#669: Internet Co-Inventor Vint Cerf on Decentralized Internet Challenges

vint-cerf-marsVint Cerf is a co-inventor of the Internet, and he’s currently working as a Vice President at Google at their Chief Internet Evangelist. With all of the ethical discussions about the dangers of centralization of power and influence for censorship and surveillance, then this may seem like an odd choice for some people. But Cerf takes believes in creating an open and free Internet where access to information and knowledge is free and universally available, and there hasn’t been any viable alternative economic model implemented that could sustain the depth and breadth of services that Google provides. Decentralized blockchain architectures could change the underlying technological, cultural, and potentially economic norms, but Cerf is cautious and skeptical until there’s more pragmatic evidence of that. There are too many open questions around maintainability, reliability, scalability, economies of scale, and archivability of these decentralized architectures for them to be considered as a viable alternative to existing architectures.

I had a chance to interview Cerf at the Decentralized Web Summit to talk about his concerns and open problems that need to be solved with decentralized architectures. Cerf has been through many pendulum swings from centralization to decentralization and back again, and so he puts forth some compelling open questions and challenges to the larger decentralized community that need to be solved before the benefits of decentralized architectures start to outweigh all of the costs and uncertainties.


There is also a lot of optimism and idealism that comes with the possibilities of blockchain technologies including new cultural norms and market dynamics, but Cerf thinks that there still some foundational economic dynamics that may not change when it comes to the concentration of wealth and power with economies of scale. Cerf weighs in on all of these open questions, what concerns him about the future of the Internet, and he defines some open problems for the next generation of decentralized architects to solve.

Here’s Cerf’s talk at the Decentralized Web Summit.

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. So over the past couple of days, I was at the Decentralized Web Summit in San Francisco. It was put on by the Internet Archive and it really felt like a historic gathering and the energy was just palpable. There was people really excited and really trying to dream up a future, a better future built upon technologies that are emerging in the sense of the blockchain, the cryptocurrencies, and trying to take these insights of how to decentralize these different aspects and see how that could be applied to how the internet is architected. So there's a lot of great things about how the internet has economy of scale. It's been able to bring universal knowledge to people. But there's also a lot of downsides to that centralization, whether it's surveillance and totalitarian control of governments to be able to censor, also this concentration of wealth and power. And so a lot of people that were at this conference were trying to figure out if there's these technologically mediated ways to be able to change the cultural norms of society and the fundamental market dynamics. And so I had a chance to talk to Vint Cerf. He's one of the co-inventors of the internet and he's currently a vice president at Google and Google's chief internet evangelist. And so in some ways everybody at the Decentralized Web Summit was trying to take the things that they don't like about Google and try to decentralize it. So it was interesting to talk to someone who is one of the co-inventors of the internet but is also kind of representing this power of centralization. And so had this chance to talk to Vint Cerf at the Decentralized Web Summit to ask him some of the questions about both of what he's thinking about, but also some of the challenges and opportunities that he sees in order to continue to get the best aspects of what we have now with our current internet infrastructure, but also to see what new opportunities are available with this decentralized systems, but also challenges that have yet to be solved. So that's what we'll be covering on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Vint happened on Wednesday, July 1st, 2018 at the Decentralized Web Summit in San Francisco, California. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:02:19.938] Vint Cerf: I'm Vince Cerf. I'm Google's Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist. I'm the co-inventor of the Internet. Very, very interested in this whole question of maintaining the web over long periods of time. There's a big discussion here about a distributed web, partly to maintain it and its contents over a significant period of time so it doesn't get lost. My talk is about what the criteria are for achieving that longevity of data preservation. This is a non-trivial exercise. Part of the problem we're going to run into is that the cost of running these large-scale data centers is high, but the economics of it favors scale. And so to try to distribute the web in systems that are not concentrated may turn out to have an economic challenge to it. And so one of the questions will be economics. Another one will be maintenance of standards over long enough periods of time so that data can continue to be correctly interpreted. I mean, think about all the spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides that you have. From 20 years ago. It isn't 100% clear that the software that can interpret those is still available and will still run on Current-day operating systems. So those are some of the considerations that I'll bring up during my little afternoon talk All right So maybe you could take us back to what really inspired the TCP IP protocol and what that kind of led to well I wish I could tell you that this was you know, I woke up one morning and said, huh? We're going to invent the Internet What really happened is the Defense Department, Bob Kahn and me, to consider how to take what we learned from the ARPANET project, first wide area packet switching project, and apply it to command and control. And so that led to realizing that we would need to have computers in mobile vehicles and airplanes and ships at sea, which meant that we couldn't tie them together with telephone lines, which is the way the ARPANET was built. which meant we had to use radio and satellite, which meant we had to have multiple packet switch nets, which meant we had to find a way to make them all look uniform, which led us, over a period of six months in 1973, to designing TCP, which eventually evolved into TCP IP. So, in fact, it wasn't inspiration as much as it was an engineering challenge. And as you know, engineers love problems and they like to solve them. And that's exactly what's happened over 40 years ago and evolving ever since into more and more refined solutions and new applications like the World Wide Web.

