brewster kahle

brewster kahle

intro’d to Brewster via aaron swartzinternet’s own boy


dec 2007:

A free digital library

universal access to all knowledge is within grasp – available to anyone in the world that wants access to it

internet archive


april 2014:

“I think we can start to build towards free and open societies, by building on some of the ideas that have come out of our community that are actually very successful,” says Kahle. “Ones that can support our families, can do things that last by building communities, by using licenses to help define how our world works within a law structure that is often not pursuing our aims or helping a broad set of people.”

Kahle has also founded the US-focused non-profit Internet Credit Union that has seen him have to learn about the finer intricacies of the financial industry. And he regaled an interesting-if-sobering story of the inherent resistance against the fledgling cryptocurrency revolution.


find/follow Brewster:

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his site:

wikipedia small

Brewster Kahle (/ˈkl/ kayl; born 1960) is an American computer engineer, Internet entrepreneur, internet activist, advocate of universal access to all knowledge, and digital librarian. He is the founder of the Internet Archive, the Internet Credit Union, Alexa and Thinking Machines and a member of the Internet Hall of Fame.

Kahle grew up in Scarsdale, New York, and went to Scarsdale High School. He graduated from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in computer science andengineering, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. The emphasis of his studies was artificial intelligence; he studied under Marvin Minsky and W. Daniel Hillis.


talking at aaron s day 2015

on the importance of reader privacy ( sounds like Haas interview w Assange)

a call to build a distributed web to lock the web open…

then… talks about putting in ways to pay each other on the web

blockchaine idea.. and bitcoin to weave into system… sign pages w/bitcoin addresses (tools berners-lee didn’t have)

i suggest – wordpress functionality websites but distributed… such that the living website moves…

had programmer in amsterdam take my wordpress blog and dump it… being served off p2p system.. no onen server… has search engine in it –

doc everything.. ness. self-talk as data – site as prototype ness

a hello world idea to make a distributed web work

the challenge now is.. can we go and weave this all together.. fix the http://www.. make it archivable, privacy enhanced… bake 1st amendment into web itself… open and irrovocable..

something we can do and we must

ps in the open ness.. www ness


nov 2015

He made a fortune building start-ups and then used his money to build the Internet Archive, a nonprofit trying to maintain a copy of everything published on the Internet.


“I think we could really use some new ideas in the banking world — and the credit union offers a nice structure,” Mr. Kahle said. “But they just won’t allow it.”


Mr. Modell said that during the 18-month application process, he and Mr. Kahle made 4,756 changes to their application and made it through only because of Mr. Kahle’s wealth.

“I could afford to say yes at every turn — every time they made some weird demand,” Mr. Kahle said.


“The original vision of this thing — of helping nonprofit workers, or helping the poor — they will not allow it,” Mr. Kahle said.



11:00 sf (12:00 den) – Brewster
Introduction: Brewster Kahle – “Locking the Web Open – a Call for a New, Decentralized Web”
20 years after the World Wide Web was created, can we now make it better? How can we ensure that our most important values: privacy, free speech, and open access to knowledge are enshrined in the code itself? In a provocative call to action, entrepreneur and Open Internet advocate, Brewster Kahle, challenges us to build a better, decentralized Web based on new distributed technologies. He lays out a path to creating a new Web that is reliable, private, but still fun—in order to lock the Web open for good.
on internet.. harder to be reader private than writer private…
can we put time axis so lives in mult places
extra points if people can make money by publishing on web.. w no middle man
use 1\ javascript as os; blockchain to pay; p2p
can we make a wordpress equiv.. but de centralized..
d cent wordpress.png
payment tips – how about we disengage from money/measurement- and go full on commons
we need institutions that are high speed participants.. perhaps d cent will be faster
d cent identity system.. doesn’t have to be complicated.. but has to know it’s you coming back tomorrow.. bitcoin has done well on this
i would suggest we can have wordpress but d cent.. a lot of pieces already exist… need to be put together in a focused component.. make is so that open ness is irrevocable.. now.. on top.. that responds to needs as expanding..
whoa.. from Steven Johnson‘s emergence..

p 95

is there a way around this limitation? in fact, a solution exists already… works around the shortcomings of html to create a true learning network that sits on top of web…

first attempt to nurture emergent intelligence online began with the desire to keep the web from begin so forgetful..

brester kahle.. server farm in alexa internet’s basement….. now it houses what may well be the most accurate snapshot of the collective intelligence anywhere in the world: thirty terabytes of data, archiving both the web itself and the patterns of traffic flowing through it..

p 96

in just 3 years got bigger than library of congress.. kahle says.. so the questino is.. what dow e do now..?

obsessed with the impermanence of today’s datastreams, kahle.. founded alexa with the idea of taking ‘snapshots’ of the web… anytime a surfer encountered a 404 page not found error… he or she could swiftly consult he alexa archive and pull up the original page..

tool that accompanies you as you browse..more than just resuscitate old web pages.. could make connections between web sites.. that otherwise have been invisible….. how are these connections formed? by watching traffic patterns, and looking for neighbors

chip ness

in other words.. the associations are not the work of an individual consciousness, but rather the sum total of thousands and thousands of individual decisions, a guide to the web created by following an unimaginable number of footprints..


p 97

as kahle says, learning from users is only thing that scales to size of the web….. alexa’s *power of association – this site is like these other sites – emerges out of the **desultory travels of the alexa user base..

