Web3 Is the Opportunity We Have Had All Along: Innovation Amnesia and Economic Democracy by Nathen Schneider (2022)


Web3 as a throwback to Web1 and its declaration of independence

With Web3 we find ourselves in a throwback to Web1, which is to say the days when John Perry Barlow (1996) could proclaim a “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.” The years since have insisted that cyberspace was never its own space and was certainly not independent from its surroundings. Meatspace regimes of law, finance, wealth, and power have had their way with Internet technology, turning that open and decentralized technology into unprecedented concentrations of corporate power (Schneider 2019). So goes the story again with incipient crypto.

Ed: Is it really those "evil" meatspace firms that did this or is there some inherently centralizing (and capital intensive) tendency in information and (esp) network technologies. Conversely, to do things differently (i.e. decentralized and democratice) is hard -- though not impossible -- and usually involves solving hard coordination problems at the root of political action in general (e.g. we could have had an open source facebook like we had an open internet but it would have need farsighted government support and intervention).

Also note the libertarian tone of Parlow's declaration which, if anything, are even more explicit in crypto and web3.