You're familiar with the concept of lock-in? The Web is a system that has a lock-in relationship with a significant fraction of the entire population of Earth. The idea that successfully replacing something like that is "no problem" takes a hard left at Wrong and drives straight on through the night, all the way to Delusionalville.
We already tried once to build a decentralized Internet: the Internet. And this is what has happened to it. What makes anyone think trying again will achieve a different result? (Insert Einstein's definition of insanity here.)
Centralization and hierarchy are the fundamental social pattern of human nature. For all the disadvantages that may come with them, they work, because the basic pattern seems to be hardwired into our brains. And by "work" I mean, specifically, "they are generally successful at creating a stable social structure." And the Internet is a social structure just as much as it is a technological one.
As much as certain readers may not wish to believe this, because it clashes with certain ideological principles, just try to name a counterexample. Anywhere in all of human history, can you point to a social structure comprised of 100 or more people that continued to exist and remained stable, or continued to grow and prosper, for more than 25 years, without a well-defined hierarchy shaped essentially like a pyramid?
Most attempts don't make it nearly that long before collapsing. One of the most notable examples in recent years was the Occupy Wall Street movement, which deliberately shunned hierarchy and leadership... and collapsed into insignificance almost right away. I don't think I've ever seen such a spectacularly sad waste of potential; they could have accomplished so much, and done a lot of good, if they had been properly organized!
So go ahead. Try to build a new Internet based on new technology to decentralize things again. It won't work, for essentially the same reason DRM doesn't work: as Techdirt likes to point out, trying to apply a technical solution to a social problem is doomed to failure.
"It is unacceptable for any company to charge consumers exorbitant fees to access the Internet while at the same time blocking them from using their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots to access the Internet,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “All companies who seek to use technologies that block FCC-approved Wi-Fi connections are on notice that such practices are patently unlawful."
Since his second sentence states plainly that blocking/jamming is illegal, is the first even necessary?
The point being made there is that experienced hunters have training in how to use a gun safely. Because a gun is a weapon, made for the specific purpose of causing harm, knowing how to use it safely is very important, and people who lack that knowledge can cause harm when they do not intend to, which results in a tragedy.
Therefore, good-faith gun-rights advocates don't pretend that a lot of gun owners weren't raised in a family where knowledge of gun safety can be assumed--in other words, they acknowledge that there are actually plenty of people out there who own guns and don't know how to use them safely, making them a danger to themselves and those around them, whereas other, more ideological gun-rights advocates never seem to care about points like this.
Yelp provides a platform by which the public can post reviews about public businesses so that the public can benefit from shared knowledge.
Yeah, that's the image they present to the public. In reality, they're running an extortion racket, manipulating the reviews that are shown to make businesses that pay them money look better and businesses that don't look worse, which, if people knew about it more, would destroy all confidence in the reliability of their site as a source of beneficial shared knowledge.
...do you even know what the Spanish Inquisition did?
You know, the guys who pioneered the concept of the presumption of innocence ("innocent until proven guilty") and the defendant's right of access to legal council? The people who effectively put an end to witch trials in Spain a century before the rest of Europe, by the simple expedient of requiring proof of the accused working black magic in order to convict? The guys who were one of the biggest civilizing forces of their day, and for that get remembered today as villains?
Apparently nobody respects the Spanish Inquisition.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media
For example, how would you feel if your loved ones died in a car crash? Horrible. So does that mean we need to make sure there are never any car crashes? The only way to do that (currently) is to ban cars.
...or, when we're not employing ridiculous hyperbole, we could try doing something that actually works, like figuring out why people die in car crashes and using the data obtained to work to make cars safer.
How do I know that actually works? Because someone actually did that, and it ended up making cars measurably safer, to the point where he's been called "the person whose work saved more lives than any American but Jonas Salk." And getting laws passed to establish minimum safety standards was a big part of it.
Re: Re: Re: regarding publication freedom and varied media
"How would you feel if it happened to someone you love" is seldom if ever a good basis for public policy.
Why do you say that?
Reduce that down to the core value expressed, and you have "empathy is seldom if ever a good basis for public policy," which makes no sense unless the person saying it is a sociopath--a person with a psychological condition that causes them to be incapable of empathy--or an Objectivist--a person with a badly skewed belief system that causes them to see sociopaths as a high ideal worthy of emulation.
