We’ve had enough of digital monopolies and surveillance capitalism. We want an alternative world that works for everyone, just like the original intention of the web and net.
We seek a world of open platforms and protocols with real choices of applications and services for people. We care about privacy, transparency and autonomy. Our tools and organisations should fundamentally be accountable and resilient.
On Wednesday, August 20, 2014, Jörg F. Wittenberger <Joerg.Wittenberger@softeyes.net> wrote:
However I don't understand you "vaguely similar". It seems not to be that vague. It's just a different "machine" executing it: physical hardware or human agents. But both are supposed to stick precisely to the rules until the software is changed. (And both are usually buggy.)
I was trying to compensate for my bias by using understatement and ambiguity. But now that you challenge me, I feel obligated to try to respond.
Has anyone written a mathematical analysis of the isomorphism, it's features and limits?
Custom and law typically operate by defining constraints that must not be violated, leaving agents free to pursue arbitrary goals using arbitrary strategies within those limits. Software typically provides a menu of capabilities, defined (usually) by a sequential, goal oriented algorithm, often employing a single prechosen strategy. Constraints limit software, but do not dominate the situation as in law.
I must obey the traffic laws while driving to work. The law knows nothing about my goal. I am in charge. If/when we all have self-driving cars, traffic laws will serve no purpose, but the car has to know where I want to go, in addition to the constraints and heuristics that allow it to navigate safely there. I am still in charge, but not in control. Action in each case combines intent, strategy, resources and constraints, but the mix is different. Or maybe the level of abstraction?
I can use software to break the law, and I can use the law to break software, but it is an accident of language that I can make these statements, the meaning is not at all similar.
I would be delighted for you to convince me that I am being too pessimistic, ignorant and unimaginative. I would prefer to be on the other side of this argument.