The basic history of the internet goes like:
An open platform without the expensive and difficult barriers of building things in physical spaces allow for a big diversity of innovators that overturn some existing market or system. There are usually people claiming that openness and decentralization are the future while this is going on.
Then with the old incumbents disrupted, someone big and funded is able to use that same lack of barriers to build up a huge, centralized monopolistic service faster than any competitor can keep up with. The open tech that cleared the path doesn’t die, but it becomes small and niche.
The World Wide Web births centralized services like Facebook. P2P clears away the old media delivery and creates space for closed streaming services. Linux becomes the OS that runs the closed software that harvests your data, etc.
There’s a fundamental libertarian streak to online. And like libertarianism will always do, it cedes all power to monopolists.
@bulkington plato's democracy-to-despotism pipeline
@carcinopithecus oh wow, yeah, I hadn’t thought of that angle. That’s great.
@bulkington i thought your op was an intentional parallel!
@carcinopithecus I read the Republic so long ago. Might have shaped my thinking of things, but it wasn’t a conscious allusion.
@bulkington it's basically all i remember of it
also something about an idea of a stratified polity that was analogous to the hierarchy of the soul, but obvs that's not workable for pretty much the reasons given in the degeneration of that society
@carcinopithecus I wrote a paper on the parallels between it an City of God and for the life of me, I have no memory of what I had to say on the subject.
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