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The Internet Is Rotting Away

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Nov 11, 2021

 

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In This BitBoy Special: The Internet has a problem and if we don’t fix it soon, it could affect history as we know it. The internet was created to be decentralized, but along the way we’ve lost that, leading to where we are today. The internet allows us to be connected to anyone, anywhere. But there’s a major problem that no one is talking about: link rot. In this video, we’ll go in-depth about the problem with the internet today and why we need to fix link rot before it’s too late. Learn about the history of the internet and where the future of the internet could be headed. Sources: https://www.theatlantic.com/technolog… https://www.theatlantic.com/technolog… https://www.fastcompany.com/3028321/d… https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/21/22… https://www.cjr.org/analysis/linkrot-… https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/25/22… https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/0… https://gcn.com/articles/2013/10/04/s… https://arstechnica.com/information-t… https://www.cjr.org/analysis/linkrot-…
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Decentralized Internet Is The Future

Decentralized Internet Is The Future

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FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

00:00
There is a problem with the internet.
00:02
And if we don’t fix it,
00:05
then let’s just say the internet may not be around for long.
00:20
The internet is the greatest technological revolution
00:22
we’ve seen since the creation of the vacuum tube in 1904.
00:28
This little guy is what made electronics as we know them today possible.
00:33
It allowed humans to communicate in a way that we could have never possibly anticipated.
00:43
Back in the 1960s,
00:45
a bunch of real nerds with actual pocket protectors
00:48
create a communications network where computers could speak to one another
00:53
through phone lines.
00:55
Much later, this network would become a public internet or a WorldWideWeb.
01:01
And that occurred 30 years ago this year.
01:05
On August 6, 1991,
01:08
Tim Berners-Lee created a post on a Usenet group announcing this concept of a WorldWideWeb.
01:15
And that’s when things really took off and innovation went parabolic.
01:21
Humanity started seeing the potential of all these connections.
01:25
Connections with thousands of servers multiplied by thousands more servers
01:30
multiplied by thousands of computers eventually created an internet.
01:36
And we got really good at making these connections.
01:40
This is because the core instructions of the internet, its protocols, were open source.
01:45
You see, the internet was born to be decentralized.
01:49
Anyone with a computer and a phone line
01:52
can connect to someone else with a computer and phone line
01:54
and trade zeros and ones.
01:58
The potential of connection is so simple but, at the same time, incredibly strong.
02:05
The beauty of the internet, the thing that allowed it to grow,
02:08
is the ability to make instant connections.
02:12
Information can be exchanged as soon as a connection is made,
02:16
so the bigger and better we make those connections,
02:19
the faster the internet will become.
02:25
So 30 years later, we have an internet so fast, so connected, so pervasive,
02:30
that we can do things that weren’t even possible just two years ago.
02:34
The high watermark of communications in the 90s was video conferencing.
02:41
Today, it’s so common
02:43
that it’s almost become the standard way that we do a doctor’s visit.
02:48
The special sauce of the internet,
02:50
its instantaneousness,
02:52
has also become its biggest flaw.
02:55
The internet was not built to last.
02:58
It was built to connect.
03:00
That’s it.
03:01
There’s nothing permanent about the internet.
03:04
And that’s starting to become a big problem.
03:09
We think of the internet as long connections that are untouchable by most people.
03:13
Private.
03:15
The websites and apps we use are colorful and welcoming.
03:18
It’s high-tech, modern, progressive.
03:21
We think the guts of the internet,
03:23
servers, data centers and cables,
03:25
are tucked away, left alone like monks on a mountain to quietly do their work
03:30
and only every once in a while, need a refresh or a reboot.
03:36
But the truth is,
03:38
the internet has a problem that experts have known about for decades.
03:43
And if we’re not careful,
03:44
it could bring the entire internet down
03:47
and affect history as we know it.
04:07
This is War and Peace.
04:10
It’s a large book written by a Russian man.
04:14
And it’s mostly depressing.
04:15
Today, this book is available on eReaders.
04:19
And a lot of people have purchased it that way.
04:22
But one day,
04:24
War and Peace fans notice something very peculiar about the book.
04:33
When the flame of the sulfur splinters Nookd by the tinder burned up,
04:38
first blue and then red,
04:39
Shcherbinin lit the tallow candle.
04:42
Beautiful, isn’t it?
04:45
There’s only one problem.
04:46
How are splinters Nookd?
04:49
They aren’t.
04:51
They’re kindled.
04:53
Customers who bought the War and Peace eBook through Barnes and Noble’s eReader, the Nook,
04:58
discovered this, and they complained.
05:01
Come to find out, an algorithm created by the Barnes and Noble marketing team went rogue
05:07
and replaced the word “kindle,” the name of Amazon’s eReader,
