by David Kelly – Aberdeen
The awesome power of the internet is best expressed in a term borrowed from economics. Disintermediation is “the removal of intermediaries in the supply chain” that sums it up nicely.
All previous methodologies we have used throughout human history to join whole populations of us together have been hierarchical. Think of armies, the catholic church, newspapers, commercial corporations, even representative democracy as we understand it elects a hierarchy to make “democratic” decisions.
The internet connects people not in a hierarchy but in a peer-to-peer topology. We do not need any intermediaries at all for its information; the Net can automate that for us.
This is why it seems as if there has never been anything like it. There never has. The simple fact is that we currently have the technology to make all of the information in the world available to everyone. I for one think that is a spectacularly good idea.
Subversive? You bet it is. I’ve worked in IT for almost 40 years, so while I think the above is about as obvious as daylight, this WikiLeaks thing is a real wake- up call for the governments of the world.
The internet connects everyone without them. This is the first Internet-anarchist event. I don’t think any of them really understood what it was that they weren’t in control of. I think they now know that this act of e-terrorism may just be the first of many of types they cannot imagine.
They do not control the Net. I think they will instinctively try to do so. This struggle will be a game changer. There are no longer any communication infrastructure paradigms that require us to maintain our primate hierarchies in order to sustain a working society.
We have rewired society and the ramifications to our culture are just starting to emerge. Very few Julian Assange – praise be upon him – figures will be required to provide this level of irritation for the powers that be.
This is “only” the start of the next free speech battle that has to be won again and again until, of course, the final victory when all the information in the world is available to everyone.