When surfing the most annoying thing that ive had the displeasure of running into are the “nationwalls” that seem to be popping up with annoying frequency.Content that is on the web and essentially pat of a “network of networks” is increasingly starting to look like a fragmented postcolonial map or ?s that precolonial?Anyway something bad is happening and if it continues as it has there is he very likely possibility that what the internet will look like 10 years from now is not something we will like the look of.
The problem as i see it is borders and nationalism, from Wikipedia:
“Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders–such as a state’s internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area–are open and completely unguarded. Other borders are partially or fully controlled, and may be crossed legally only at designated border checkpoints.”
That mentality is increasingly being applied to the internet by a whole host of governments in what obviously an attempt to co-opt and establish de -facto controls on what should be an unfettered public resource.And by public i mean everyone from the US President to the littlest goat herder in the outback(yeah wireless net is where it’s at ).Media content providers like Hulu have been operating under this model for some time now , restricting content to geographically based ips resulting in the inevitable torrenting.For the most part it’s not Hulu’s fault , more like the content creators who are yet to realise that the game has changed and unless they change with it they may not survive.
Solution?Some years ago in a pc mag i saw a map of what the writers of the time envisioned what the maps of the future would look like.Less of lines in the sand and more geographically dispersed nodes of similar interests.
Neither 19th-century balance-of-power politics nor 20th-century power blocs are useful in understanding this new world. Instead, we have to look back nearly a thousand years, to the medieval age in which cities such as Cairo and Hangzhou were the centers of global gravity, expanding their influence confidently outward in a borderless world. When Marco Polo set forth from Venice along the emergent Silk Road, he extolled the virtues not of empires, but of the cities that made them great. He admired the vineyards of Kashgar and the material abundance of Xi’an, and even foretold — correctly — that no one would believe his account of Chengdu’s merchant wealth.
And finally Einstein:
“we should be on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems; and we should not assume that experts are the only ones who have a right to express themselves on questions affecting the organization of society”
We all have a stake in what happens next and if the debates about net neutrality in the States are any indication its a matter that cannot be left to the hands of either business interests or government bureaucracy because in either case the losers in the end will be the users.