These past few months the machinations of the world were at work concerning our freedom for tomorrow.
Every government and every organization on the planet has a stake in it.
From Snowden, to Assange, to Malala, books like The Consent of the Networked and Who Owns the Future?, along with the Pope & protests in Brazil, er, the subtitle to Consent says it all: it is a “Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom”.
Lanier’s core argument in Who Owns the Future? is pretty straightforward—that those with the biggest servers (so-called “Siren Servers”) are increasingly sucking up all the money, creativity, and generally labour, on the Internet.
We all work for them now.
Lanier makes another core connection I had not understood clearly before—that what happened in 2008 concerning world finance along with the nosedive of the music industry and the coming collapse of other diverse industries which could include the academe (witness MOOCs), book publishing (see Protection for Authors) and the arts in general, and soon law, medicine, and government itself, are all the result of the same technical transition.
These are the forces of consolidation, just like what Walmart and Amazon have done to push off basically all competitors from retail, will go the world—using technical prowess: BIG databases, advanced analytic engines, and myriad other über-sophisticated tools which will not so subtly reroute all spigots to the top.
It is a worldwide economic pitch so tricky, that most are signing up for their own deprecation, one-by-one, million-by-million.
That’s what it is all about—Snowden, SOPA, even Malala: the rights of a new world digital citizenship.
Better to understand that this is the business environment we all operate within now: just witness Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post.