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  • Writer's pictureAdriana Lakatosova

Platform Digest 2022.09: The Ecology of the Internet

👋 On time for your weekend: a round-up of this week's most remarkable stories at the intersection of #ecosystem #innovation and #platform #organisation.

🎧 How the Internet Happened

There is three things that they do that I argue are super influential and they deserve more credit for laying the ground work for this. Number one, they teach normal people to trust faceless strangers across the countries online. The fact that Ebay trained normal people can trust faceless masses, we should not underestimate the people that were the training wheels for the modern digital era... The second thing that is key is that these are masses that are self-organising. Uber, AirBnB, go down the list, they proved that a non-hierarchical self-organised reputation system could function online. Maybe not perfectly, but well enough to achieve scale and be good enough most of the time... And then the third one is just the fact that they were the first companies to succeed at “our business model is whatever our users are doing on our platform”. All you do is letting people interact.

🤝 People are now active participants, instead of passive consumers - a16z Podcast with Brian McCullough and Chris Dixon

The Internet is Not as New as You Think

The ecology of the internet, on this line of thinking, is only one more recent layer of the ecology of the planet as a whole, which overlays networks upon networks: prairie dogs calling out to their kin the exact shape and motions of an arriving predator; sagebrushes emitting airborne methyl jasmonate to warn others of their kind of a coming insect invasion; blue whales singing songs for their own inscrutable reasons, perhaps simply for the joy of free and directionless discourse of the sort that human beings—now sometimes aided by screens and cables and signals in the ether—call by the name of chatting.

👩‍🌾 When the separation between nature and artifice makes less and less sense. The Internet is a technique, too - by Justin E. H. Smith

Jobfished: the con that tricked dozens into working for a fake design agency

The pandemic changed the way many of us worked - communicating through a screen became the norm. Ali Ayad exploited that. It was as if he wanted to be the next Elon Musk - and, in Madbird, he thought he had found a shortcut. A universe where he would be judged solely by his online presence rather than the offline reality. And the most shocking part of Ali Ayad's gamble? The fact that we live in an age where it nearly worked.

👩‍💻 Because it was fake it doesn't mean it wasn't real - by Leo Sands, Catrin Nye, Divya Talwar and Benjamin Lister

Why History Converges and Casades

In my book Cascades, I explained how small groups, loosely connected but united by a shared purpose drive transformational change. It happens gradually, almost imperceptibly, at first. Connections accumulate under the surface, barely noticed, as small groups slowly begin to link together and congeal into a network. Eventually things hit a tipping point…It’s not just people that are networked though, events are as well. There are always unseen connections between the forces of economics, technology, culture, politics and many other things. Much like social and political movements, the effects are almost impossible to detect at first, but can accelerate in nonlinear ways that defy the prediction of experts.

🕸️ The world wide web as part of a much bigger story - by Greg Satell

If you like this digest, you might appreciate the sister newsletter at the intersection of #technology, #business, #design, and #culture as well. This week's edition is all about False Futurism!

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