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.

FUD is strong in tech

Q. Who creates a non-crypto-based Web-version calculator that has the complex algebra to determine if we deal with #Web1, #Web2, #Web3, #Web4 or #Web5?

Or let’s keep things simple and go with #Web0

A. This stuff is now #FUD so best to start to ignore it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty,_and_doubt

Just keep it #KISS and use #openweb and #closedweb as this is a good descriptive and a check on the #geekproblem

A final hashtag to make this relevant #nothingnew

A conversation on trust/control in social technology

Q. In a nutshell, my manifesto could be “form your own little communities and federate them”

A. What would be the “common” understanding/agreements/standards that would bridge these communities, or would it Only be code, if only code what standards?

Q. Federation just depends upon the willingness to do so. The code is just the plumbing which makes it happen. And I think nearly all fediverse federation is opt-out, so that you are federating by default but can opt-out (block) if you want to.

A. Interesting to look at #peertube backend for a opt-in federated model, this aproch is the social/technical model for the social/tech of the #OMN project. That is building a human network first, technology is to support and mediate the very strong #geekproblem that is #blocking the human change/challenge we need #KISS

Q. Opt-in is ok if you are trying to build a small federation or an institution with different departments (eg a federation of libraries with particular rules and membership criteria).
I don’t think the fediverse would have been as successful if it had been opt-in from the beginning, though.

A. The #peertube network is an working example of this opt-in for content sharing. Think commenting is opt-out. It’s not got any “social” UX for this, which is why its kinda limited at mo… it suffers from the #geekproblem like just about all coding projects so worth looking at/using but its not core #OMN

Q. The problem with peertube was that the way it was federated initially was pretty bad, and the large majority of the videos being posted were not self-made and were just copyright violations, inviting legal takedowns. Initially, they also didn’t have enough moderation capability to combat disinformation and spam.
Often developers are expecting a twee world in which everyone is nice, but this is never the case for social networks. That expectation has a lot to do with the socio-economic position of commercial software development and its demographic homogeneity.

A. think the resion they did not do good moderation was a question of priorates, we have endemic BAD history for most of our tech, good to keep this in mind.
There are two paths out of the mess you touch on, one is social, one is hard tech. Agen we have only BAD history of thinking about this, good to keep this in mind.
The #geekproblem that writes this bad history is #BLOCK ing the social technology we need, good to think about this.

#OMN #KISS #OPENWEB notice the last hashtag, we DO NOT NEED more #closedweb if we have any hope of mediating the #geekproblem for tech/social progressive outcomes that we so urgently need.

Q. And opt-in is kinda closed. “Your name’s not down, you’re not coming in”. That sort of thing. Exclusivity isn’t really going to move the needle on anything, though.

A. This reply is a #geekproblem view of the thinking.
Good to look at a social view, all society are based on #TRUST and healthy society have more reliance on trust and unhealthy society more reliance on “hard” process/structure.
There are academic bases to this, a sadly right-wing view https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_trust_and_low_trust_societies
The #geekproblem fails in building “good trust” based society, it’s an endemic failing of our tech/thinking.
TRUSTLESS is the #geekproblem good to think about this when coding social/technology.
We need to build tech social networks that “fail” so that human beings can fix this “failing” based on TRUST and from this build a real progressive society.

Q. I don’t advocate trustless. You can’t prove trust merely by doing some complicated blockchain math. Trust is earned, or broken, by people. Not by machines.
Also, vaguely related to #chatcontrol. The EU is going to lose a lot of trust by trying to do policing-by-algorithm. The algorithm approach is a sort of abuse of trust.

A. the #OMN is this project: “We need to build tech social networks that “fail” so that human beings can fix this “failing” based on TRUST and from this build a real progressive society.”
No geeks/technologist are building this, let alone thinking like this. The #geekproblem we need to mediate for any outcome.

Leave the #EU to one side on this, as they are well hopeless on social technology, though some of them are looking (with blindfolds on)

Q. I’ve been around the block enough to have seen many online communities fail. I think you have some experience of that also.
When communities fail, there can be a lot of bad outcomes, and sometimes it’s actually fatal. Social networks are a lifeline for a lot of people and when the network fails so do its members.
This isn’t even about narrowly technical failures. Social engineering attacks such as the ones of the last few years can cause enough aggravation and fear that people just lose trust and quit.
So when building this type of software, we need to be mindful of the potential consequences, and not design failure into the system. People’s social lives are not a demolition derby for the entertainment of others.

