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RadioBerkman interviews Tim Hwang

I am a Tim Hwang fanboy. Tim is one of the founders of ROFLcon and The Awesome Foundation. So, I was very happy to get to interview him for Radio Berkman. We talk about classifying Internet enthusiasts, and about whether there are schools of thought emerging among people who think about and research the Net.

Tim’s pretty damn insightful and delightful. In fact, Tim Hwang is awesome.

3 Responses to “RadioBerkman interviews Tim Hwang”

  1. Loved this episode! Only wish we could have talked even longer!

    Just an NB: Our Tim Hwang is often mistaken on the web for his musician twin, also named Tim Hwang . Our Tim turns his tricks on

  2. Hi Tim,It’s a great.

  3. (cross-posted from, where it still awaits moderation)

    Listening to the new+related Berkman podcast, a couple of thoughts struck me:

    1. On the classification of perspectives on the Internet: with respect, it seems that the population sample from which this derive this classification system is being derived is heavily skewed in the direction of “application-level” Internet developers and “arms-length” Internet analysts and scholars (lawyers, professors, journalists, etc.). Although one can learn a great deal about the Internet in the course of engaging in all of these activities (and some distance may be important for the appearance if not the approximation of “objectivity”), I suspect that a broader range of perspectives might be revealed if the target population sample included individuals who are more directly engaged in the development/deployment and/or operation of Internet protocols and infrastructure, i.e., the lower-level technical constructs that make the application-level constructs (technically) possible.

    2. On the (podcast) claim that there is no usefully comparable phenomenon or guiding analogy for understanding the Internet (and DW’s corresponding claim that non-recognition of such parallels makes one an “exceptionalist”): When one peers under the hood in the the protocols and infrastructure, the Internet actually looks quite a lot (or perhaps exactly) like a new kind of “liquidity mechanism,” i.e., a set of technologies, formal institutions, incentive mechanisms, and habitual practices that facilitate the dynamic, demand-driven exchange of packetizable things (information, communications, “content”, etc., etc.) between an ever-expanding universe of exchanging parties. On this view, the clear parallel is the only other liquidity mechanism (a.k.a. “medium of exchange”) that has been discovered and very widely adopted in human history to date, i.e., the technology “money,” along with the institutions that coordinate the (hopefully, sustainable) quantity and flow of monetary instruments, and secondarily all of the innumerable “applications” that the monetary technology-based economy makes possible. Under the hood, core Internet technologies look like an amazingly apt liquidity mechanism for sustaining an economy that is dominated by nonrival/abundant goods — much as one might observe that monetary technologies were quite well-adapted (and hence very widely adopted) to mediate exchanges of value back when the economy was composed entirely of physical/scarce/rival goods.

    Granted, most economists who think about money a lot seem to think that it’s “medium of exchange” function is unique (for now) so perhaps this perspective represents a kind of second-order Internet exceptionalism… albeit one which is empirically grounded, and which provides a variety of potentially invaluable postdictive and predictive insights…

Web Joho only

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