you know, if you look at it a certain way

networking turned computers from being a power tool to being agents in themselves. or more like substrates for agents.

when you program network code, you are defining a set of agreements between all copies of the agent you're making. the more of them you make, the more you constrain the agents (and the users on the other end).

to a point, this is necessary for anything to get done. but there becomes a point where you start overspecifying in a way that constrains the users unduly. where you draw that line is up to you.

it makes it necessary to be very wise and careful about not only what you specify, but how you specify it. it has to be in line with what social reality is and not overspecify parts of it that may change out from under it

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@KitRedgrave I don't feel that this is any more true than it was before networking on computers was popular. At that time, you were free to do something that only you wanted, it was hard to change anyone else's thing that did what they wanted (unless they wanted you to), and the things you did would only spread if you could convince other people that they wanted at least some part of it as well. All of that seems true today, no? (The barrier to entry feels high today, but it was then too.)

@aschmitz those things were indeed true before computer networking, but i think it becomes even more apparent because your thing can now spread a lot faster, and exchange data with other instances of your thing

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