In this context the term hacker does not refer to someone engaged in cybercrime. Rather, it refers to those motivated by curiosity and learning. In this sense, hackers are active participants engaged in shaping their digital platforms. Likewise, hackable systems do not refer to digital systems that are inherently insecure. Hackable systems are open and lend themselves to technical tinkering, modification, creative problem solving, adaptation and forking. Hackable also applies to open algorithms, machine learning and deep learning models.
As automation and AI become ever more pervasive, the scale of jobs automated away will increase accordingly. The need for lifelong learning to become the norm rather than the exception will also become ever more apparent. Hackers will gain the advantage here for a number of reasons. Firstly, pervasive computing, hyperconnectivity and the integral income generating potential of decentralised systems will impact the flow of knowledge. The diffusion effect and the bandwidth effect will increase the marginal utility of decentralised platforms per unit of time. Unlike users of today’s generation of social media platforms, hackers will be stakeholders in the decentralised systems they help to build and transact in.
In contrast to users of today’s generation of social media platforms, hackers will expend greater levels of energy developing their skill sets and digital assets. However, the energy will be used more productively; learning, collaborating, building, maintaining, and earning an income, most likely from multiple revenue streams. It is difficult to predict how trustless economies and dynamic governance will evolve. Numerai may offer one example of what to expect. On the Numerai platform, data scientists are paid in bitcoin to build an open hedge fund by modelling the stock market. Another example is Handshake, a decentralised DNS and certificate authority incorporating economic incentives.
To adapt to constant technological change, it is inevitable participatory inquiry and active learning will evolve. It will probably take several decades before efficient and resilient decentralised platforms emerge, but they will, and become formidable competitors to closed platforms and service providers. In the meantime, the scarcity of attention means that social media technologies will continue to test the boundaries of reward pathway stimulation.
How can a transition to greater digital sovereignty be accelerated? Force social networking services to seek out alternative business models by repealing Section 230.
The issue is similar to the ongoing situation between TikTok and US authorities. If technological and digital sovereignty applies to the nation state, then it should apply to individual citizens too.