Daniel Miller

From Around the Web

On freedom and the World Wide Web’s demise:

The Web Began Dying In 2014, Here’s How

What has changed over the last 4 years is market share of traffic on the Web. It looks like nothing has changed, but GOOG and FB now have direct influence over 70%+ of internet traffic. Mobile internet traffic is now the majority of traffic worldwide and in Latin America alone, GOOG and FB services have had 60% of mobile traffic in 2015, growing to 70% by the end of 2016. The remaining 30% of traffic is shared among all other mobile apps and websites. Mobile devices are primarily used for accessing GOOG and FB networks…

The original vision for the Web according to its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, was a space with multilateral publishing and consumption of information. It was a peer-to-peer vision with no dependency on a single party. Tim himself claims the Web is dying: the Web he wanted and the Web he got are no longer the same…

From the 90s until the 2010s, the Web we have experienced has been, albeit somewhat imperfectly, faithful to its original purpose. The Web’s diversity has granted space for multiple businesses to innovate and thrive, independent hobbyist communities to grow, and personal sites to be hosted on whatever physical servers can host them. The internet’s infrastructural diversity is directly tied to the success of diverse Web businesses and communities. The Web’s openness is vital for its security, accessibility, innovation and competitiveness.

After 2014, we started losing the benefits of the internet’s infrastructural and economical diversity…

The Web may die like most other technologies do: simply by becoming less attractive than newer technologies. And like most obsolete technologies, they don’t suddenly disappear, neither do they disappear completely. You can still buy a Walkman and listen to a tape with it, but the technology has nevertheless lost its collective relevance. The Web’s death will come as a gradual decay of its necessity, not as a dramatic loss.

25 years of the Web has gotten us used to foundational freedoms that we take for granted. We forget how useful it has been to remain anonymous and control what we share, or how easy it was to start an internet startup with its own independent servers operating with the same rights GOOG servers have.

A really important article. Go read the whole thing.


And now for something completely different…

I’m a long-time fan of the work of Peter Rollins. I recently listened to a couple of podcasts and a talk, all of which are worthwhile.

You Made It Weird #238: Peter Rollins

The [De]Constructionists Ep 39 – Dr. Peter Rollins “Atheism for Lent”

Losing the Lost Object: On Scapegoating, Ideology and Conversion (If you prefer audio-only, it’s here for a few more weeks.)


Not completely different…

On Being: Junot Díaz – Radical Hope Is Our Best Weapon

I realized that I was growing up with the entire spectrum of epistemologies and ontologies of folks. I had folks who were incredibly empirical, people who had no religious beliefs. And then there were other family members who were deeply invested in this numinous universe. And having them all simultaneously–in many cases, hybridizing even the two extremes between the absolute empirical and the numinous–that was my foundational experience. And living all that simultaneously, it gave me a lot of room to think and a lot of room for how to be…

You’d be amazed, how people get riled up about things and then slip back into the comfort of their historical privileges and their historical aporias. Again, I think that it would take a lot, a lot to awaken those who have feasted well on our hegemonic structures. It’ll take a lot to awaken them to the actual cannibal horror in which they partake. And I’m — perhaps Trump is enough; I’m not sure. The only way that we’ll be able to know is over the long term…

Our public life is like a deranged three-year-old, and I wouldn’t want to offend deranged three-year-olds.

…we are not a culture that has built into our way of being, our way of thinking, our civic imaginaries–contemplation, mourning, working through difficult contradictory emotions. That’s not part of our society; and therefore, where society leaves off, we need to take up. Society miseducates us. Society gives us a lot of prompts and a lot of encouragements to be reactive, emotionally reactive. In this, we have received tremendous tutelage. So the ability to do what our societies seem incapable and unwilling to do is important. It’s incumbent upon us to be reflective, to be complex, to be subtle, to be nuanced, to take our time in societies which are none of these things and which encourage none of these things, because after all, there is nothing, I would argue, more critical than to be misaligned from the–with the emotional baseline of any mainstream society.

Ms. Tippett: So to be misaligned is a virtue, is that what you’re saying?

Misaligned to hegemonic emotional frameworks? Hell, yes.

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