There is a chance the the Internet will be completely transformed. One wind of change blows from blockchain tech community. Another from Communist China. Essentially all the technology we know, could disappear completely,
and could be replaced by something completely different, a different set of protocols and systems.
For decades the so called “Internet” was some sort of virus which has infected the telecom industry and the whole economy, with the creation of electronic commerce. We have been brainwashed to believe in a dream. The dream that there could be some free independent medium of communication out there. Dream of more freedom of expression and more competition in business, benefiting consumers. However, there is no such thing such a free space. It is always going to be owned by someone, it is going to be prostituted to benefit the famous 0.1 %, the tech giants or/and similar centers of power. Or it will be owned by someone coming from China, like bitcoin already is, and as many businesses worldwide already are. The invisible hand of the market has a new very visible center of power.
In reality a free independent medium of communication has never yet existed. Let us stop being stupid and naive. In theory it could have been created, for example in the form of peer to peer software radio driven networking, but it simply has not been created yet (or not at scale). In reality we have been told lies. All this was rather or primarily just a game which many governments and national telecom monopolists and Internet businesses and even academics, have been playing for a long time. Game where some naive people work for free, for example be being open source developers, or producing free content for YouTube, or selling their technical capacity at a loss to other companies, more able to make use of it, or giving away for free their research expertise, etc. Or opening all sorts of businesses sectors to unfair competition.
Naive actors work more or less for free, while other become super rich. The telecom markets and the media markets worldwide have been transformed. National telecom companies have been disrupted by fierce international competition. Jobs have been moving to countries which have been able to profit from this situation. Long time ago, it was Finland. This time is over. Competition has destroyed many industries and millions of jobs have been displaced.
Then came new monopolistic vertically integrated omni-scient Internet and media and electronics giants, which are now looking at AI as the logical next step. Now is China making Internet telecoms and 5G their exclusive playground with a new Internet standard proposal. All these things are children of naive and stupid telecom deregulation, based on the illusion that telecom services can be free, that they have no price tag. This is an illusion which appears if you are short-sighted and you consider the cost of was needed yesterday, with the technical means of tomorrow. France, United States, UK Germany alike, have abandoned and neglected their telecom industry, but it did’t go South and bankrupt. It went East and become one of the most profitable sectors of the economy. Finland was just one stop on the way. Glorious country Finland, an example to imitate, but at the end we lost it, or lost it for Europe.
Here is one very timid way how a new and major game change could happen and disrupt the Internet. It is unstoppable decentralized Internet underpinned and disrupted by Ethereum. The main idea is that with this sort of system, to take down a web site, an attacker needs to attack the whole network. A radical change in technology and critical infrastructure. Ethereum network is needed, but the price of optical fiber networks goes down. This could in fact become a tipping point, where the status quo could be changed for many other things, like how electronic commerce works, for example. It could make things such as TLS and packet switched networks and credit cards and even banks totally obsolete.
At this moment Google can blacklist this Chrome extension and kill this innovation. This sort of blacklisting of apps, is how Google runs the world. Google has done this before in all impunity, you go from from “hero to zero” overnight. Or was it an accident? Not only web sites are subject to hostile take-downs. Businesses also. Recently CCN was in the dark, a major crypto currency news outlet, because Google searches stopped showing them. Interestingly, during this period CCN have received several offers to buy and take over their company… Another example: Twitter bans Ripple CEO Schwartz.
We come here what is certainly the worst ACHILLES FEET of most crypto currency businesses. Blacklisting threat. First some sort of creepy suspicion of money laundering, so badly treated or blacklisted by certain banks. Then maybe facilitating sex or drugs-related criminal activity on the Internet. Finally, I forgot, Vitalik is Russian and he met with Putin. So these innovators can and will be blacklisted at any moment. The same type of blacklisting is also applied to Chinese telecom business.
We see a pattern, how incumbents can control censor and bend the innovation, in order to benefit them, with help of naive governments and legislators and regulators. Also with help of largely corrupted mass media, which companies such as Google largely control, well indirectly, through incredibly large advertising budgets.
Possibly Google and other incumbent players will develop some sort sort of clone, or imitation of this technology. In general, you can expect very nice things from Google technology-wise and security-wise. They are not a new Microsoft, they have always done extremely well in my opinion, and gave been a good example for others, not a bad example. However, they are likely to be nasty with the independent anarchist crypto startups. This is life. Though Google do understand technology, they are likely to distort the reality to fit their narrow-minded business agenda. They are likely to commit serious mistakes motivated by narrow short term business interests.