[00:04:44.030] Kent Bye: Well, it seems like that part of the inspiration was to try to create this resilient, decentralized network. But yet, in order to actually implement the internet, we have these centralized choke points like DNS and other things as well. So do you see that there is going to be some sort of solution to be able to fully decentralize what we have now, which has a lot of sort of centralized nodal points?

[00:05:04.331] Vint Cerf: Well, I'm not convinced yet that this centralization, I think you're referring mostly to large-scale data centers that a number of companies like Amazon and Google and Facebook and so on are operating. Those are there because they are economically feasible to build, in fact, advisable to build. Nonetheless, the entire system is still literally distributed because we have people scattered all over the place with a variety of different devices of increasing capacity. So my sense right now is that the centralization is part of a pendulum that swings back and forth. When the ARPANET was built in the 1960s, the big deal then was time sharing. You had great big machines and you shared them among multiple parties. Then we got machines that were less and less expensive and smaller and smaller until finally you and I both carry smartphones around. But we also use laptops and we make use of large-scale data centers. So my belief right now is that the landscape is filled with a wide range of computing. And I'm less worried about choke points, I think, than your question implies. But maybe I'm biased because I happen to work at Google.

[00:06:08.959] Kent Bye: Well, I'm curious if you could elaborate a little bit more of what you see as kind of the fundamental economic dynamics of these questions of both the centralized internet and the decentralized internet and like how to actually sort of fund it or sustain it or what sort of those open challenges or problems are.

[00:06:23.857] Vint Cerf: Well, so first of all, from my perspective as a network person, the Internet is still very decentralized and very distributed because all of those big data centers are at the edge of what I think of as the Internet. So are your laptops and desktops and mobiles and everything else. So from that perspective, it's still very decentralized. In terms of the centralization of computing resources, here I think that We're in a cycle right now where centralization turns out to be attractive. At some point, if standards evolve and our ability to maintain equipment remotely as a service begins to blossom, then we may actually be able to run a fully decentralized system and still rely upon it. The big issue here is maintenance, upgrades, cost of transforming data from one medium to another. We have to rely on people to do that in a fully decentralized system. Today we do this in the centralized systems as a matter of course. So we replace equipment, multiple generations exist in the same data centers over periods of time, and we transfer the data to new media, we transfer them to new software bases. So, I think we would have to invent almost a self-annealing, very distributed software system for us not to have to rely on individuals to maintain all of their gear, which is holding some portion of the collective memory of the people who use this system.

[00:07:47.165] Kent Bye: I'm wondering if you could comment on the role of protocols, open standards, and the proliferation of the Internet, and what kind of the most exciting new protocols that you see that are out there.

[00:07:57.502] Vint Cerf: So this is a very good point that the maintenance of common standards, whether it's APIs or protocols or standard formats for different kinds of information like spreadsheets or images and video and the like, having common standards and maintaining them over a long period of time means that you can retrieve information reliably and still be able to make use of it. The question is how to maintain that commonality over a long period of time, maintain the software that knows how to interpret it. From my point of view, the most exciting development this year, in 2018, is a data transfer project that Google and Amazon and Facebook and others are developing, which allows high-speed transfers between data centers. And this is sort of fundamental to giving freedom to users to park their information at any of the large-scale data sites that they wish to use, or maybe using multiple of them in order to maintain some security and safety through distribution. The next obvious step is to create user equipment which uses that same interface. And so now we end up with sort of what we will call mini data centers in everybody's home or everybody's office, which looks exactly like all the other data centers. So suddenly we create this common landscape using the same protocols. It doesn't matter whether you're in the Google cloud or in the Amazon cloud or somebody else's cloud or your home cloud, it all looks the same. And that's sort of like internet all over again.

