The Paradox of the Best Network

November 25th, 2002 | Posted by paul in Uncategorized

I found this article of the same title by David Isenberg and David Weinberger. This paper makes a good case why the best networks are the ones least likely to be profitable for the provider. Essentially we are talking about a shift away from centralized bandwidth distribution in the same way that p2p file-sharing networks decentralize content distribution. Original link posted on Infoanarchy.

Telephone companies are not the only institutions goaded by new network technology. We can see from the reaction to today’s Internet that the Paradox of the Best Network is not kind to the recording industry, to book publishers, or to any other group that makes its living by controlling access to content. These groups have already called in the lawyers and lobbyists to protect their current business models. Nor will the new network be popular with any institution, economic, political or religious group that seeks to shield itself from conflicting cultures and ideas.

In fact, the best network embodies explicit political ideals so it would be disingenuous to pretend it didn’t. The best technological network is also the most open political network. The best network is not only simple, low-cost, robust and innovation-friendly, it is also best at promoting a free, democratic, pluralistic, participatory society; a society in which people with new business ideas are free to fail and free to succeed in the marketplace.


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