Recall that France has invented the electronic commerce, literally everything, like buying your train ticket on MiniTel, or enrolling at a university, or sex chatting. But they FORGOT to develop one important invention, the one of email or maybe text messages. Text messages came from Finland, and email was invented by some silly academics who did not like paying for communicating, blissfully ignoring the fact that their universities and government have paid a lot for some networked systems to exist. Why the French did not invent text messaging or it remained marginal? Maybe because it would make their national monopolist telecom champion business lose billions (cynically made from silly local phone calls, to an answering machine for example). Most telecom CEOs have missed exactly this: like for about a decade they have underestimated by a factor of at least 10x, the amount of income they would themselves make from silly “text messaging”. In business we call this cognitive limitation for the managers (a certain inability of incumbents to understand their own business sector).
Likewise, Google is likely to miss the train here. For sure Google can and will work to influence how Internet and electronic commerce is done, protocols, standards, business etc. But they will miss in many ways in which and how disruptive, more decentralized blockchain-based and crypto-rich and Internet could be. They will fail to grasp the possibilities offered by a new crypto financial industry. They will just look at fewer things which will benefit them. Likewise they do not get it about telecoms and 5G. So many things which are not their business. Google is likely to fall below expectations. Elsewhere, opportunities increase faster. They could actually literally explode, see how Bitcoin got out of leash and out of control since 2009, and could became equal to Google on market cap question tomorrow say in 2021. Likewise 5G is coming massively and Google also thinks, we simply do not care. They think: we do our job and dominate electronic commerce anyway, whatever it is. However they do not get the following thing: incumbents almost always fail or weaken (see Microsoft) when the technology changes. And so really Google does not want any big change, probably. And they are wrong.
For Google Ethereum is small fish. They will first fail to disrupt Internet not only because because Google Facebook and Amazon can afford to ignore them. Also because Google Facebook and Amazon actually ignore a bigger picture. Their mortal sin is that they are not at all trying to disrupt the Internet, and this is not OK in my opinion.
If so there is only one real disruptor left. Remember that China have their own crypto currency projects. Be scared of Chinese clones of the players in our game such as NEO or TRON, where David (Ethereum) is playing his naive stunt against Goliath (Google). These are not just about hiding money of rich Chinese who would like to live in Europe or the US or facilitating private cross-border transactions. We have a crypto belt and road, and we have a digital silk road. These are the real forces which seem unstoppable today. The new Internet protocol proposed by China Huawei has more tracking, is more centralized and allows more censorship. Ethereum is a joke compared to telecom and Internet giants and their games. We are completely unprepared, and people in China are a lot smarter than people in the hypocritical divided West, petrified by the unfolding of a new financial and public health crisis and by an acute depression.
Going back to the dream. We have been brainwashed for decades to believe that Internet is permission free, and tried to build crypto currency to be permission free (and decentralized and democratic). In reality all these are just power games where big business monopolist empires emerge, and most people lose, investors, entrepreneurs or employees alike. Now we are made to believe that Internet is going to become even more decentralized with Ethereum and it is a great thing. It is stupid dream and it is simply not happening. In reality it will become more centralized and even more monopolistic, and yet more centered around an authoritarian China, the ultimate winner of decades old worldwide telecom industry consolidation. Today when the whole planet has its eyes at one short term virus, but have been ignoring another virus, the virus of stupidity and naivety, typical in the West from 1968 and today’s millennials, with their super naive ideas about life. Conspiracy theories also come form here, they are the other side of a coin, the coin of not trying to understand the world in which we live, and being very naive about it, which makes young people prone to manipulation one way or another.
We regret the inability of our power centers to truly embrace new technology in a positive way. Except when pursuing very narrow and almost always toxic business interests. We regret our stupid delusions which come from the fact that we believe too much our own propaganda, about freedom and better life. Christianity promised better life tomorrow. Internet promised better life today, but it is not real, it is like a computer game. On this planet business with AI and authoritarian empires are working hard to enslave people and control our lives and resources of this planet. Good things do not come for free. Nations who are not trying to be strong players in the technology space, are being colonized by other (smarter) nations.
Technology and coronavirus are the real unstoppable forces: they are both “viral”. One however is a slow exponential, the other a super fast exponential like coronavirus infections worldwide. Always fight the fast exponential, and embrace the slow exponential. Both are very strong if not unstoppable, but the second can be our friend tomorrow.
If we want to survive, we need to stop being naive about science and technology: they can disrupt and transform, but not everything which shines is gold. All of telcos Internet bitcoin Ethereum governments and also academics have lied to us a lot about the new technology. I guess life will always be like this: the more money and power is at stake, the more naive young people get badly informed, if not brainwashed. Free content and free services and free press and free software and free game are like cancer. They are meant to enslave people, to own them, and they are a junk-grade imitation of a civilized society, where everything is free, but you are an underclass slave, and ‘sponsors’ or ‘owners’ of all this world consider that they own you, and you are expected to work for free also. If you’re not paying, you’re not a customer, you’re the product being sold, and you have little or no legal rights whatsoever, and simply just a victim of a well organised game, where humans are an object of intense manipulation, in many ways including through addiction, leading to a totalitarian economy with mass surveillance and AI at the very center.