Loadsharers: Funding the Load-Bearing Internet Person

The internet has a sustainability problem. Many of its criticalservices depend on the dedication of unpaid volunteers because theycan8217t be monetized and thus don8217t have any revenue stream for themaintainers to live on. I8217m talking about services like DNS time synchronizationcrypto librariessoftware without which the net and the browseryou8217reusing couldn8217t function.

These volunteer maintainers are the Load-Bearing Internet People LBIP.Underfunding them is a problem because underfunded critical servicestend to have gaps and holes that could have been fixed if there weremore full-time attention on them. As our civilization becomesincreasingly dependent on this software infrastructure thatattention shortfall could lead to disastrous outages.

I8217ve been worrying about this problem since 2012 when I watched ahacker I know wreck his health while working on a criticalinfrastructure problem nobody else understood at the time. Billions ofdollars in e-commerce hung on getting the particular software problemhe had spotted solved but because it masqueraded as networkundercapacity he had a lot of trouble getting even technically-savvypeople to understand where the problem was. He solved it butunable to afford medical insurance and literally living in a tent heeventually went blind in one eye and is now prone to depressivespells.


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