The traffic around WoE seems to have quieted down a little. Nevertheless, here are some more links to my translation: Caio at 42, Maurício at Blog4Blues, e-fuzion at Where’s My Head At?, Ovelha Elétrica (no permalink!), and Mateus Reis at canal perdido. A full copy has also been published on the Palindromo mailing list.
As often happens, the really interesting comments are starting to come in after a week. Michael O’Connor Clarke has a post and several follow-up comments called World of Ands:
There is a necessary AND logic to the value growing at the Ends of the Net that is completely misunderstood by most of the legislators, regulators, CEOs and other clue-challenged entities at which the WoE piece is evidently directed.
Look at even the most viable Web-based businesses ? how many of them have actually succeeded in putting bricks and mortar companies out of business? How many of them even thought, honestly, that they would?
…A store that exists only in a browser simply can not replace browsing in a store.
I buy MORE books now that Amazon exists, but I’ll still spend hours mooching in bookstores ? and I’m certainly not alone in this view.
AND logic is at work here ? not OR. The two things are different, can co-exist, can even complement one another to their mutual benefit.
So I think my World of Ands message to business gets re-focused into this:
a. If you make your money selling physical stuff, embrace the AND of the Net to your, and your customers’ benefit.
b. If you make your money selling digital stuff, grab you ankles and see if the rush of blood to your head shakes loose a clue. OR, if it doesn’t, you’re still in the best position for what’s coming next. (btw, you CAN still make money, but only if you submit to a hearty beating with the cluestick now, before it’s too late. A tip: you will probably have to let go of EVERYTHING that currently defines your idea of a business model. And people will lose their jobs. Sorry).
c. If you make your money selling services, I want to see your timesheets.
Arnold Kling posted Five Clues for Geeks:
(1). Intermediaries add value…
(2). Property is not evil…
(3). Computer animation is not a killer application…
(4). Bashing Microsoft does not make you smart…
(5). Markets are not exploitative…
…My goal is to see ignorance reduced on both sides of the Suit-Geek divide. Suits who are ignorant of the Internet ultimately do a disservice to the businesses whose outmoded practices they try to protect with misguided legal weapons. Geeks who are ignorant of markets do less harm, because they tend to limit their activities to applauding one another’s manifestos. However, if the anti-market prejudice that they promote becomes more widespread, they ultimately will do a disservice to their vision of the future. That vision will arrive soonest if market forces are allowed to operate.
Frank Field comments on this:
I really am only worried about “Intermediaries add value.” I think a more correct assertion is that “Intermediaries may add value;” but markets should be allowed to reveal whether consumers want what the intermediaries added – and consumers should be given appropriate opportunities to disintermediate. Without that guarantee, it may very well be that then Arnold’s 5th point would be wrong – such markets could indeed be quite exploitative.
Meanwhile, David Weinberger explains more about “ends”:
A few of the bloggers writing so well about the role of individual and community take Doc and me to task (or, better, to school) for portraying the Internet as a world of ends when in fact those ends are joined in webs of personal connection.
Of course that’s right…
First, that’s the language in the paper from which we took the article’s main insight: “End-to-End Arguments...” Second, Doc and I wanted to talk about the Internet’s architecture so that we could make the quasi-factual claim that boneheaded businesses and regulators are just plain wrong in their understanding; we didn’t want to focus in this article on all the good things that come out of that architecture. Third, we liked the echo of “ends” vs. “means” as in Kant’s Kingdom of Ends.
But, yes, absolutely and definitely, the value of the Internet is the groups it allows…
He also responds to another of Arnold Kling’s comments, regarding spam:
But the World of Ends principle… doesn’t say that no services can ever be built into a network, only that it’s generally better to move services closer to the edge. So, as Arnold suggests, perhaps that means that spam needs to be trapped by the ISPs. I don’t know if that’s the case, but it could be.
Betsy Devine worries about current threats to the WoE vision:
If we could find a way to work together, we’d have a much better chance of fending off attacks on the Internet commons – or at least giving warning when such attacks get underway. Let’s not end up like the goose in the nursery rhyme, looking longingly back on the “rights” we used to enjoy. Let’s get together like the Roman geese who cackled and squawked and woke up the sleeping Romans when Gauls tried to sneak inside the Capitol.
Maybe we could start by thinking about the web-degrading mistakes described in World of Ends. When we spot someone trying one of these ugly tricks, we could try to get our weblogs squawking together – scare off the attacker!