[00:09:25.300] Kent Bye: Well, I'm curious to hear your perspective from someone who's inside of Google, but also working on these sort of decentralized initiatives through the Evangelist for the web, because I see that there's this fundamental battle and tension between centralization and decentralization, and that Google actually in terms of their strategy with Android and supporting of open standards and really of all the different companies are out there I think that there is this hybrid supporting of the open standards and let people find ways to support themselves But yet at the same time there's a centralization and the fundamental revenue streams of Google with what I would say is this surveillance capitalism business model which is based upon aggregating and centralizing all these elements of Identity and so there seems to be a huge initiative here at the decentralized web summit to come up with things with like self-sovereign identity to sort of counteract this process of having these centralized identity stores with what is essentially the Fundamental business model of Google and so I'm curious to hear your thoughts on if you feel like there's going to be this transition from the legacy systems of the surveillance capitalism into something that is a little bit more decentralized or trying to break down some of the bad aspects of centralization.

[00:10:33.481] Vint Cerf: It's almost impossible to unpack everything that you crammed into that speech. So, first of all, you haven't lived through, I think, the pendulum swinging. Because I've gone from major centralized time-shared computing facilities to departmental computers to personal computers and workstations to handhelds and everything else. So the pendulum is swinging back and forth. I think it's more important, though, to recognize that the reason that it's possible to support some of this, and we're back to economics, is exactly the recognition that the advertisers are willing to pay to present things to people who are interested in what they're showing. And so Google works really hard to do that. We try to help the advertisers deliver information to people receiving it to consider to be useful as opposed to annoying. So there's a lot of work that goes on to helping people either shun or to divert information that they're not interested in. So they can tell us, don't show me this stuff anymore or please focus on this or ignore this stuff. So there's an economic there. If you try to fully distribute everything, it may be harder to make that particular business model work. So now the question is, are you enjoying the services that you're getting that are paid for by this method? If you don't like the method, but you like the services, then you have a challenge. How do I figure out how to support those services in some other way? And perhaps that's what two graduate students somewhere in some university are figuring out right now, which is why Google keeps running at high speed, trying to make sure that we stay ahead of everybody, technologically speaking, in order to keep this particular business model working.

[00:12:12.879] Kent Bye: Well, it seems like if you're able to somehow integrate cryptocurrencies in the process of going to a URL such that it was sort of maybe built into the fabric of the web such that there's a way to, I guess, have this balance between the young and the end, which is if you are going to a website, if there's some sort of on the back end ways to either automatically or for you to make a decision to support that in order to have the economic model, there seems to be Like, for example, if people wanted to pay for every Google search, if they had maybe some sort of cryptocurrency where they could have money that they're paying into. But I think that sort of changes the dynamic of having all this information free and open. It would sort of change that exchange. And so I see this challenge between wanting to have freely open information and education, but yet putting economics around it then sort of puts these different constraints. But I feel like if at the protocol layer, if this was happening, maybe there's a mechanism by some of the technologies here that could actually allow people to pay up front rather than have other ways of paying through advertising.

[00:13:12.288] Vint Cerf: Well, first of all, you should be really, really careful to think this idea through because monetizing things often has side effects that you don't like. The first reason that I don't like your idea is that not everyone is in the same position to pay. And so the point here about the model that we've adopted at Google is that you don't have to pay, regardless of your circumstances. Somebody else is paying for most of the cost of the facilities and services that you're getting. So in that sense, it makes it a more egalitarian system than it would be otherwise. So if I had to pay for every search, or if you had to pay for every search, I do a lot of searches. So that inhibits people's safety, or feeling of safety, in terms of what it's going to cost. And so you'll find that that's why flat rate charging for internet access turned out to be such an important part of its proliferation. If you had to pay per minute of use, which is what we used to do in dial-up services, people were inhibited because they didn't know how much it was going to cost. What if I click on this and suddenly it's 150 megabit per second video transfer that I hadn't anticipated and suddenly my bill goes out of sight? So let's be very careful about trivializing monetization or the concern that it makes the opposite of egalitarian. The second point, though, is whether cryptocurrencies themselves are needed in order to achieve the kind of model that you have. I'm not persuaded of that yet either. I think that fiat currencies can be managed in a way which allows for these rapid exchanges to take place. The other thing that you should be cautious about is that in the cryptocurrency transaction models that I'm aware of, could be some I'm not, there's a kind of finality to the transaction. In other words, once you transfer, it's gone. In a lot of the other banking systems, there is some safety where if you make a transfer, you can pull it back, which is why the credit card companies often do whatever the right word is, revocations. And that's actually protective of people's interests. So I would be very careful about putting too much weight on the current kind of cryptocurrencies that are around and the kinds of transactions that they can support. I know it's very attractive, microtransactions, blah, blah, blah. But let's be very cautious. After watching what happened to the monetization of domain names and the kinds of tensions and pressures and incentives that that produced, you'd want to think carefully about what and when and how you monetize.