Or, alternatively, if you subscribe to the psychological theory that friends and loved ones are those who we see on a subconscious level as extensions of our own Self, then this "policy basis" derives naturally from the Golden Rule, which has been one of the most solid bases for public policy at least as far back as Hammurabi's Code.
There's something... weird about American publications, which regularly rely on the First Amendment, to argue against those very freedoms.
Not that weird, really. The First Amendment guarantees six distinct things, and the Supreme Court has ruled that a seventh, Freedom of Association, is covered as well because it derives from the others.
Of those seven, the first has never truly been a serious issue in the USA. The second and seventh are under continuous assault from all sides these days, with the mainstream media leading the charge. Techdirt has covered the erosion of #5 pretty extensively, and how the entirety of our legal system these days frequently seems to be stacked against #6. But how often do you see the media speaking up for any of these points?
Freedom of the press is #4, which of course they'll protect; that's their special right. But if their stance on the other 5 ranges from ignoring them to actively helping to tear them down... why should it be any different for #3?
Re: Re: Re: Well, you're certainly demonstrating that it isn't clearly NOT hyperbole...
I don't know what happened to you in school by one of these 'privilege[d] ... top athletes',
What makes you think it was only one?
And what happened to me was what happened to everyone: they went strutting around like kings of the school and all the rest of us were beneath them. Thing is, I come from a long line of Americans. I've got generations of "all men are created equal" running through my blood and I don't believe in kings, so it was kind of inevitable that confrontations would occur when I didn't let them push me around, and I got singled out for extra helpings of abuse.
It's kinda funny how these things turn out, though. There were plenty of these guys, but the one I really remember, the worst of them... he was a thug, pure and simple. Big tough football player who bragged openly about putting things in his body that he shouldn't have, and doing things with girls that he really shouldn't have, and the rules never seemed to apply to him.
Eventually I graduated and got out of there. Spent a few years at college and out seeing the world, and when I finally came home and started getting caught up, I heard that he had really turned his life around. In the span of a few short years, something had caused him to clean himself up, find God, and really start to become a force for good in the community... and then he started learning to fly private planes and died in a crash. To this day I really don't know what to think about him.
He may be an athlete, but not all athletes are assholes and bullies,
Technically true. In my entire K-12 experience, I knew a grand total of one football and/or basketball player who was not.
Those aren't good odds, though, especially since my family moved around a lot during those years so I got to know a whole lot of different athletes from a lot of different schools.
So you think that normal people, say those who are not under the iron rule of a academic administration, are held to liability for affirming in a forum someone's claim that they fraternized with a coworker or colleague?
That's hardly a fair question, since for people outside of school, such "fraternization" does not constitute a felony.
My first job out of high school, as is so commonly the case for kids not born with a silver spoon in their mouths, was working in fast food. Two of my coworkers were dating. They made no secret of it, and the boss was just fine with it as long as they didn't let it become disruptive, which they didn't. At least, until one of them started training to become a shift manager. That would have changed their relationship to "fraternizing with the chain of command," as it were, and apparently that was a big no-no. But even then it wasn't that big a deal; they just transferred her to work at another branch a few miles away and everyone was fine.
Speaking of ruined lives, in the rest of the blogosphere, untold amounts of online abuse goes unpunished and disregarded by authorities even when the abuse forces relocations or identity changes.
Oh, I know. Some lawmakers are trying to fix that by enacting much-needed cyberbullying legislation, and it's a bit distressing to see Techdirt come out against it over and over.
...or they're just not interested in all the effort and stress it would require, as appears to be the case with Elizabeth Warren. (One of the few people in today's political scene who I'd consider a truly good candidate for President.)
Re: Well, you're certainly demonstrating that it isn't clearly NOT hyperbole...
If by "ruin his life" you mean "strip away the shield of privilege that protects top athletes and make him just as responsible for his actions as any ordinary person," then yes, I absolutely do want to see him brought down to the same level of "ruin" that everyone else experiences as "normal."
Or is your use of the term "ruin" hyperbole here? :P