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The Longest Now

Cancer as dogma / five unrestricted growth hacks sure to bloat your host (DNS Edition)
Friday November 29th 2019, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Aasw,chain-gang,fly-by-wire,Not so popular,unfinished draft

A sidebar, while listening to public arguments in favor of the .org heist by those who would profit from it

1. Primary markers of cancer in organisms:

The progression from normal cells, to cells that can form a detectable mass, to outright cancer, is called malignant progression.

2. 90% margins

Industries with 90% or higher profit margins (often: marginal profit margins, where there was some up-front cost doubling as barrier to entry and hand-waving excuse for continuous rent increases) are all deeply inefficient and non-competitive.  That should be what you (or any economist) would suspect, yet people continue to say things like “I’m not actually against the 95 percent profit margins or even caps if the market for broadband were competitive. Unfortunately

The rise of these industries eat collective surplus and productivity, and funnel the fruits of new technology into the hands of organizations that think this sort of resource allocation is healthy. This gives them ample resources to expand their work, into new markets and topics, and to train new industries to adopt their techniques. 90% margins become 99%, until all available shared resources are captured by this network. In other words: cancer.

Here is the head of ISOC, convincing himself and others that a well-meaning private equity firm will not unreasonably raise rates for use of their namespace monopoly. “Given registries must announce price increases for renewal 6 months in advance, and domains can be registered at current prices for up to 10 years, any operator seeking to increase prices dramatically would certainly lose customers without producing any increased revenue.

This is not so.  Renewal rates are quite price-inelastic (it costs > 100x the annual registration cost to change one’s domain on all sites and materials, and breaks existing links).  Incentivizing people to hurry up and register for 10 years at once would produce a surge of revenue, not a decline.  New domains can have prices raised with no warning, which would simply raise new domain rates for TLDs across the industry: likely bringing in more revenue as well as support from other registries (.org / .net /.com are among the few TLDs that can unilaterally affect industry rates)

It is conceivable that Sullivan believes it to be true, but there is no reason to think so. These dynamics are well modeled and historical examples are common.  So the prospect of outsized margins also clearly inspires falseness and disingenuous engagement, leading to tremendous wasted time all around, in the hopes of 1 time out of 10 getting an unparalleled payout

3. Past parallels

This feels like a close-to-home example of how accepting locally unregulated growth leads to metastasis, malignancy, and deformity or death of civil bodies and biomes — without any individual cell being ‘bad’, indeed without most of the participating cells having consciousness or ethos at all.
We have allowed this for decades in communications and technology, and it has spread from text messaging, to broadband and cable provision, to namespaces themselves.  Where simple businesses start generating 90% margins, and vascularizing their own financial, political, and legal infrastructure, we should recognize that normal balance has broken down, and start evaluating their morbidity to society.  But instead we tend to say things like “I would be fine with 90% or even 99% margins if this were done ethically. Unfortunately…” when in fact no malignant growth is healthy; even locally the supercharged growth is only healthy for short periods and limited subsets of the locale, and this is visible on taking even the smallest step back to gain perspective.
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