The City Metaphor

Platform as City

Consider the vague metaphor: city ⟷ computer platform. People live in cities despite their being more expensive. It isn’t merely Grosch’s ex-law that drives people to cities. Likewise many programs need to live in cities for the quick access it gives them to other programs. If we consider enterprises instead of individuals the analogy is even stronger. Still there remains considerable privacy within a city. One need not forgo secrets, nor private property to live in a city.

The task is not to make the city crime-free by some universally agreed upon definition of crime, but to make complex activities reliably possible, with security as needed. Or to provide a ‘civil society’ in the computer — a rule of law. A prime distinction is that there are many stake holders on the platform, of necessity because they need each other even when they do not have the same goals.