Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Doc Searles subsequently wrote a good 2012 book 'The intention Economy' https://www.amazon.com/Intention-Economy-When-Customers-Char... 'Caveat venditor—let the seller beware' 'While marketers look for more ways to get personal with customers, including new tricks with “big data,” customers are about to get personal in their own ways, with their own tools. Soon consumers will be able to:

• Control the flow and use of personal data • Build their own loyalty programs • Dictate their own terms of service • Tell whole markets what they want, how they want it, where and when they should be able to get it, and how much it should cost

And they will do all of this outside of any one vendor’s silo. '

Another lap of utopian 'what the world could look like' which is a good thing IMO. The reality though is that the few big platform companies literally 'crushed it' a decade ago and now dominate everything from the stock market to retail, socializing, information flows etc and the earnest pre Web 2.0 philosophers seem naive and simplistic in their 20+ year old vision....


The Internet and the Web are miracles on the order of loaves and fish, and demonstrations of how progress is the process by which the miraculous becomes mundane. This is why it's so easy to be mindful of how awful the Net and the Web have become while forgetting how miraculous both remain as well.

It's also easy to forget that the Internet as we know it is still new, dating roughly from the explosion of commercial activity that began after the NSFNet, whose "acceptable use policy" prevented commercial data from flowing through its backbone, stood down on 30 April 1995.

With tech, what can be done will be done, and that includes the bad as well as the good. Both Cluetrain and The Intention Economy directed attention to the miraculous good that was both already there (in the Cluetrain case) and on the way (in the Intention Economy case). This was not to ignore the bad, but rather to energize hackers toward working on what we need, rather than lamenting what at any moment we seem stuck with.

Today I think Cluetrain (1999) was at least thirty years ahead of its time, and The Intention Economy (2012) was around a decade ahead. Both were about what can be done with simple human agency, and about energizing hackers to work on that. If doing that was utopian, naive or simplistic, I plead guilty. I also believe the Web, the Net, email and other graces of open and widely used protocols are utopias we already have, and that should at least be encouraging.

The Cluetrain Manifesto was a great inspiration to me. Thank you for your work on it.

I also still like World of Ends very much: http://www.worldofends.com/

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact