What is it exactly that you have given up?
Well, I have given up the idea that we can win this fight for the internet.
The situation is not going to be any different, because apparently that is something people are not interested in fixing. Or we can't get people to care enough. Maybe it's a mixture, but this is kind of the situation we are in, so its useless to do anything about it.
We have become somehow the Black Knight from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. We have maybe half of our head left and we are still fighting, we still think we have a chance of winning this battle.
So what can people do to change this?
No, I think we are at that point. I think it’s really important people understand this. We lost this fight. Just admit defeat and make sure next time you understand why you lost this fight and make sure it doesn’t happen again when we try and win the war.
Right, so what is this war about and what should we do to win it?
Well, I think, to win the war, we first of need to understand what the fight is and for me it’s clear that we are dealing with ideological thing: extreme capitalism that’s ruling, extreme lobbying that’s ruling and the centralization of power. The internet is just a part of a bigger puzzle.
And the other thing with activism is that you have to get momentum and attention and such. We have been really bad at that. So we stopped ACTA, but then it just came back with a different name. By that time, we had used all our resources and public attention on that.
The reason that the real world is the big target for me, is because the internet is emulating the real world. We are trying to recreate this capitalistic society we have on top of the internet. So the internet has been mostly fuel on the capitalistic fire, by kind of pretending to be something which will connect the whole world, but actually having a capitalistic agenda.
Look at all the biggest companies in the world, they are all based on the internet. Look at what they are selling: nothing. Facebook has no product. Airbnb, the biggest hotel chain in the world, has no hotels. Uber, the biggest taxi company in the world, has no taxis whatsoever.
The amount of employees in these companies are smaller then ever before and the profits are, in turn, larger. Apple and Google are passing oil companies by far. Minecraft got sold for $2.6 billion and WhatsApp for like $19 billion. These are insane amounts of money for nothing. That is why the internet and capitalism are so in love with each other.
You told me the internet is broken, that it was always broken. What do you mean by that and do we have extreme capitalism to blame for it?
Well, the thing is the internet is really stupid. It works really simply in a simple manner and it doesn’t take any adjustments for censorship. Like, if one cable is gone, you take the traffic through some other place. But thanks to the centralization of the internet, (possible) censorship or surveillance tech is a whole lot harder to get around. Also, because the internet was an American invention, they also still have control of it and ICANN can actually force any country top level domain to be censored or disconnected. For me that’s, a really broken design.
But it has always been broken, we just never really cared about it, because there always have been a few good people that made sure that nothing bad happened before. But I think that’s the wrong idea. Rather let bad thing happen as quick as possible so we can fix them and make sure it does not happen in the future. We are prolonging this inevitable total failure, which is not helping us at all.