What’s of interest? The (open) web is good, actually (13 Nov 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow
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The great irony of the platformization of the internet is that platforms are intermediaries, and the original promise of the internet that got so many of us excited about it was disintermediation – getting rid of the middlemen that act as gatekeepers between community members, creators and audiences, buyers and sellers, etc.
The platformized internet is ripe for rent seeking: where the platform captures an ever-larger share of the value generated by its users, making the service worse for both, while lock-in stops people from looking elsewhere. Every sector of the modern economy is less competitive, thanks to monopolistic tactics like mergers and acquisitions and predatory pricing. But with tech, the options for making things worse are infinitely divisible, thanks to the flexibility of digital systems, which means that product managers can keep subdividing the Jenga blocks they are pulling out of the services we rely on. Combine platforms with monopolies with digital flexibility and you get enshittification…
But “openness” is a necessary precondition for preservation and access, which are the necessary preconditions for recall and revisiting. Here on the last, melting fragment of the open internet, as tech- and entertainment-barons are seizing control over our attention and charging rent on our ability to talk and think together, openness is our best hope of a new, good internet.
This is one among many items I will regularly tag in Pinboard as oegconnect, and automatically post tagged as #OEGConnect to Mastodon. Do you know of something else we should share like this? Just reply below and we will check it out.