cr> re2: evolution of net infrastructure


Richard Moore

Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996
Sender: John Whiting <•••@••.•••>
Subject: The evolution of cyber-space

A few politico-economic truths to keep in mind:

1. An outdated technology is a technology from which the last
ounce of profit has been extracted. In any technological area
with which one is familiar, one is aware of a sequence of new
inventions waiting in the wings to be brought out only when
the audience starts to get restive.

2. The Internet as we know it and are using it grew out of a
free-wheeling, imaginative scenario which was shared,
paradoxically, by the New Left and the CIA: both, for divergent
reasons, sought a model which would be essentially anarchic. One
provided the brains, the other the funding.

3. Anarchy was attractive to governmental and industrial
hierarchies only so long as they could see no means of totally
controlling the exchange of information for their own purposes,
whether ideological or financial. They are rapidly funding the
solutions to this basic problem.

4. As it becomes possible to excercise control, there is a
coalescence of economic forces, who care mostly for profit, and
political forces, who care mostly for power. (They occupy a
spectrum which includes a large middle ground, turned on equally
by both.)

5. The appeal of the World Wide Web, "the in-flight magazine of
the Internet", is its ability to use those anti-rational sales
techniques which have been exploited in traditional media. The
text-based Internet was a return to a fundamentally literate
culture - in McLuhan-esque terms, an extension of the printing

6. Finally, and most importantly, the world-view of our economic
and political leaders no longer includes the possible scenario
of the invasion of the US by an enemy super-power. Therefore
they see no danger in the existence of a totally controlled
information network which might be taken over and used against
them. The "anarchy incentive" is gone, probably forever.

John Whiting
Diatribal Press



        Interesting analysis.  Just a comment on your final point...  My
understanding is that the purpose of distributed switching was to provide
robustness under nuclear attack, not to protect against an occupation.  If
there was worry about a "network which might be taken over and used against

them" during occupation, then wouldn't the primary concern be to deal with
TV and radio broadcast facilties?



 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.