Wendy and White Canvases

Seems like every day people (such as Verisign and some at the FCC) forget the importance of a stupid network. As always, Wendy Seltzer is eloquent on the subject:

Painters buy white canvases for a reason. The Internet has succeeded as a platform for innovation because its architecture does not preempt its uses; instead, the stupid network offers a neutral background for line drawing, oil painting, and collage. Sure a grid on the blank canvas would help those making mechanical drawings at the right scale, but it's just noise to the rest, who now need to paint an extra layer to cover it up. Complexity built into the network (such as a search engine that responds to every nonexistent domain name query) may enable a few uses, but it slows or breaks many more, and impedes the development of alternatives.

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