Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Protocols as Weberian Bureaucracy

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is a clever article but with weaknesses. The main premise is stated right up front: " Max Weber says there are three ways power gets organized: rizz, rulers, and rules." You have to admire the use of a word, 'rizz', that the author may not have even known existed until it was selected as 'word of the year'. For the rest of us: 'rizz' is today's way of saying 'charisma'. Anyhow, the point of the article is to say that power in technology is evolving (or should evolve; the distinction isn't always clear) from 'charismatic' leaders like Zuckerberg and Musk through political leaders to distributed governance through bureaucracies creating 'rules'. Godon Brander,m though, equivocates between 'rules', which are centrally defined, and which you have to follow, and 'protocols', which are defined by users, and which are optional. It's a real stretch to impose Max Weber's formula on technology development, at least in my view.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 30, 2024 03:05 a.m.

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