The two alternatives to the monasterisation of the World wide web

Saint Michael’s Abbey, in the Susa Valley, Piedmont. Source: Wikipedia.

In Medieval Europe, information was physically concentrated in very few secluded libraries and archives. Powerful institutions managed them and regulated who could access what. The library of the fictional abbey that is described in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose is located in a fortified tower and only the librarian knows how to navigate its mysteries. Monasteries played an essential role in preserving written information and creating new intelligence from that knowledge. But being written information a scarce resource, with the keys to libraries came also authority and power. Similarly, Internet companies are amassing information within their fortified walls. In so doing, they provide services that we now see as essential but they also contravene the two core principles of the Internet: openness and decentralisation.


Monday, 7 May 2018


Twitter: frbailo




RSS Simply Statistics

RSS Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

  • Hedging your bets by weighting regressions?
    Cody Boyer writes: I’ve had a question in the back of my mind since I read this article years ago. What I’m curious about is this section, quoted below: A major challenge is that there are a lot of plausible … Continue reading →
  • Prior knowledge elicitation: The past, present, and future
    Petrus Mikkola, Osvaldo A. Martin, Suyog Chandramouli, Marcelo Hartmann, Oriol Abril Pla, Owen Thomas, Henri Pesonen, Jukka Corander, Aki Vehtari, Samuel Kaski, Paul-Christian Bürkner, and Arto Klami write in a paper that recently appeared online in Bayesian Analysis journal Specification … Continue reading →
  • Incompetence or fraud hidden in plain sight
    We’ve been hearing a lot about the colorful con artist George Santos, who was recently elected to the U.S. Congress. One news story asks: Why, people keep asking, did it take so long for his lies to be revealed? Why … Continue reading →