Hmmm ... is this the next IdeaVirus from the CluetrainManifesto brigade?
DavidWeinberger and DocSearls argue that the network is fundamentally dumb, neutral medium which people should be allowed to improve at the "ends" (or edges). The network isn't it's physical stuff, isn't the value that can be added by filtering it. The network is a set of protocols or agreements by people to communicate with each other. The value is all at the edges. And getting out of the way of that communication is the best thing government (or business) can do to allow that value to grow.
(Of course, that doesn't mean cynical businesses wouldn't rather decrease the value of the network in order to cement their own place within it.)
Perhaps more academic : https://web.mit.edu/Saltzer/www/publications/endtoend/endtoend.pdf
From DavidWeinberger's blog : Bob Frankston writes to me and Doc to suggest two additions:
The net is meaningless. It just transports bits and bits, in themselves, have no meaning. The meaning comes from interpretation at the edges and the interpretations are not unique and do preserve ambiguity. The tendency to introduce social policy at this level has perverse consequences.
The net only operates if it fails. There must be sufficient disorder to assure that the ends are resilient (the analogy with our immune system) and there must be sufficient perturbation to allow new ideas to be reaped. We dont solve problem as much as discover solutions in the turmoil.
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