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Bitcoin presents regulating agencies with difficult questions: Should they try to control it? Can they? If that sounds familiar, it should. The world faced these same questions in the early days of the Internet. Whether Bitcoin is more like AOL or Google, of course, is yet to be seen. Still, how governments choose to respond to it could change global finance for good.
In the late 1960s, technology companies realized that they could sell the programs that they had been giving away with their computers. For software developers, though, that was a betrayal of their field's values: collaboration and sharing. Here's how the technologists have worked to bring those principles back.
For technologies from the global South, worldwide success usually means shedding local ties and, should all go well, returning home triumphant. It is a treacherous road, and most of the benefits of such projects will never make it to the communities in which they started. But the alternative strategy of focusing on local problems and solutions is even less appealing.
The rapid rise in popularity of social media outlets such as Twitter have led many to argue that people around the world are connecting in unprecedented ways. Parsing the data, however, reveals that isn't true. Rather than creating new relationships, Twitter largely reinforces those that already exist.