Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

Posts Tagged ‘networks

Soviet network systems and what they suggest…

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There’s a fascinating video presentation on the Berkman Center site featuring early dissertation findings from Ben Peters on “why the Soviet Internet failed.” The key theme is the problem of decentralized networks – not only in architectural terms, but in political and social structures – contrasted against the distributed-network principle that guided the development of ARPANET.

One of the questions I’m left with is what happens when technology based on distributed-network principles is employed by organizations based on decentralized structures. More concretely, I’m thinking about the recent media hype around agent.btz and what it may have done inside the U.S. military and government. And about calls by various governments around the world to “regulate” the Internet – Berlusconi’s Italy being only the latest case in point.

In the case of the former (agent.btz) – was there something inherent in the exploitation of a distributed-network architecture in a decentralized structure that led to the level of damage cited in the press? Would the damage have been as severe in an organizational structure that adhered more closely to distributed-network principles?

In the case of the latter (Berlusconi et. al.) – isn’t “regulation” simply a means to change (if only by legal walls) the underlying structure of the technology network? 

Can’t wait to read the eventual book. There’s a comment at the beginning that we could use more history like this. He’s right.

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Written by Mark

December 11, 2008 at 4:59 am