Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Wealth of Networks

I've been spending my Christmas vacation catching up on my much-neglected reading, including Yochai Benkler's The Wealth of Networks. I haven't even escaped Chapter 1 when I run across this little gem:
For the most part[...] the state in both the United States and Europe has played a role in supporting the market-based industrial incumbents of the twentieth-century information production system at the expense of the individuals who make up the emerging networked information economy. Most state interventions have been in the form of either captured legislation catering to incumbents, or, at best, well-intentioned but wrongheaded efforts to optimize the institutional ecology for outdated modes of information and cultural production. 
 --Yochai Benkler, 2006 (long before the FCC adopted it's Net Neutrality rules)
It reminds us well that we are in a new time; that the either/or dynamic that defined the political discourse of the twentieth century is outmoded and should be retired; and that looking to the state to protect you from corporations (or vice versa) is foolishness.

Big Government is Big Business

A very Happy New Year to everyone! Welcome to the 2nd decade of the 21st century!

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