Of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a brief moment, in the early 1990s, when the digital future felt open-ended. In spite of its origins in military cryptography and defense networking, digital technology had become a playground for the counterculture, who saw in it the opportunity to invent a more inclusive, distributed and participatory future. Indeed, the “digital renaissance,” as I began to call it back in 1991, was about the unbridled potential of the collective human imagination. It spanned everything from chaos math and quantum physics to fantasy role-playing.