Avatars, cloudlets, identity layers, dApps -- and other potential elements of a GLIAnet ecosystem
GLIAnet: A viable solution to consider
Last time, I discussed the importance of truly trustworthy and accountable entities -- acting legally and ethically as “countermediaries” -- to help us manage and promote our digital lives. When we are able to select these entities, in a voluntary and consensual manner, to fully represent our personal interests, we can think of them as becoming our Digital TrustMediaries.
There are other potential components as well of a trustworthy and open GLIAnet ecosystem that actually serves the empowered human being. Here are a few.
The need for trust
My last two blog installments discussed one diagnosis on the “Why” of our current quandary on the open Web: a growing trust and accountability deficit in online technologies, and in particular the Platforms companies. It seems, in fact, the Platforms and many others have benefited considerably from the Net’s openness, even as (other) intermediaries have faded away, or been rendered obsolete.
And yet, these same Platform companies seem not to be quite returning the favor. Per Nassim Nicholas Taleb, by privatizing their gains and offloading their externalities, they lack sufficient “skin in the game.” What, though, if we were able to go back, in a sense, to 1995, to the implicit social contract many of us believe we signed up to then? What if we could inject some authentic trust and accountability back into a more decentralized, edge-based system? What if it were OK to be “open” with the Internet again?
Why should we care? The human element
As discussed last time, the grudging imprimatur granted to Ads+Data World transforms humans into users and consumers, in all aspects of our personal, and social, and economic, and political lives.
That same platform-centric model now is being imported, without much forethought, into the brave new world of ubiquitous, always-on devices and computing and data flows.
Online technologies of potential control continue to emerge.
There was a User, and there was the Internet.
The Internet was open -- decentralized, peer-to-peer, with intelligence residing at either end. Unlike the virtual “walled gardens” that preceded it, the Net provided people with choices, and innovations, and opportunities. Indeed, some of its champions promised to eliminate unneeded, rent-seeking middlemen, calling it “disintermediation.” Instead, power would shift from network core to the edges of the Net -- and the ordinary user.