TL;DR: Misaligned profit motives.
This is from the section titled “The Web”
It feels a little strange to count the decentralised web as a failure, given that I’m out here publishing a blog post on my own domain and server. The decentralised web does still work, but I feel it’s important to acknowledge that this isn’t how most people use the web. It is in many ways impractical, and even in the best case it has some glaring flaws.
For starters, setting up your own website like this one is not a trivial task unless you’re already inclined to it like I was. Wrangling with domain registration, DNS configuration, hosting, building the actual damn site, and deployment, that is a lot. It’s even worse if yours isn’t a simple static site like this one. Not to mention that for much of the world’s population, the costs of hosting and domain registration are prohibitive. Furthermore, once you’ve got all that working, how do you let anyone else know about it? RSS and aggregators like lobste.rs and Hacker News work for little tech blogs, they don’t work for everyone else.
And so it is that most of us are trapped in an abusive relationship with platforms like Medium, Twitter, and Instagram.
On Git and Github swallowing it:
I have a GitHub profile, because I know no-one will look at my code if I don’t.
No, the solution has to be political. That’s uncomfortable for me, as it probably is for you too. Software I can do, politics though? That’s hard. Something needs to change about these profit motives though. I’m not arrogant enough to declare that I know the one true answer here, I doubt there even is one true answer. I can share some ideas though.
If we are to keep these profit motives at all,7 we need new regulation to align them toward creating software that better serves our society.