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Bill Gates once derided open source advocates with the worst epithet a capitalist can muster. These folks, he said, were a "new modern-day sort of communists," a malevolent force bent on destroying the monopolistic incentive that helps support the American dream. Gates was wrong: Open source zealots are more likely to be libertarians than commie pinkos. Yet there is some truth to his allegation. The frantic global rush to connect everyone to everyone, all the time, is quietly giving rise to a revised version of socialism. Communal aspects of digital culture run deep and wide. Wikipedia is just one remarkable example of an emerging collectivism—and not just Wikipedia but wikiness at large. Ward Cunningham, who invented the first collaborative Web page in 1994, tracks nearly 150 wiki engines today, each powering myriad sites. Wetpaint, launched just three years ago, hosts more than 1 million communal efforts. Widespread adoption of the share-friendly Creative Commons alternative copyright license and the rise of ubiquitous file-sharing are two more steps in this shift. Mushrooming collaborative sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, the Hype Machine, and Twine have added weight to this great upheaval. Nearly every day another startup proudly heralds a new way to harness community action. These developments suggest a steady move toward a sort of socialism uniquely tuned for a networked world. We're not talking about your grandfather's socialism. In fact, there is a long list of past movements this new socialism is not. It is not class warfare. It is not anti-American; indeed, digital socialism may be the newest American innovation. While old-school socialism was an arm of the state, digital socialism is socialism without the state. This new brand of socialism currently operates in the realm of culture and economics, rather than government—for now.
Instead of gathering on collective farms, we gather in collective worlds. Instead of state factories, we have desktop factories connected to virtual co-ops. Instead of sharing drill bits, picks, and shovels, we share apps, scripts, and APIs. Instead of faceless politburos, we have faceless meritocracies, where the only thing that matters is getting things done. Instead of national production, we have peer production. Instead of government rations and subsidies, we have a bounty of free goods.
Internet World Map 2007 This study shows how the Internet is distributed across the entire world, as it can be appreciated at a first sight, North America and Europe concentrate the two largest groups of Internet assets with a total share of 22.5% for Europe and doubling this number 55.9% for North America. Therefore it can be said that both regions represent a total 77.4% of the global Internet structure having Asia being the next one in the list with a share of 14%. The image bellow uses colored dots to represent the distribution and is expressed in number of IP addresses per dot.
Originally posted by DaMod
I foresee the internet being heavily regulated in the future. Sites like this are places of true free speech (with a few T&C attached). The internet is essentially pure freedom. Do you think the American government wants Americans to be free? They cannot as of yet really regulate the net. They will though, and it will become a less fun place that is for sure.
The internet is an unlimited source of information. We can literally look at world events from another country's perspective. Propaganda exists on the net sure, but we can always find a way around that disinformation, because you can be sure the true information is available on the internet (or at least a different point of view). I can find anything on the net from how to make a pie to how to make a pipe bomb. I love unlimited information don't you?
I really hope the internet stays just the way it is. Pure freedom.