Posted on : September 18, 2017
Views : 3
Category : Sustainability
START VIDEO AT 4:00 Harvard Berkman Klein Center Faculty Chair Jonathan Zittrain discusses the development of the Internet — from its earliest stages to its present manifestations — as a technology for good or harm, depending on the human forces that wield it. Many of us thinking about the Internet in the late 1990s concerned ourselves with how the network’s unusually open and generative architecture empowered individuals in ways that caught traditional states – and, to the extent they concerned themselves with it at all – flat-footed. As befitted a technology that initially grew through the work and participation of hobbyists, amateurs, and loosely confederated computer science researchers, and later through commercial development, the Internet’s features and limits were defined without much reference to what might advantage or disadvantage the interests of a particular government. Zittrain defines as:
- “…a system’s capacity to produce un-ancitipated change through unfiltered contributions from broad and varied audiences.”
- Generativity, comprises four key features: leverage (he means roughly the extent to which a technology modularizes and makes available routine tasks), adaptability (what we engineers usually call expressivity or size of design space), learnability, and accessibility.
- Zittrain characterizes Internet-enabled closed (to varying degrees) “appliances,” such as the iPhone and XBox, and the Web 2.0 architectural model of SaaS, as fundamentally non-generative and dangerous, representing trends that can ultimately kill Internet innovation in the process of attempting to secure it.