The Nervous System of the 21st Century

“When we treat the internet as though its most important policy question is how artists get paid, or how we stop jihadis from recruiting each other, or how we make sure there isn’t the wrong kind of pornography getting into the wrong kind of hands, we kind of miss the main event, which is that the internet – for all that it can do, all those things for good and for ill – is the nervous system of the 21st century. And that when we regulate it just to optimize or maximize one of those questions, we do a lot of violence to these really important larger issues that redownd not just on artists, but on everybody in the whole world, including everybody that you love and care about.”

“We used to wonder whether we were going to have Orwell’s future or Huxley’s future: a system based on surveillance as a means of social control or a system based on entertainment as a form of social control, but what Netflix adding DRM to our browsers proves is that you can Huxley your way into the full Orwell. That in the guise of solving an entertainment industry problem or a law enforcement problem or some other problem that someone else feels is urgent to the point where they don’t need to consider everyone else’s good and long term interest, that we can turn these devices that have proliferated beyond measure into surveillance systems that you have no control over.”

– Cory Doctorow in an interview about his latest book, “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free”

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