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Glen Weyl
Glen Weyl

Microsoft Research

Liberal Radicalism for the Digital Age


The present architecture of the digital economy is leading to unprecedented concentrations of economic and political power.� Superficially liberal institutions advocated by many in the open source software and blockchain movements cannot combat this as they ignore the technological, social and psychological forces that cause it.� Instead a solution must draw on the Radical Liberal tradition of thinkers such as Alexis de Toqueville, John Stuart Mill, Beatrice Webb, Henry George and Hannah Arendt, which acknowledges the need for collective organization to protect individual dignity from centralized authority.� Applied to the economic and privacy concerns around data collection, this suggests the need for �Mediators of Individual Data (MIDs)� that would, like unions or artist royalty collection agencies of the past, act as fiduciaries to help individuals bargain for fair compensation for and limits on the exploitation of their data labor.�


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