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    If you think about it, the signs of the “Internet of Trash”, as you can call it, were there back in the web 1.0 days.

    Many people had personal web sites, usually published on GeoCities, where exploring the web was a fun adventure that was not [fueled] by algorithms.

    There are still many people with personal web sites, I and many others in this community have their own.

    Could these sites have formed the “gateway” for published works on the web to go from self-administered (personal or organizational) servers, to rather massive “community” based hosted services, to the also massive Service as a Software Substitute platforms with nearly every [known/current] monetization and tracking methods?

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      ~dwh argues that the problems were inherent from the original design of the Web: https://medium.com/design-warp/the-web-was-never-decentralized-bb066138c88

      The web was never decentralized and the for-profit centralization and surveillance of the web started almost immediately after it was created because it was baked into the design.

      AOL did all of the same things back in the 1990s that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do today.

      [The] decentralized feel came from the fact that it was originally a centralized system that only seemed decentralized because it was inefficient.

      Staltz analyzes the changes as a more recent shift: https://staltz.com/the-web-began-dying-in-2014-heres-how.html

      […] The underlying dynamics of power on the Web have drastically changed, and those three companies [GOOG, FB, AMZN] are at the center of a fundamental transformation of the Web. […] After 2014, we started losing the benefits of the internet’s infrastructural and economical diversity.

      but also attributes the situation to physical and virtual bias in the Internet infrastructure: https://staltz.com/a-plan-to-rescue-the-web-from-the-internet.html

      The Web only got to this current situation because of fundamental flaws in the Internet’s architecture which rigged the system.

      This well organized hierarchy [of undersea cables] is the only way the wired Internet can be feasible.

      The technical flaw [of scarcity of IPv4 addresses resulting in dependency on NAT] that favored intermediate computers prefigured a world where middlemen business models thrive.

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        the dwz article is useful in understanding how the web become this way. but saying the web was “never decentralized” is only true if you rely on dwz’s own idiosyncratic definition of decentralization (which he elaborates in a linked article), and isn’t a fair characterization, in my view.

        the web was an open platform. companies used the web to build services the web didn’t originally offer, and those services were made centralized because the companies wanted to collect tolls.

        i don’t know how useful it is to say something like that “was never decentralized” when the problem is inherent an extendible platform like the web, and has to do with things built on top of the web, rather than the web itself. furthermore, no design of the web could potentially anticipate all the things we’d want to do with it, so there would always be potential for capture.

        though its true, a non-extendible web could have resisted centralization longer. it would have to omit javascript, form fields, and anything that could be used to build other services on. it would probably look like gemini. and it wouldn’t have lasted as long or gained as much traction as the web did. furthermore, all it would take is for someone to create a browser-specific extension, and then you’d have the whole embrace-extend-extinguish problem once again.

        (side note: its important to build decentralized alternatives to the big 3, and promote them. we should not stop doing that. but i think transformative change will require governments breaking up tech monopolies and requiring the tech industry to adopt open standards and protocols. either that, or we wait and hope something new comes along that changes everything, hopefully for the better)