05:12
with the name of their own eReader,
05:14
Nook.
05:15
Funny, isn’t it?
05:16
No one accepted blame,
05:18
and there was no record to try to track down.
05:22
Everything in the eBook world is centralized and controlled by mega corporations,
05:29
corporations that can control and manipulate the stories
05:34
that have affected and shaped our society and culture.
05:38
This is a legal opinion from Judge Samuel Alito
05:43
from a case in 2011.
05:45
In this opinion, Judge Alito did whatever everyone did.
05:50
He cited a source and linked to it.
05:53
But in this opinion,
05:55
the owners of the page that he linked to changed the website
06:00
to display a 404 message that read
06:03
Aren’t you glad you didn’t cite this webpage
06:06
like Justice Alito did
06:08
This is still in the Library of Congress,
06:11
and it hasn’t been fixed yet.
06:13
It’s a matter of United States law.
06:16
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
06:19
According to a report by Harvard Law School,
06:22
49% of all links in United States Supreme Court opinions are dead or have drifted to different content.
06:31
And this is not just concentrated to the Supreme Court.
06:35
home deeds
06:37
medical research
06:38
scientific journals
06:40
hospital records
06:41
government records
06:45
Our photo and video memories are on a server, SD card or hard drive.
06:51
Some of you watching this video have never even physically held a picture that you’ve taken.
06:59
If you lose your phone,
07:00
no problem.
07:02
It’s all backed up somewhere, right?
07:04
All of our digital memories,
07:06
photos, music, videos,
07:10
they require electricity to survive,
07:13
and without it,
07:14
well, they cease to exist.
07:17
But servers go down,
07:19
bits can flip,
07:20
and faulty hard drives can corrupt every memory that you thought that you had,
07:27
making them little more than, well, a memory.
07:36
The average lifespan of a hard drive is around four years old.
07:40
For an enterprise level solid-state drive,
07:44
10 years.
07:45
Compare that to film, photos and vinyl records.
07:49
Over 100 years, if stored properly.
07:59
The problem is called link rot.
08:01
And it’s been eating away at the foundations of the internet for the past 25 years.
08:07
Links are the backbone of the internet
08:10
that would allow us to go from one webpage to the next
08:12
without typing in a complicated and exact URL address.
08:16
Without hyperlinks,
08:17
the internet is slow and clumsy.
08:21
But it’s not just link rot.
08:23
It’s the fact that changes on the internet can happen.
08:26
And the only record of those changes, if there even is one, is located on a server
08:31
that only a few have access to.
08:33
It’s like building a massive structure and then leaving it open to the elements.
08:38
Our data is rotting away faster than we can possibly back it up.
08:44
Centralized powers and Silicon Valley are editing, censoring and banning protected speech.
08:51
News outlets are rewriting articles under the radar,
08:55
something called ninja editing,
08:57
to save face, get out of a lie, or to change history to fit the present narrative.
09:03
How can we learn from the past
09:05
if history has been rewritten a thousand times behind an opaque curtain?
09:11
What happens if the government need some land and your house is on that property?
09:16
Edit the record.
09:18
What happens if a political candidate make some comments
09:21
that suddenly now are deemed unsavory?
09:24
Edit the record.
09:25
But it only gets darker from here.
09:29
What if the photos from your newborn baby’s first bath are crawled by an algorithm
09:34
searching for child porn and delete it and your flagged by the FBI?
09:38
Your Apple ID is placed on a watch list.
09:41
Suddenly, you’re banned from air travel.
09:44
Charges are pressed.
09:46
Your name and face are placed on a list of sex offenders.
09:50
And you have no recourse because the string of events
09:54
that led to your photos getting flagged and deleted
09:57
are locked up behind a centralized system.
10:00
These things are happening now and will only get worse.
10:06
If only there was a technology that was open, searchable, resistant to change,
10:11
and extremely difficult to hack.
10:26
Blockchain won’t fix the internet or history,
10:30
but it can make it more honest by making it more transparent and more decentralized.
10:37
A court decision can be placed in a database that runs on Cardano
10:42
where it’s logged and verified by thousands of nodes,
10:46
and any changes that occur will be recorded forever on the ledger.
10:51
Public voting can be done on a blockchain with no possibility that errors go unnoticed.
10:58
Your medical data can be placed into a record system that runs on Ethereum
11:03
where you can completely control who has access to what.
11:08
Your photos, music and videos can be backed up by a storage-based blockchain
11:14
where thousands of users back up your data at the same time.
11:19
A presidential news conference can have an embedded blockchain string
11:23
woven into the video feed that verifies its integrity.
11:27
This means no deepfakes and no Photoshop.
11:31
The internet is not meant to be locked up behind a wall controlled only by a few.
11:38
It needs constant care.
11:40
Blockchain is always moving, perpetually upgraded in one long chain that lasts forever.
11:47
It’s not just the future of finance.
11:50
It’s the next evolution of technology that will democratize our future and our freedoms.
 
 

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