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They Never Were Ecosystems: distributed machine parts

We like to call them “ecosystems.” Perhaps there's an appeal to nature there, as though somehow they really are like coral reefs. Technology companies are rated on the robustness of their “ecosystems.” At bottom the difference is that ecosystems don't have an underlying operating system that controls all of the elements built on top of it. We call technical infrastructure an “ecosystem” to erase the element of corporate ownership. For a while it gives us the illusion of freedom, then later, a sense of betrayal.

 

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