What we see are big institutions, small institutions, and individuals, all paying their connection charges, phone bills or whatever, maintaining the computers and the nodes... and nobody controls the whole. Yet a whole exists, a whole which is vastly more competent than the sum of its parts. A lot of companies and educational institutions willingly take a bearable financial loss in order to support this new commons which is expanding inventively everywhere, allowing chat-lines, special interest groups, even anarchists and net-parasites, to join the flow. Why? Because the fruit of this commons -- enhanced creativity -- is worth whatever it costs.
The glass may be half-empty. But is it not half-full, as well? A vibrant underground exists, involving millions of irascibly independent-minded people, and with the complicity of many -- though certainly not all -- persons at the highest echelons of business, education, and government. The warnings we have just heard are valid, indeed. There are dire threats to this commons. But it should be noted that the commons exists, a unique and faith-restoring reversal of long-proclaimed historical trends. The commons is not yet dead. We should put high and urgent priority to its nurturance and protection.