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2013 Internet Hall of Fame Inductee Interviews: John Perry Barlow

My great­est hope, and the thing I’ve been work­ing for most of my life now, is that it will real­ize itself as being some­thing that makes it pos­si­ble for any­body to know any­thing that they’re capa­ble of know­ing. Which I think is a won­der­ful thought. Or that it will make it pos­si­ble for any­body that has some­thing impor­tant that oth­er peo­ple should hear to say it, with­out any fear of being shut up or coerced or that sort of thing. 

The Ideas of John Perry Barlow in Uncertain Times

If you’re look­ing to the ques­tion how can the whole thing be reg­u­lat­ed, how can one get con­trol of this whole envi­ron­ment, so as to cre­ate a world in which those orig­i­nal free­doms that Barlow was talk­ing about are shared by every­one, the answer is you can’t do it.

John Perry Barlow’s Usenix 1994 Keynote Address

I hon­est­ly believe with­out hyper­bole that peo­ple in this room are doing things which will change the world more than any­thing since the cap­ture of fire, in terms of what it is to be a human being. And I’ll jus­ti­fy that very broad state­ment here as I go along.

Virtual Futures Salon: Beyond Bitcoin, with Vinay Gupta

Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the peo­ple have gone from not hav­ing it around to hav­ing it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a lit­tle younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t real­ly need to be explained. It does how­ev­er need to be contextualized.

Virtual Futures Salon: Dawn of the New Everything, with Jaron Lanier

So here’s what hap­pened. If you tell peo­ple you’re going to have this super-open, absolute­ly non-commercial, money-free thing, but it has to sur­vive in this envi­ron­ment that’s based on mon­ey, where it has to make mon­ey, how does any­body square that cir­cle? How does any­body do any­thing? And so com­pa­nies like Google that came along, in my view were backed into a cor­ner. There was exact­ly one busi­ness plan avail­able to them, which was advertising.

Uncreative Writing

With the rise of the Web, writ­ing has met its pho­tog­ra­phy. And by that I mean writ­ing has encoun­tered a sit­u­a­tion sim­i­lar to what hap­pened uh, to paint­ing with the inven­tion of pho­tog­ra­phy. A tech­nol­o­gy so much bet­ter at repli­cat­ing real­i­ty that in order to sur­vive, paint­ing had to ors— or, uh, alter its course radically.