Felten’s Response to Calls to Rebuild the Internet

I had a quick link to some projects considering local attempts to re-build the net to address the various reasons interested parties have advanced for doing so more generally.

Professor Ed Felten has a concise response to these arguments. I have just started reading Lessig’s Code 2.0, many years after reading the original edition. Treatments like it superficially fan the flames of this sort of instinct to re-engineer but the lesson I took away from my original reading is that conscious design of values into a programmed environment is very hard.

Felten points out an obvious though circumstantial component of the whole discussion. That is that the current net is as much a product of historical accident as anything else. You don’t have to be an infovorous hacktivist like me to see his point about how all the commercial and political interests would totally subvert a similar effort if undertaken, today.

I am optimistic that he is right, that our current system will serve and those complaints genuinely worth meeting with an engineering effort will be done in an incremental fashion, like the current Identity 2.0 development.

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