Charting the Direction of the Internet
Do we have a choice? Many people decry this state of the internet -- invasion of privacy, overcommercialization and monopolistic trends in the building of the infrastructure of the internet -- where we as individuals are viewed merely as "consumers".
If all of us who care about these issues can band together, we may be able to shape the future of the internet so that we can create an internet community that would be more respecting of our privacy and humanity. This is almost a quixotic goal and many of my friends have dissuaded me from embarking on such path.
When confronted with the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I seek solace in the words of Tolstoy (quoted above). To give up the fight, without exhausting our defenses, could cost the surrender of our "soul".
Such path do not have to be in conflict with our "economic pursuits" -- all of us, after all, have something (goods and services) to exchange with others in order to survive. All we desire is to create an internet environment that will treat us more as human beings rather than as mere consumer of goods and services.