Blockchain VC @ Sustany Capital
The internet carries an extensive range of informational resources and services, most visibly the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications that make up the World Wide Web, the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks for file sharing, phone services and – as of the recent – value exchange, albeit still mostly limited to ‘money’ and digitally native assets (coins, tokens).
The web has been widely utilized by persons in academia since the 1980s, and was initially a promising concept for the exchange of knowledge. The popularization of, what was by the 1990’s an international network, resulted in its commercialization and incorporation into virtually every aspect of modern human life. As a result, as early as 2000 scientists voiced concerns that the Internet had become the weakest at doing that for which it was indeed originally designed: exchanging knowledge between researchers.
Today, Google is the centralized window to the World Wide Web for citizens of all countries with the exception of China. Consistently used for more than 85% of global Internet searches. Albeit, technically these are just queries against Google's proprietary index, the service purports to be a search engine. However, the term disguises the company’s true nature. Since 2015 Google is a profit center of a public holding company named Alphabet Inc. While Google’s advertising business at present is more or less the only profitable enterprise of the holding company, the enterprise has demonstrated strong ambitions to extend its search – and with that its advertising – dominance over the World Wide Web and into all Internet-connected devices.
More than a decade has gone by without serious attempts to challenge the market dominance of the company that claims to be on a mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. However, it is highly unlikely that Google – or any for-profit entity – will succeed in actually doing so.
Search engines – and here specifically Google – are largely responsible for the majority of ad-copy disguised as information flooding the World Wide Web today. The advertising company’s pay-per-click incentive model has inadvertently created an entirely new industry that produces nothing of value: search engine optimization. Millions of people – often in low wage countries – spend their days creating low quality content, hyperlinks to landing pages and comment spam in otherwise useful online magazines and forums.
Google does in fact not index the internet but mostly organizes content which was specifically written for the 'search engines' most current algorithm. By some accounts the company indexes a mere four percent of published content. The fact that the most visible part of the Internet is influenced in this way by a for-profit entity should worry every thinking person, and has certainly attracted the attention of European watch-dogs more than once.
The internet and World Wide Web are an intellectual commons - a shared resource in which all stakeholder have an equal interest and should receive community control. It is exactly at this cutting edge of technological progress and wealth creation that people have started to constitute intellectual commons free for access to all, by devising collaborative peer-to-peer modes of production and management of intellectual resources (see The Ontology of the Intellectual Commons).
No single person, entity, group or culture can claim exclusive rights to information. Just as physical access to water needs to be available to any human being the information on how to get to this resource is inseparably attached to it. The opposite of collective rights is not private rights purchased from the collective, but common rights that precede the collective.
The internet is in principal an open source information network. However, distribution of information has been monopolized by a minority of entities with interests which are incompatible to the open source nature of the network. In particular systems introduced by these monopolies, incentivize network participants to inject information at scale without regard to its veracity, validity, or effect on the consumer of the data. As such operations such as Google push information onto personas profiled for the effectiveness of commercial outcomes (i.e. advertising for purchase decisions), opinion forming (i.e. political campaigns), or any other objective a paying customer might have. As such the primary goal of information gathering is first and foremost directed at the user, albeit the latter is now a de facto object in the system, and - from the paying customer's perspective - the product sold.
What is needed is a search engine in form of an open source, independent, distributed, search network and storage system (“a blockchain Wiki”) designed to utilize resources of all machines and all humans, including their relationship (attribution) to the document (owner, user, contributor etc.) as well as their profile and expertise, fostering logic-driven, evolution like progress through compensation of contribution, while overcoming artificial barriers such as culture and language in a blockchain (more likely: graph-) secured, mesh-network like structure.
We started on a small skunk-works project to develop basic primitives for a 'social search'.
Further reading at on this topic at kameir.com
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