[00:15:38.172] Kent Bye: I think this is colored by a deeper sort of economic dynamic, which is this power law dynamic by which that once you have a lot of money and capital, then you have this exponential amount of opportunities to get more and more capital. So you have the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And so you have this, I guess, economic question of how to redistribute that wealth. Either there's a choice by those who are in that position of having all that wealth to somehow redistribute that wealth, whether it's through universal basic income or other things that are built into the protocols of how this system works. And so I guess that's the thing that I struggle with is whether or not some of the things that we're talking about here at the Decentralized Web Summit, these technologies, if it's going to change any of these fundamental economic laws to maybe have with intention and choice to be able to either decide to redistribute that wealth, or if it's something that is built in that happens automatically, or if that's something that's the role of the government.

[00:16:29.622] Vint Cerf: Well, there's a hidden assumption, I think, in what you just said, which I don't agree with or I've misunderstood. I don't think cryptocurrencies guarantee an egalitarian distribution of wealth. The same mechanisms that have led to concentration of wealth in the fiat world will lead to concentration of wealth in the cryptocurrency world as I see it. The big issue here, and probably the most interesting one that's come out of a group called Innovation for Jobs, I4J, is the recognition that if the purpose of a company is to increase shareholder value, and if that's its sole focus of attention, that leads to very peculiar concentrations. And so if anybody wanted to redo the last few decades or so, it would be somewhere around the 1980s when that became the mantra to try to undo that. Because the side effect of this maximization leads to such things as stock buybacks. And if you compensate CEOs and other senior people with stock, and you tell them their incentive is primarily based on increasing stock value, which increases shareholder value, then it leads to all kinds of choices of action. that exacerbate this inequality. And so we should probably go back to real basics here about how does business work and how do we provide incentives to people who run the businesses in order to achieve a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and income.

[00:17:55.973] Kent Bye: Yeah. I think there's an open question as to whether or not some of these things do change in these economic laws. And from what I hear, you don't think they do. And I tend to agree. So I guess what I'm here exploring is talking to these different people. So for you, what do you think are some of the either biggest open problems you're trying to solve or open questions that you're trying to answer?

[00:18:15.175] Vint Cerf: Well, one of them is right here at this conference, of course, is long-term digital preservation. I'm very concerned about that, and I won't bore you with all the reasons I am, but I'm convinced that digital technology does not have a natural longevity to it, unlike a baked clay tablet, which lasts 5,000 years, if you can still read cuneiform, which is a little issue. So I'm worried that over the last, let's say, several hundred years or a couple of millennia, that our media for storing information have gotten less and less resilient. And so now the digital media tend not to last very long physically, and they also have problems with regard to interpretation. So if software changes and you can't figure out what the bits mean, you might as well have completely lost data. So, I'm very concerned about that. As you might know, I'm also very busy with NASA working on an interplanetary extension of the Internet, which I believe will be very helpful for manned and robotic space exploration over the next multiple decades. And so that's moving along extremely well. We have standards now in place for this capability. It's running on Mars and the International Space Station and here on Earth. So I'm very excited about that. I won't be around to see you know the full evolution of it all But the idea that you could design build and deploy a network that would support interplanetary communication Satisfies the science fiction buff in me and then the third thing which we just talked about I think is this question of a more egalitarian distribution of wealth and income I think we are approaching extremes at the moment if you look at various metrics and And almost always when you reach these kinds of extreme points, something changes. So the question is, I hope we could do something that isn't necessarily chaotic in order to get back to a better glide slope than we have today.

[00:20:01.874] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you think is kind of the ultimate potential of all these decentralized technologies and what they might be able to enable?

