Talking about hope and dispair in tech

Q. A lot of evil stuff happens via the cyberweb, no doubt. But I would encourage anyone who still knows how it works not to give up on it. Instead, try to work around the BS and design systems which are resilient to adversaries. As conditions of life get harder and the oligarchy turns the screws we need channels of dissident communication, even if they are no longer mainstream ones. Even retro stuff may go under the radar.

A. This is a social tech problem, a #geekproblem and the solution is social tech that steps away from the #geekproblem we cant just keep doing the same #techshit it’s time for composting #indymediaback #OMN are example of this that are currently blocked.

Q. As far as I could understand from what you said, what would then be exactly the social related problem to solve ? Are you referring to the way spying agencies like the CIA that is dominating the hacktivist scene, are creating “trends” on how to be safe online, which have most of the time no true impact regarding the possibilities of such agencies to continue spying and having social control? So you mean it’s a matter of being good at creating counter propaganda to cancel

A. You are describing the problems, then adding a layer of self-destruction to the problem, that’s not helpful. The #openweb has been “destroyed” by some forces you name. But we have also played a role in destroying it ourselves in refection to the real problems you highlight. We have little power over the first and more power over the second. It’s hopeful to think about this #geekproblem

Q. The #openweb wasn’t destroyed exactly. If you look at the numbers of websites over time, the open web is still there, but what happened is that almost all of the attention got captured by a small number of enormous corporate sites. The corporate sites made themselves critical conduits for search and discovery of news and views, such that the notion of “web surfing” has become almost obsolete. Google search increasingly won’t show much of the open web, because it’s not within the targeted ads business model.

A. yes my point, the #openweb is under a thin veneer of corporate crap. The #fedivers is a tiny break out of this that seceded because it was “accidentally” anti #geekproblem we need to be hardcore anti #geekproblem is the is to be HOPE 🙂

Q. The success of the fediverse did have a very large element of luck to it. Before 2017 it was doing very badly, and I remember unsuccessfully trying to persuade people to try GNU Social instead of going on Facebook. Even people who hated Facebook were reluctant to try the fediverse. Also my interpretation is that ActivityPub was originally a corporate idea but that the corporates lost interest, leaving its development to a few remaining grassroots activists. If the corporates had stayed that ActivityPub would probably be something quite different.

A. Yep, gave me hope, though it’s failing now – we have to stop fucking up this grassroots tech. A start is #4opens talking about the #geekproblem and using these to start composting #techshit

Q. The fediverse isn’t failing as such, but is becoming an established technology and so is no longer shiny or something which a clueless tech journalist would want to breathlessly scribble about as a new phenomena. Like XMPP and other previous protocols it is getting into the “plateau of productivity” where it mostly “just works”. There are complaints about lack of spec development, and some of those are justified. But ActivityPub doesn’t need to do all the things, it only needs to do one job well – that of being a social network protocol.

A. yes, it’s not failing in its own terms. But it is not heading to success in the bigger picture of being a alt to the #dotcons I should know being involved for the last few years outreaching it to the #mainstreaming that understands it has a #closedweb problem. The #EU outreach is interesting in this and likely also going to fail in the wider mission. It’s hard to push #openweb in a era controlled by #stupidindividualism and capitalism/alt diesper.

Q. It depends on what the EU’s wider mission is, but I expect that it’s not really a grassroots type of mission anyway. Whatever the machinations or motives of the EU, we do need to maintain a viable space for people who actively don’t want to be stuck in the corporate hellscape. And we shouldn’t assume that the EU will continuously bankroll some projects.

A. At the #EU it’s a power politics fight between the need for #open in a organization that is all about #closed people know they need to change but are only brave to pretend to do this. Am interested if a little crack of #open might be enough to undermine the monolith. Problem is everyone is up for selling out #open to grab a bit of #closed so only weak #open PUSH is all we have, needs to be sharper and harder push. Think stake and vampire level of PUSH with a few blows of a mallet to drive the point home. #open has power over closed, just like light over darkness.

2 thoughts on “Talking about hope and dispair in tech”

  1. I’ve largely moved on from “resistant to adversaries” to “resistant to #monetization.” Monetization being a prerequisite for activity is what got us to #techshit, by my estimation, in 100% of the cases. Have an idea? Hang a #businessModel on it and see if you can attract any investors. It’s #freeEnterprise in its purest form. It’s literally making an #enterprise out of everything that used to be #free (in both senses, probably all #4frees if I understand that correctly): I did more meaningful communicating 30+ years ago on a 2400 bps modem, and Usenet was as useful for the essay form as blogging. The combination of the UNIX finger and talk commands was as useful for instant messaging as any of the “instant messager” platforms. IRC was as useful for online chat as any present day monstrosity in that space.

    The only real failure I see in the #Fediverse is failure to restore surfing as a capability. The seemingly related project #IndieWeb has the #IndieWebRing, which helps one FIND independent content, but not to SEARCH for it. A noncommercial search engine of the whole web is probably out of the question, but fortunately is probably not needed. If Fediverse-wide search can be made affordable to the bulk of #Mastodon and other Fediverse instances, that would be a huge game changer. Your #praxis of heavy use of #hashtags seems a good start, and one I am trying to make creative use of. Cut the cost of #indexing by marking the most “operative” words.

  2. Good points. Having a shared pool of hashtags is a way of creating social coheashern/action, so people can find and talk ACROSS silos – so it’s a DIY “search” attempt if people use/share them.

    My use of hashtags is also mostly #nothingnew as I take existing concepts and add outcomes to them.

    Examples #deathcult is neoliberalism with the #XR understanding of the outcomes, the numbers are from the Irish potato famine where the last time the mindset was #mainstreaming millions of people were killed and displaced. Evidence based metaphors.

    #Geekproblem is a 20th century modernism in its dogmatic push etc. we continue the bad history, the is a good side to modernism, thus the “problem” is not inherent in “geek” a lot of people do not wont to see the nuance and just #BLOCK

    #stupidindividualism is thinking about the healthy balance of social and self… it’s an outcome of the #deathcult and a simption of the #geekproblem etc.

    Could go on…

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