Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Tom Coates worries whether supporting a Laissez Faire attitude towards networks (as in The World of Ends) implies you should become a free market liberal.

My take, posted in his comments :

Tom : I'm looking for someone who can explain to me why it's OK to hold such different opinions, or where the qualitative difference exists that would allow me to reconcile them...

For me the difference is this. On the internet we only care about the overall, statistic properties of the system. If a packet gets lost, no problem, send it again. Packets are dispensible. The global economy is different because we care that the individuals have rights and dignities which we must respect. If a kid goes hungry, that may be a good thing from an overall perspective. But we have a moral obligation to treat this as a failure of the system.

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