Competition, Monopoly, Interoperability, Epistemological Chaos and the “Ecology Moment”

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Thursday, April 02, 2020: 2:00pm - 3:30pm -

Cory Doctorow, CorDoc-Co, LLC, USA

It’s natural to be alarmed by the rise of conspiratorial thinking and the fragmentation of our shared beliefs, but the real crisis isn’t about beliefs, it’s about epistemology – we don’t just disagree about what’s true, but about how we know whether something is true.

Our collective faith in institutions as reliable truth-seekers has collapsed, and not without reason: as industries have grown more concentrated, the institutions charged with regulating, watch-dogging, and steering those industries have been captured by the giant companies they’re meant to be overseeing. The result is a burgeoning consensus that truth-seeking exercises are really auctions, in which the official truth is sold to the highest bidder.

Monopolization is the norm across practically every industry, and while that’s dismal news, it also has a hidden silver lining: this fact creates the conditions for broad-based coalitions to fight our common enemy: oligarchy.