible credentialist. ;)

    13. PenGun Says:

      He has a degree, I had a look, so the Prof is real. One has to be so careful these days. ;)

    14. TMLutas Says:

      PenGun – Here’s something from back in 2011 that might inform you regarding the problem.

      Since that was written, it’s only getting worse

      And it’s things like this that make it relevant to Silicon Valley

      It’s not bad enough (yet!) to fork the DNS system and have alternate roots adopted by a significant part of the net but if things don’t change, that’s where I see us going.

    15. PenGun Says:

      TM that’s not about DNS. You are just wining about censorship, a good idea, I agree.

      Anyone can set up their own DNS server. Anyone can use any DNS server that want, or even just use the IP. Its not a real problem.

    16. TM Lutas Says:

      PenGun – You’re either missing an h or an n in wining. The h makes more sense so I’ll go with that.

      Since the whole thread is about censorship, I’m not entirely sure where you’re going with your last comment.

      The large economic players on the Internet simply assume that DNS will not fork in any meaningful way. They are making significant bets in terms of branding based on that assumption. They would disagree that it is not a real problem. They would find it a very large problem indeed that their investment in domain names could randomly be devalued by any sufficiently large group of upset people on the net.

      If the government forces me to put a particular IP address into my database entry when the input query is, has the government committed a taking and need to pay me for my trouble? Up to now, that hasn’t come up. A large portion of the reason why that hasn’t come up is that the DNS system was pretty much unitary (though alternate roots have been put up in the past) and was done under government contract by a government disinclined to do that sort of taking. That hasn’t been true for two years now so it’s a question that is less theoretical than it used to be.

    17. Anonymous Says:

      Beyond the issues on the internet proper, there is the very real and growing censorship issue of the internet within the internet, i. e. Facebook, Utube, etc. The network effects of the multi-service social media giants have not only made them billionaires, but allow for them to impose subtle but effective algorithms for blocking content that has been subscribed to or paid for based on their judgement of “safety” with little transparency.

      Bill Whittle has a good video on the effects of this campaign to make Facebook and Utube great (safe?) again. I suppose we must give China some credit for putting their shoulders into similar efforts years ago.


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