Market irrationality’s darkest side is the way it so often so violently kills the geese that’s laid its golden eggs. The financial folks keep reinventing ways of making absurd amounts of money because their most successful inventions, derivatives being the most recent example, tend to explode. This time, too, due to another market innovation– the interlocking global capital markets– the self-destruction has led to a continuing world wide meltdown, from Iceland to Portugal.
In the wake of all of this we must be developing a whole slew of new aphorisms that all say something like, “when the banks mess up, the poor pay the bills.” Of course, there’s really nothing new in that at all. This, I think, ought to be the context through which we think about net-neutrality in general and Tim Berners-Lee’s recent piece, “Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality,” first published in the Scientific American.
Berner’ persuasively suggests that we are reaching an important turning point. If we kill the goose we won’t get any more eggs. It’s not too complicated, in the end, although the ramifications might be very completed as well as damaging. “The primary design principle underlying the Web’s usefulness and growth,” Berners says, is universality.” If it’s not universal; it’s not the web. If it’s not the web, (digital communications) innovation slows to a crawl or stops altogether.