[00:20:11.305] Vint Cerf: Well, probably the most interesting potential, I think, is that having a distributed system should give you resilience, for example, should give you redundancy. And we hope that if you design it right, that we'll end up with preservation by plan as opposed to by accident. which is the way a lot of information has been preserved today is by sheer happenstance and accident. I don't consider that to be a good plan. So the distributed computing and communications and storage has the potential to achieve this sort of egalitarian objective. The thing that you should be very cautious about, however, is that in order for this to work, you have to think about all the other things that have to be in place and maintained in stable ways. Power, communications, and the actual operation of the technical equipment. So who's going to maintain that? How does that work? So before you throw all of your investment into distribution, you need to ask yourself, what is it that has to be reliably functioning in order to make this a useful model? And we need to answer that question.

[00:21:19.543] Kent Bye: Great. And is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the decentralized community?

[00:21:24.488] Vint Cerf: Well, I mean, here we are standing in the basement of the former Mint in San Francisco at this distributed web conference, and I can tell you that this is one of the most unique conferences I've ever seen. I've been wandering around looking at the various vaults where the gold used to be or the pennies used to be. And each one of them has its own theme. We're standing in one right now. It happens to be an anechoic room, which is very helpful. This is one of the more creative conferences I've ever seen, and it has a bottom-up feel to it as opposed to a top-down feel. Lots of people contributing their ideas. I think this is going to be a milestone, certainly in the Internet Archive's history.