*power – so chip/server.. sidewalking hosted life bits.. this curiosity/person.. like this curiosity/person.. in the neighborhood (local)…

h    u     g     e

**desultory – whoa… out of sedultory travels.. that’s whimsy.. as the day…

none of those users are deliberatley setting out to create clusters … to enow the web w much needed structure.. they simply go about their business and the system itself learns by watching… if only 1000… not enough data…. more data.. the system starts to learn..

let’s be clear… alexa makes no attempt to simulate human intelligence or consciousness directly…. you don’t teach the computer to read or appreciate web site design. the software simply looks for patterns in numbers, like the foraging ants counting the number of fellow foragers they encounter per hour

why we don’t want/need tech to be human like.. we’re better off if it’s not judgmental… biased..

we can do that.

we haven’t yet.. but we can.

p 98

intelligence of alexa is really the aggregated wisdom of the thousands, or millions of people who use the system..

worth noting.. alexa is not truly a ‘recommendation agent’ it is not telling you that you’ll like the five sites it suggest. it’s saying that there’s a relationship between the site you’re currently visiting and the sites listed on the pull down menu..the clusters that form via alexa are clusters of association, and the links between them are not unlike the traditional links of hypertext.

think about the semantics of a hypertext link embedded in an online article:  you don’t translate.. if you like this.. you’l like this.. the link isn’t *recommending another page; it’s pointing out that there’s a relationship… it’s still **up to you to decide if you’re interested in other sites… alexa’s simply there to ***show you were the clusters are

*recommending  – h  u  g  e

**up to you – like unschooling mom.. strewing things/options… about


p 99

a brilliant site called everything2 employs a neural-net-like program to create a user-authored encyclopedia, with related entries grouped together, alexa-style, based on user traffic patterns,… promising to bring like minds together…. digital-age heirs to the por santa maria..

for many people the distinction persists to this day: we look to our computers for number crunching; when we want cultural advice, we’re already blessed with plenty of humans to consult. other critics fear a narrowing of our aesthetic bandwidth, with agents numbly recommending the sites that everyone else is surfing, all the while dressing their recommendations up in the sheeps’ clothing of *custom-fit culture.

* h  u  g  e

if the computer is, in the end, merely making connections between diff cultural sensibilities, sensibilities that were originally developed by humans and not by machines, then surely the emergent software model is preferable to the way most westerners consume entertainment: by obeying the dictates of advertising….

software like alexa isn’t trying to replicate the all-knowing authoritarianism of big brother or hal, after all – it’s trying to replicate the folksy, communal practice of neighbors sharing info on a crowded sidewalk, even if the neighbors at issue are total strangers, communicating to each other over the distributed network of the web…

p 100

the pattern-seeking algos of emergent software are already on way to becoming one of primary mechs in great goldberg contraption of modern social life.. as familiar to us as more traditional devices like supply/demand, representational democracy, snap polls..

? yuck..

intelligent software already scans the wires of constellations of book lovers or potential mates.. in the future, our networks will be caressed by a million invisible hands, seeking patterns in the digital soup, looking for neighbors in ta land where everyone is by definition a stranger…

as the futurist ray kurzweil writes, humans are far more skilled at recognizing patterns than in thinking through logical combos, so we rely on their aptitude for almost all of our mental processes… indeed, patter recog comprises the bulk of our neural circuitry. these faculties make up for the extremely slow speed of human neruons. the human mind is poorly equipped to deal w problems that need to be solved serially – one cal after another – given that neurons require a ‘reset time’ of about 5 milliseconds, meaning that neurons are capable of only 200 cals per second..

a modern pc can do millions of calcs per second.. which is why we let them do heavy lifting for anything that requires math skills… but unlike most computers, the brain is a massively parallel system, with 100 billion neurons all working away at the same time..

… because each individual neuron is so slow, kurzweil explains, we don’t have time.. to think too many new thoughts when we are *pressed to make a decision. the human brain relies on precomputing its analyses and storing the for future ref. we then use our pattern recog capability to recog a situation as compatible to one we have thought about and then draw upon our previously considered conclusions..

*pressed – prescribed…. manufacturing consent..

p 101

the web may never become self-aware in any way that resembles human self-awareness, but  that doesn’t mean the web isn’t capable of *learning.

*learning – … or memorizing patterns..

our networks will grow smarter in the coming years, but smarter in the way that an immune system or a city grows smarter, not a way a child does…

that’s nothing to apologize for- an adaptive info network capable of complex pattern recog could prove to be one of the most important inventions in all of human history . who cares if it never actually learns how to think for itself.




esp if hosting life bits..

it follows purchase patterns or listening habits that we supply and lets us deal with the air guitar and the off key warbling. on some basic human level, ,that feels like a difference worth preserving

meta ness.. as worth preserving..

but is it truly a diff in kind, or is it just a diff in degree…

computer doesn’t listen to music or browse the web; it looks for patterns in data and converts those patterns into info that is useful – or at least aims to be useful – to human beings…

p 102

but what is listening to music if not the search for patterns – for harmonic resonance, stereo repetition, octaves, chord progressions – in the otherwise dissonant sound field that surrounds us everyday.. one tall scans the zeros and ones on a magnetic disc…. what drives each process is a hunger for patterns, equivalencies, likenesses; in each the art emerges out of perceived symmetry.. (back, our most mathematical composer, understood this better than anyone else)

? perhaps cage would disagree..? perhaps back would too..

what makes music diff from noise is that music has patterns, and our ears are trained to detect them..

? really?

a software application – no matter how intelligent – can’t literally hear the sounds of all those patterns clicking into place.

really? or is that what software does… not humans…

but does that make its music any less sweet

seems reverse here.. upside down ish


Sheldon Renan (@srenan) tweeted at 0:43 PM on Tue, Sep 26, 2017:
Whole Wide World meet Alan Turing.
It’s time you actually met.
(Thank you, Brewster Kahle!)