I humbly submit this draft of The Distributed Manifesto for your consideration.
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The Distributed Manifesto
January 10th, 2021
At the end of the last century, the entirety of humanity stood in awe at the dawn of the first digital society. Our first Internet promised, in its burgeoning infinity, to place the totality of man’s knowledge and history at the fingertips of each and every human being. To the early digital citizens, it was a time characterized by creativity, freedom, exploration, and camaraderie.
Our second Internet began with another new technological miracle, the smartphone, which brought with it the promise of ubiquity and simplicity. As our new digital society flourished, we became more connected as a species than ever before. We were awakened, but so too were the enemies of freedom, for their perfect control of us had been disrupted.
Our third Internet, the age of the platform, came about as the technology architects struggled mightily to scale our infrastructures, leading to the birth of cloud computing and centralized platforms, creating new efficiencies and economies of scale. Yet it was here that our new digital society began to falter.
It has ever been the case in antiquity that the concentration of great powers among a small minority of people and has invariably culminated in despotism, brutality, and death. Ita est. As our Internet became industrialized, control of its machinery increasingly became vested in the hands of a handful of oligarchs and authoritarians.
As a result, we have seen the oligarchs abuse their platforms to confuse our senses, manipulating the fundamental drives and instincts that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, in order to further their profit motives.
We have seen our media willingly sacrifice their own integrity to participate in these schemes by propagandizing ad infinitum, relentlessly polarizing and demoralizing the public as a whole, and serving whatever interest resulted in their most immediate gains.
We have seen the aspiring tyrants collude to lock us all in our homes, destroy our golden economy, and push our beautiful civilization to the brink of collapse through sustained programs of ideological subversion and propaganda.
Now, in a furious and final thrust to seize the public forum forever, we have seen these forces collude to cut us off from each other completely, unless we consent to their autocratic decrees on the limits of free expression, and unless we consent to speak approved thoughts or else sit silently.
We do not, we will not.
Free speech has never been safe nor secure; it has forever disrupted power and been the greatest of impediments to establishing authoritarian rule. We who cherish our freedom must not, will not, allow this pernicious slide toward tyranny to continue.
Our highest priority now, as ever, is to protect our right to free expression from those who seek to oppress and control us, for we know it is our free speech which is most antecedent to our mutual understanding of reality, and which is most fundamental to liberty and democracy as a whole.
Now, therefore, we hasten to create a new Internet, one so vast and varied in its complexity that it defies even our own comprehension, far removed from the grasp of monopolists and tyrants, such that light of our collective liberty shall never perish in the darkness of censorship and oppression.
– Proteus Mirabilis <[email protected]>
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