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There is a possible flaw in your discussion about the web. That flaw
relates the web-developers freedom from limitations imposed by the
"boundaries of organizations".
Those boundaries were in the past merely organizational. They varied
from organization to organization and fit within the organizational model
of the organization. But newer, stronger, and more insulate boundaries
have now been imposed on the web-developer and all all who attempt to use
the collaborative powers inherent in the net. Those new stronger,
generally universal boundaries about which I speak, not only limit the
effective use of individual skills and human productivities to the
boundaries imposed by the organization but more broadly to the boundaries
imposed by the rule of law.
No longer does the freedom seeking web-developer have to contend merely
with the boundaries of the organization. The modern developer must
contend with the legal boundaries imposed by the rule of law. Those
boundaries are not just nation state boundaries, nor just federal
boundaries, but they extend to international and even interplanetary
The manufacturers of the fences which outlines those boundaries are
the WTO, the ITPO (trademark and patent), and the legal output of every
local congress of every nation state that imposes rules on the behavior
of its citizens by making rules that are called law. These same rule
making bodies require that the citizens over which they have jurisdiction
adhere to the rules of law made by treaties. Remember that treaties have
been negotiated between heavily lobbied special interest weighted
representatives of the participating nation states. These lobby factions
have caused the laws and treaties to be imposed on citizens of all nation
states in more or less a uniform fashion.
The courts have electrified the fences which protect the boundaries
imposed by the rules of law and treaties. The monopoly holders [
copyright and patents are enforced monopolies] now have unlimited and
worldwide use of the awesome powers of the nation state to capture all
human cognition and to re-bundle it into little packets of private
properties that they can own.
The sum of these private properties are the essence of all human
The law captures any expression of any and all kind and makes it a bundle
of rights and bestows on the inventor or author private ownership. By
itself, that might not matter, but these bundles become the property of
non human entities ( like corporations) who enjoy infinite lives and who
can use the monopoly powers which attach to these bundles to make profit
for human generation after human generation. Hence, the non-human
entities have obtained a piece of the power and have gain the might of the
state (monopoly power) to enforce their monopoly interest in the products
of human cognition.
So, the idea that the computer has democratized the world is false.
False, not because the evolution of the technologies found in computer
and information science has not made it possible, but false because the
law has quickly redirected and transferred the benefits of the technical
developments to the wealthy powerful parts of the private domain. And the
laws and treaties have been lobbied to be written and to have the effect
in actual practice of making the large, powerful organizations the owners
and benefactors of the output of all human cognition.
In the old world, the large and powerful were granted by the monarchy
all of the resources that were factors of human production (like land
and the right to make law over all who occupied the land (i.e. the feudal
In the new world the large and powerful are granted by the law
making congresses and the treaty making international organizations the
private ownership over all of the output of human cognition wherever it
exists in the world. The congress, instead of the monarch makes the
laws that save and protect the private ownership to the large and
powerful. This new partnership is called the corporate:congress
partnership and it represents the modern form of feudalism.
On Wed, 10 Aug 2005, Didier PH Martin wrote:
> Hello Gerald,
> Any comments? Any thoughts?
> After some time swimming, another though came to my mind about the subject.
> The computer world evolved:
> a) It started with a central location of data and processes. (The mainframe
> era): something analogous to the train, the subway or the bus.
> b) We then saw the appearance of the desktop era: Something analogous to the
> c) When the web appeared we came back to a central location of processes and
> d) Now the world seems to evolve slowly toward distributed processing (some
> processes running on the server some on the client) and shared data:
> something analogous to an always connected car.
> Previous generation developers where confined to the boundaries of limited
> organizations. Now the web is a much bigger entity and the latter contains
> more diversified data. Developers can now access data packaged as XML
> documents or through a kind of function call (SOAP or REST with parameters).
> An interesting trend is also democratization of the data. People have now
> their take by providing some part of the data. They vote, they comment, they
> label things.
> Maybe the web is becoming what Teilhard De Chardin was calling the
> noosphere. For more practical minds we can say it is becoming distributed
> intelligence. Planet earth has now an evolving brain.
> Didier PH Martin
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