Let’s build a new Internet

By amanda gutterman Apr 26, 2017 5:30 PM EDT

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The user revolution has begun, powered by decentralizing technologies.

From the birth of language to the dawn of the Internet, the technologies that push humanity forward allow us to collaborate at new scales. We agree with a common purpose and work together in groups of increasing size and power.

Today, with so many of us connected online, the goal of 3.5 billion people frictionlessly sharing knowledge and collaborating is, in theory, an achievable one.

So why hasn’t the Internet united us? Why is our

Why is our trust in institutions — government, media, and business — eroding?

Why is it so hard for us to make compromises to achieve the ends we desire?

There are, of course, many answers, but here’s a simple one: the Internet is broken.

Information

“In the end, our minds and their ability to create new ideas are the ultimate sources of all human wealth. That’s a resource nearly without limit.” — Ramez Naam, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet

The Internet democratized access to information in a way previously the realm of science fiction. Texts, videos, and ideas became widely available, and transmittable, and our ability to communicate with each other, organize groups, and choreograph our activities, exploded.

But just when it seemed like the world had opened up, we identified a new type of information, more valuable than any before, and stashed a lot of it away in private vaults. The Internet allowed us to generate, strategically collect, and deploy, rich data about people, programs, companies, markets, and societies. A small, exclusive group of users siphoned this data off, to store in guarded silos and leverage for private gain.

To resist the privatization of data, the open source community has

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