The Dawn of the Real Internet

Vic Aquino
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In the pursuit to peel back and understand the massive underpinnings to what will change the world in the coming fourth industrial revolution, it was like opening a pandora’s box of wonderment, bewilderment and confusion.

And that’s just from researching locally around San Jose, the Bay Area and a variety of sources. It was difficult to keep focusing on one or a few people and the many initiatives. The stories always got bigger.

The idea of a three-part series of humanity enabled by blockchain technology was very premature. The many angles and rabbit holes of possibilities were overwhelming for something that wasn’t completely defined yet.

Early adopters call it web 3.0, the metaverse, a decentralized world, crypto, the spatial web, tokenization, and more.

It’s all of the above and it’s an unimaginable opportunity and unique time for all of us to research and understand in some capacity – instead of just being consumers, users and skeptics.

It’s still early, even with all the buzz. It’s the same vibe from over 20 years ago when all that was to be the Internet was a “fad.”

For many who think this new digital future is not real - it’s more real than the printing of trillions and trillions of dollars that’s backed by only “the full faith and credit” of Uncle Sam and leaving money in the bank while inflation invisibly takes its value away.

Revolutions affect everyone

Large institutions and governments are already positioning themselves when only the technologists, scientists and physicists could play out what this all could be, while the rest of the early adopters and believers are buying in.

The masses are still to come in this decade and for the remainder of this century, just as it was in the last century:

  • 1904: the invention of the vacuum tube ushered in radio, television and early computers
  • 1960s: computers using phone lines started to communicate with each other
  • 1980s to 1990s: UseNet or what’s now known as newsgroups and forums

30 years later, the social and commerce Internet is still not fully realized

Looking at the early Internet, it’s long forgotten that it was meant to be open and not controlled by a few, but even still, the exponential innovation has been pervasive. It has changed our lives with instant audio and video connections, social media, ecommerce and much, much more.

So many of us didn’t believe it could all be the way it is now, until it became ubiquitous. It all just seeped in and became part of our evolution.

Remember when:

  • Many in radio never believed television would dominate entertainment
  • Cell phones became smart phones and the younger generations showed us all what it could be
  • Or that we could fly in planes, go to space, or have vast knowledge at our fingertips

The fourth big global revolution is coming. You might as well inform yourself and maybe even position yourself.

Why “it” needs to come

Behind the scenes, the current Internet needs constant care. And in its quest to instantaneously connect us, much of the guts of the Internet is centralized and maintained by big corporations or nation states.

More importantly - our records, our files, our lives are stored on select, centralized servers regardless if it’s in the “cloud.” Data storage shelf-life is measured in years (up to ten years on average) and is part of the incorporated care and maintenance.

All the content and resources on this storage is also waning, changing or even being edited. From dead links (404 pages) to being redirected to new links and pages, it means our records can become lost forever.

Or lost with the possibility of being changed without any public knowledge.

These records can be government, health or judicial records to property ownership, scientific information or even criminal records.

It’s not so much a stretch given the harshest political and national division we’ve ever faced. A nefarious entity can covertly change or edit records and change narratives, thus literally change history.

Scary as it sounds; most of us will not do anything, except perhaps benefit

In San Jose and the Bay Area, there is affluence and opportunities here. For a far majority of us, financial and material hardships are relative and most likely “first-world problems.”

Then, there are those who are trying to answer the call through higher technology.

This new technical world is an evolving chain of data that is perpetually and permanently etched on a public ledger across thousands of computer nodes around the globe. It’s essence and intent allow transparent and decentralized data use that can be easily verified. This is interoperable data management that can’t be changed or hacked or centrally controlled by design.

This technical fabric and foundational is the different blockchain worlds that will enable our fourth industrial revolution.

One of the biggest reasons it will be a revolution is the built in intent to benefit users and people first - think of it as receiving a share of the pie vs. conglomerations using you to make their pie bigger. And especially, where today's algorithms aren't as effective to rule what you see and personal data collection is no longer a big business.

It’s also a borderless world that bridges the physical and digital and vice versa in varying degrees of user experiences and applications. A world that naturally and innately enforces privacy, trust, ownership and permanency.

Most people might first think about a mixed physical virtual world of gaming, shopping, meeting, vacationing, and so on. Let your imagination go crazy, because if you’re here in 10, 20, 30 years, you can trust something along these lines will be normal at some point.

But for the sake of humanity, there are other key efforts in the works that are less tantalizing but more profound :

  • Voting that is irrefutable with zero errors
  • Financial, health and personal data that is far more permanent and protected that you can take with you anywhere
  • Video, photos and news that can be immediately proven and verified

It's a very difficult world to build but the brightest around the globe are on it. They are many critical thinkers who are also thoughtful thinkers, which we need more of.

For the sake of economic liberty and prosperity, this revolution is aimed to democratize our future and freedoms

There is much arrogance and aristocratic thinking that is part of today’s global politics and even central banking systems that benefits few and divides many.

It is all still rooted from centuries-old principles around elitism, oppression, manipulation, subjugation and self-importance.

  • Think about the predatory practices around lending, insurance and remittances – who are they preying on?
  • The incompetence of banks and financial institutions that fail – who bails them out?

Wily governments and institutions see something huge is coming that will disrupt their control and power and rest assured, they’ll fight back.

At the very, very least, decentralized finance will coexist with today's financial ways until the old guards are gone.

Power to the people, not just in San Jose or the U.S. - everyone

The brave new world coming will be the most opportune time in human history for progress and inclusion at a global scale.

New platforms will allow more effortless verifications for economic identity, work and academic credentials, proof of citizenship and ownership, especially in nations no one thinks will be of significance. It will connect the so many unconnected into systems where revenue can be shared with its citizens.

It’s a revolution still in the making. It’s going to remove middlemen and the many layers of costs and bureaucracy. There’s going to be built in accountability and financial access.

Hopefully, its intent is in the spirit of progress and equality to billions who need help and support and for the rest of us - prosperity in every other sense of the word.

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A 50+ year San Jose-native focusing on social awareness, social good, social impact and the hidden gems and treasures of the area. Freelance journalist & sports contributor to SB Nation & SF 49ers (@VicD_SJ on Twitter).

San Jose, CA

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