Joho the Blog » The opposite of “open” is “theirs”

The opposite of “open” is “theirs”

As part of FCC’s Open Internet tour, I got invited into one of the many group meetings the FCC has been holding, along with Nicholas Reville of Miro and Cara Lisa Powers of PressPassTV.org.

Nicholas talked about how difficult it would be for Miro to attract video producers if they had to worry that carriers might block or slow their traffic. Why not instead go to one of the Big Brands that can afford to pay the tariff? Miro — an innovative, public-spirited non-profit — would be unable to compete.

Cara compared the crappy local news coverage of a spraying of bullets in Dorchester with the responsible and careful job done by high school students, and pointed out that videos like those (enabled by PressPassTV) compete with the TV news offered by triple-play access providers. (Comcast is going to own NBC, after all.) The community is better served if she is able to compete on equal footing.

* * *

Since I didn’t have anything concrete and helpful to say, I took my five minutes to say the following (roughly):

The Net as a medium is not for anything in particular — not for making calls, sending videos, etc. It also works at every scale, from one to one to many to many. This makes it highly unusual as a medium. In fact, we generally don’t treat it as a medium but as a world, rich with connections, persistent, and social. Because everything we encounter in this world is something that we as humans made (albeit sometimes indirectly), it feels like it’s ours. Obviously it’s not ours in the property sense. Rather, it’s ours in the way that our government is ours and our culture is ours. There aren’t too many other things that are ours in that way.

If we allow others to make decisions about what the Net is for — preferring some content and services to others — the Net won’t feel like it’s ours, and we’ll lose some of the enthusiasm (= love) that drives our participation, innovation, and collaborative efforts.

So, if we’re going to talk about the value of the open Internet, we have to ask what the opposite of “open” is. No one is proposing a closed Internet. When it comes to the Internet, the opposite of “open” is “theirs.”

24 Responses to “The opposite of “open” is “theirs””

  1. This is a beautiful concrete way of expressing what seems to be the academic way of explaining the opposite of “open”: resources can either be held in a commons, or property rights can be introduced, and the commons enclosed. I really like your last paragraph as a way of saying what this really means, though, and why it matters.

  2. [...] a closed Internet. When it comes to the Internet, the opposite of “open” is “theirs.” from hyperorg.com via [...]

  3. theirs.. yes
    based on gov/cult there are many levels of “theirs” and the
    the philosophy of opennes varies
    in more open societies being open, creating some kind of property protection is easier, contributive thinking has more past, more possibilities for adding recognizable value

    when its more ‘hierarchical’ there are more monopolies.. no real competition.. instead contribution there is knockoff + added value disappears

    if u open in one direction but close into another, it is not so “open” any more because it is not safe enogh.. just like in the real world

  4. David, I liked what you said. I think you captured the essence. Thank you!

  5. But … but … but … how do big (enormous, multibillion) corporations arguing over business models have anything to do with “ours”?

    Never mind … :-(

  6. [...] Joho the Blog » The opposite of “open” is “theirs” – [...]

  7. [...] The opposite of “open” is “theirs” [...]

  8. [...] The opposite of “open” is “theirs” As part of FCC’s Open Internet tour, I got invited into one of the many group meetings the FCC has been holding, along with Nicholas Reville of Miro and Cara Lisa Powers of PressPassTV.org. [...]

  9. [...] agree with Tim O’Reilly; David Weinberger’s state­ment on net neu­tral­ity is pretty dan­ged good: The Net as a medium is not for any­thing in par­tic­u­lar — not for [...]

  10. [...] via Joho the Blog » The opposite of “open” is “theirs”. [...]

  11. [...] Shared The opposite of “open” is “theirs”. [...]

  12. [...] Alexandre Gamela shared Joho the Blog » The opposite of “open” is “theirs”. [...]

  13. [...] a closed Internet. When it comes to the Internet, the opposite of “open” is “theirs.” David Weinberger Comments [...]

  14. [...] Joho the Blog » The opposite of “open” is “theirs”. 0 [...]

  15. [...] questo profilo è di una lucidità straordinaria la sintesi effettuata da David Weinberger che afferma:  << the opposite of “open” is “theirs.” >>. Non credo sia possibile miglior [...]

  16. [...] for tablets (and for “TVs” for that matter). Say no to computers that can’t be ours. Share and [...]

  17. [...] The opposite of “open” is “theirs”- Joho the Blog, January 14, 2010 [...]

  18. What about hacking all those WiFi routers and hook them up together in a peer-to-peer formation. You won’t need individually a provider anymore. Just one fiber optics connection for the whole street. And if your provider doesn’t service you right service, as a community pick another one.

    Who knows how to do this?

  19. [...] Уайнбъргър – Обратното на отворен е техен [...]

  20. [...] indirect thievery By Brian Hayes No one is suggesting turning off the Internet, but you should know the opposite of ‘open’ is ‘theirs’. [...]

  21. [...] indirect thievery By Brian Hayes No one is suggesting turning off the Internet, but you should know the opposite of ‘open’ is ‘theirs’. [...]

  22. [...] From David Weinberger’s post, The opposite of “open” is “theirs”: [...]

  23. [...] David Weinberger [...]

  24. [...] From David Weinberger’s post, The opposite of “open” is “theirs”: [...]

Leave a Reply


Web Joho only

Comments (RSS).  RSS icon