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Costruire il futuro digitale [EN]

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Dissent Magazine propone una lunga intervista a Ben Tarnoff, autore di Internet for the People: The Fight for Our Digital Future.

Dopo una breve disamina della storia di internet, l’autore distingue due piani, l’infrastruttura fisica di Internet, e le piattaforme che vi poggiano e che costituiscono l’esperienza di internet dell’utente finale. Riguardo alla prima, Tarnoff crede che un modello diverso sia possibile:

[…] various alternative ways of organizing the pipes have emerged in the years since. Perhaps the best-known example is the municipal broadband network run by EPB, a power and telecommunications company owned by the city of Chattanooga. In 2010, EPB began offering broadband service, and it had the fastest residential speeds available in the United States at the time. It continues to offer very high speeds at remarkably low cost. It is one of hundreds of so-called community networks—publicly and cooperatively owned broadband networks—across the country that can provide far better service to their communities than the big telecoms do. Unlike the big telecoms, they’re not spending billions on share buybacks and dividends and tens of millions of dollars on executive compensation. They can prioritize social ends, such as universal connectivity, that the big telecoms, frankly, aren’t interested in.

Tuttavia, anche con riferimento a piattaforme come Facebook e Google (di cui a volte si chiede lo smembramento, o addirittura la nazionalizzazione) Tarnoff sembra convinto che, più dell’ingresso dello Stato, sia necessaria l’introduzione di un nuovo paradigma:

What I argue in the book is that dominant services like Facebook organize our experience of the internet through particular architectures. And those architectures embody certain imperatives, such as the need to maximize user engagement in order to generate advertising revenue. So we can’t simply put those architectures under different ownership—nationalize them, say—and expect different results. In order to create the possibility of a different internet, of new ways to connect, we have to create new architectures.

In Internet for the People, Ben Tarnoff sostiene che “Internet è rotto, perché Internet è un business”, ma un Internet migliore e deprivatizzato è possibile. Tarnoff sostiene la sperimentazione democratica: la tecnologia spesso sembra qualcosa che “è fatta alle persone”, scrive, ma può diventare “qualcosa fatta insieme“.

 


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