Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ The Three-Legged Stool: A Manifesto for a Smaller, Denser Internet - Initiative for Digital Public Infrastructure

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This white paper (30 page PDF) proposes "a public sphere supported by these three legs: (it) consists of many different platforms with a wide variety of scales and purposes; users can navigate with a loyal client that aggregates, cross-posts, and curates; (and it) is all supported by cross-cutting services rooted in interoperable data." There's a lot to like in that, but the paper as a whole feels like a compromise to me, preserving things like big platforms and app stores, while trying to incorporate small platforms, open standards, and microservices. Can big and small live together? In the forest they can; the tallest elm and the smallest elm peacefully coexist. But a forest has limits; the elm can only grow so large and is limited in its effects on other life. But a contemporary capitalist society is scale-free: the large grow to disproportionate size and wealth, and the small are acquired or eliminated, standards are enclosed and become proprietary, and services are allowed to exist only if they submit to rent and restrictions. Via Johannes Ernst.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jul 18, 2024 09:54 a.m.

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