Brilliant and comprehensive: SXSW Keynote by T. Bone Burnett


Amazing to read this (the keynote from SXSW a couple of weeks ago) and not know who T. Bone Burnett is until now.

I knew almost all of this, but it is worth reading all the same to see it all in one place. I agree with him on everything too (although he misunderstands GDPR - who doesn’t! It is about P for Protection, not P for Privacy. The latter is still being worked on: the ePrivacy Regulation).

@timbl the speech sets the scene well, including mentioning you and Solid, but advocates for a radical approach:

Berners-Lee has said he is “devastated” by what his creation has become, and he is working to “re-decentralize” the web with a new project he calls Solid. I sincerely wish him the best of luck, but from where I stand, we would do well to scrap this first internet project- we should break up these advertising platform monopolies, and we should start from scratch to build an electronic communications system founded on hard and fast ethics rather than utopian fantasies.

I think SAFE Network is such a radical approach, not instead of Solid, but by giving Solid an underlying foundation that can transform the web - democratises it at its core - with baked in privacy, security and new business models that allow anyone to profit from their creations at scale, without the need for intermediaries or to trade their IP in order to finance infrastructure. Soon I hope to have more to show on how easy it will be to develop for both Solid on pods and Solid on SAFE, so developers don’t need to choose, but can just create Solid apps (for both). It is nearly a year since my Plume demo, so it is time for an update!


Good article and well worth reading. The very fact that such things are currently being spoken about is telling in itself. The change is coming.

The argument given about AI taking jobs is true, but there have been similar changes throughout the history of civilization, and new jobs and new ways of working have emerged from the changes brought about.

These changes often took some time to materialize, but due to computerisation these type of changes tend to take place much quicker now. Coal and oil is being replaced by greener power sources, with energy companies gaining new customers by proclaiming their green credentials. People power (from those who are concerned about global warming) is pushing the change forward.

The truth has not sunk in yet, but Facebook and Google have already had their day. Times have moved on. Slowly (but actually relatively quickly) they will be replaced as new platforms such as Solid or Safe become available to take their place. People power (from those who are concerned about their personal information being sold by large companies) is pushing this change forward too.

We need a communications system that is not dependent on surveillance marketing

Hang on! The change is coming, and coming faster than many believe possible.