We Need To Rewild The Internet

I finally read this very long essay about Rewilding the Internet that’s been making the rounds. It’s about 30 mins of your time and in my opinion it’s time well spent.

It’s about what internet-builders can learn from the field of ecology, where the word “rewilding” has a very specific meaning. It’s essentially about systems thinking, which I know a lot of us care about deeply.

Rewilding the internet is not a nostalgia project for middle-aged nerds who miss IRC and Usenet. For many people across the generations today, platforms like Facebook or TikTok are the internet. They’ve long dwelled in walled gardens they think are the world. Concentrated digital power produces the same symptoms that command and control produces in biological ecosystems; acute distress punctuated by sudden collapses once tipping points are reached. Rewilding is a way to collectively see the counterintuitive truth; today’s internet isn’t too wild, even if it feels like that. It’s simply not wild enough.

In the end, I can’t help but think that though I love these ideas, it’s just… too late. I hope I’m wrong though.