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osOpinion: The Warped Perspective: November 2000

Nov 06, 2000, 08:21 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Nadeau)

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"The need for open standards and open protocols was never greater than it is today. This is because the speed and the coverage area of standards of communication are approaching a single, global domain."

"Hundreds of years ago, travel and communication were bound by limits of geography, cost, and time. This meant that a single manipulative enterprise could not dominate over all the people all the time. Governments were limited in their ability to enforce law at the level of the individual household, and over a restricted geographical area. Pilgrims and entrepreneurs alike could escape the hostile force of ruling authorities by venturing across the ocean to new lands. Companies were limited in the scope of their power, and refugees from oppressive monopolies and "company towns" could escape to different geographical locations or different career paths. The ratio of group power to individual freedom was relatively small."

"However, the new millennium brings with it a single, globally interconnected network, which quickly propagates both ideas, and the protocols needed to communicate those ideas. Information is both content and carrier (in the form of software). The same medium that can provide enlightenment can also spread darkness and confusion, deception and slander. When it comes to the protocols themselves, the same medium that offers the hope of freedom and mutual compatibility can also quickly spread chaos and corruption, mismatches and frustrations."

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