[00:22:02.233] Kent Bye: Awesome. Great. Well, I just wanted to thank you for joining me today on the podcast, so thank you. Always a pleasure. So that was Vint Cerf. He's the co-inventor of the internet, as well as a vice president at Google and their chief internet evangelist. So I have a number of takeaways about this interview is that first of all, well, it's hard to argue and debate with one of the co-inventors of the internet. And I think that on the whole, there's a lot of things that Vint is absolutely right in terms of in order to bring universal access to all human knowledge and the most egalitarian way that you can possibly think that In some ways, the existing business model of the advertising revenue stream of Google is a means to justify the ends in order to achieve that. Now, I think the big question for a lot of people at the decentralized summit is to question whether or not those means justify the ends. And if they don't, then what is the architecture and the market dynamics? the cultural norms and the laws and regulations to create something that is either different or better. And I think that's the big challenge is to see if we could actually make something that is different or better. One of the things that Vint was saying is that some of these inequalities of wealth have more to do with the economic decision that was made in the 80s in terms of mandating by law that these corporations have to maximize shareholder value. But not only that, that a lot of these executives being paid by stock means that the people who are leading the decisions of these companies are making decisions that are completely self-interested, that are creating these inequities of wealth. Now, in talking to a number of different people at the Decentralized Web Summit, it seems to be that within the context of the blockchain, that it actually makes more sense to do the opposite, which is to create this cooperative aspect and sharing the wealth and creating these ecosystems of cooperation. And to me, that's the thing that is changing in terms of the economic foundations of a lot of the fabric of our society is actually new models by which you could redistribute that wealth, but also create different market dynamics, but also Lawrence Lessig, he wrote in a book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, this was mentioned a number of times throughout the conference, is that there's essentially like four modalities of regulation or constraint. The code and architecture, so the technology that is providing different technical constraints around communication and how people are interacting with each other, There's the market, so the economic choices that people are making day-to-day as individuals, but those aggregate into a collective of the market. The law, so all the different regulations that are coming from the government to put different constraints around these different companies, as well as the cultural norms, those are values that are somehow being embedded within both these laws and everything else in the technology. And the thing that seems to be happening is that there's both technological and cultural changes that are happening that are going to potentially create new dynamics. And I think everybody seems to agree that we tend to be headed towards this breaking point of these inequities of wealth coming into some sort of reckoning of some type. that these pendulums are swinging back and forth. I guess that's the other really interesting thing about talking to Vint is that he's seen these different phases of going from timeshare computers to the early days of the ARPANET and the internet to the personal computer to mobile computing and you know what we essentially have today with Google which anybody in the United States could Google and search something and have access to that information. Now this interview happened on July 1st and actually that same day is when it was announced that Google was deciding to censor their product in order to have access to China. So I went to China about a month or so ago, and I experienced firsthand the great firewall of China, which is that I didn't have access to Google, I didn't have access to Gmail or YouTube or Facebook or social media or the New York Times or a whole list of different sites that I couldn't get access to. And so Google deciding to censor their product. This is a case of the market forces deciding that the market in China is perhaps more valuable than the sort of human rights considerations when it comes to the implications of censoring different information. I think in talking to Vint, you can kind of extrapolate out the different arguments, which would be like, well, on the other hand, Google is giving access to people in China, information that they wouldn't otherwise have access to. And this came up with Brewster Kahle when he was talking about how there was a specific phone call that he got from the Chinese consulate about specific videos. And the Chinese consulate was like, you have to take these videos down because they're against their censorship laws. And Brewster was like, OK, we'll do that. We'll go ahead and take those off for China. And China was like, no, you have to remove them for the entire world. And Brewster's like, well, we don't do that. And then the Internet Archive was blocked in China because they did not censor this content that was against the rules and regulations that they put forth in their government. And so you have this situation where someone like China is deciding what the entire world is going to be able to see or not. And we already have this in terms of market influence, because if you look at Hollywood, they have to create Hollywood pictures that are going to eventually be able to be distributed into China because they want to be able to maximize the amount of people that are able to see these films. And so because of that, then there's certain things that they can and cannot do. And so it gets down to the level of the script, them thinking about what these constraints are within China, which to some extent, those rules and regulations with China are impacting the entire global ecosystem of entertainment. So there was another speaker from the ACLU, Jennifer Granik, who was saying, look, where this is going is that this level of censorship from governments like China is leading towards this lowest common denominator, where if anybody in the world says that they don't like something, then we can't see it. This is sort of the downside to centralization, is that you have this government censorship and you have this consolidation of power for governments who are also in collaboration and working with people like Google who are using these different surveillance-based technologies. And, you know, right now there's this concept of the third-party doctrine, but essentially any information that you give to a third party has no reasonable expectations to remain private, which means that government has the ability to go to these companies and ask and request for this information. We'll be diving into that a little bit more into an interview that I did with Jennifer Granick. But the point being is that there's this deeper issue around censorship and surveillance and privacy that is a downside to that centralization. And I think that a lot of the people that are at this decentralized web summit are trying to architect different systems that are overcoming some of these limitations. And at the end of the day, you know, Vint may be right that in the current context of the current market, the current laws and the current cultural norms, is that people just really like the convenience and user experience of being able to have universal access to all this information and all these free services. And that we seem to be making the choice to give up these different rights to our privacy because in the short term, we're getting all this benefit. And Are you still going to be able to provide a decentralized architecture that has a different model, that is funded in different ways, that is just as egalitarian, but doesn't have all the downsides and the side effects? And I think that was the underlying question and the motivating factor for so many people who were at this decentralized web summit. And so I'll be unpacking a lot of this on the Voices of VR podcast, just to look at the underlying dynamic between the technology, the market, the law, and the cultural norms. the market and the cultural norms are changing with this underlying infrastructure of cryptocurrencies and these decentralized systems that are out there. And so it's also like traveling into a foreign land of all this sort of jargon and information. And I've been covering virtual reality and artificial intelligence, but the decentralized cryptocurrency world is a whole other realm that I think is going to be impacting and having this confluence between the virtual worlds, the artificial intelligence, as well as this decentralized cryptocurrencies, like there's this convergence path of all these exponential technologies. And I'm going to be unpacking a lot of those insights over the next couple of days, just to get a sense of what's happening in the landscape of this space, but also more extended interviews with different leaders and different people within the space talking about some of these various different issues. Because when it comes to trying to model and figure things out, when it comes to human behavior, that's basically the wild card. If we're going to be able to change the cultural norms, that's the biggest open question in the impact of those cultural norms driving everything else from the market forces of all those individual decisions driven by those values, as well as the code and architecture that is the technology that has the values embedded within it. And then the law that is institutionalizing the larger values and cultural norms of the entire country. So there's a lot of open questions as to whether or not a lot of these dreams of decentralization are able to actually address a lot of these deeper issues of wealth and quality and just creating a more just and equitable society for everybody. I think this is also what vent wants. And I think it's going to be this interplay between the code and architecture and market law and norms, all these things kind of combining together. And so there's some new opportunities and new sort of things to introduce into these different interactions. And it's currently a big open question as to whether or not it's even going to be possible. So I look forward to unpacking that a little bit more and then sort of culminating with the panel discussion that I helped facilitate at the Decentralized Web Summit with some of the leaders within the intersection between the decentralized systems and the virtual reality space. So that's all that I have for today. And I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Wasteless VR podcast. And if you enjoyed the podcast, then spread the word, tell your friends, put a post on social media. This podcast is a listener supported podcast. And so I rely upon donations in order to travel to these different conferences and to do these types of interviews and bring you this type of coverage. If you enjoy that, then consider becoming a member of the Patreon. Just $5 a month makes a huge difference and allows me to continue to bring you this coverage. So, you can donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. Thanks for listening.

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