A. it’s normal, that you are finding it difficult to see the point am talking about. All humane relationships fail It’s what makes us human, the #geekproblem trying to fix this is taking away our humanity. You see this in both mainstream #dotcons like #failbook, and you also see it in all ALT_TECH it’s a (social) systematic problem.
Build stuff that is messy, human. Please DON’T TRY AND FIX problems created by the problem you are trying to fix is basic. Take the #geekproblem blindfold off is a good step.

Reading this book would help https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.101521/2015.101521.The-Sciological-Imagination_djvu.txt

influx of EU funding into the Fediverse

Getting a good outcome is hard… but feel this influx of EU funding is going to do damage and little good to the #Fediverse health if it keeps funding to its current agenda.

Though the fediverse is drifting from its own lifestyle mess…

Let’s try and mediate the funding driven damage.

Then lifestyle driven damage can mediate its self.

Looking for a better social change/challenge outcome and less mess 🙂

unite.openworlds.info/Open-Med looking at the best funding I have found… not attacking them, opening a conversation on a OBVIOUS issue.

We can also look at the funding that is 100% poured down the drain, but we likely have little influence there.

I like to keep it positive, if possible, BUT a lot of people are #BLOCKING which will create some fire and LOTS of smoke, It’s what social change/challenge looks like… murky…

Focus on #KISS to see through the smoke.

Hard to see how you can do a left wing project without showing the workings

open/trust – left

We fall to easily into

fear/control – right

It’s what the page is about.

Yep the whole #dotcons side of the EU funding agenda is poison and only feeds the mess.

As I highlight, just about all funding is poured strate down the drain, it’s the normal outcome.

#indymediaback one thing to keep in mind, I think we/indymedia crew learned the wrong lesson from these raids/repression.

We pushed fear/control as a solution, which added to the mess #closedweb

As the #Fediverse shows, open/trust was the path we should have taken #openweb

This ripped the #indymedia project apart, leaving us in this #dotcons mess.

When making judgments, let’s be #KISS, to see through the mess.

Shovels and compost #OMN

Yep trauma is a issue, why I use basic ways of looking at these things. Then it’s up to the people to build up from this simplicity DIY, a grassroots aproch.

Practical approaches visionon.tv/w/nw2pRyvj1vfjx1u4 a film i made for the legal support crew of a big campaign. The repression was ongoing and strong. The healing was the mass walking through the police stop and search – this likely mediated a lot of growing trauma…

#Openweb – all together push through, the HARD block crumbles.

A talk goes off topic – what is an #ecryptionist is illustrated.

Q. Grumpy old geeks have a valid point of view http://scripting.com/2021/04/02/145549.html?title=pleadingForStallman
Pleading for Stallman

A. but no TLS.

Q. this is a valid point of view too http://scripting.com/2014/08/08/myBlogDoesntNeedHttps.html
My blog doesn’t need HTTPS

A. It’s a valid point that Google and Amazon have monopolist interests and are trying to enforce them. Nevertheless, TLS is an open standard and the owner of that blog would have many other possibilities implementing it. Not having transport encryption is nowadays highly deprecated for good reasons and I don’t see any valid point in not adopting it. Not saying you have to use Google’s or Amazon’s infrastructure for that.

Q. Good to rethink this view. Have a look at his thinking. This is the difference between closed/open as a world view that #encryptionists blow smoke over to push an agender that does not challenge the #deathcult we all live and breath…

A. Sry, but what? 🤔 Encryption is one of the central tools for a free and open internet, as it enables a much better level of privacy, or in fact even is a hard precondition to it.

Q. if you say so… I have been working for more than 20 years on this and always say clearly that we need 90% open and 10% closed – the #encryptionists are dangerously wrong in their view of 90% closed and 10% open. Its a problem we need to overcome and in no way a solution. Take note you are posting this on mastodon that is 90% open and 10% closed. We are not having this conversation on diaspora (the #encryptionists network) very few people are.

A. 1) What the hack is an “encryptionist”??

2) My friend, all Mastodon instances I know use TLS.

3) What is your definition of “open” and “closed”? Encrypted vs. unencrypted? 🤔 I think YOU should really rethink this kind of definition. A blog for instance can be openly available to everyone and still offer secure transport encryption to protect the privacy of its readers.

4) You are mistaken, almost everyone I met on Mastodon is a huge proponent of encryption. And no, I’m not for 90% encrypted and 10% unencrypted. I am for 100% encrypted.

Q. Nuttiness is good in moderation. You are talking to me on a #openweb project, there are some #closedweb one’s, but they tend to be full of nutters, so can understand why you are here 😉

A. You are calling me nuts? Well, thanks… So please define to me, what “openweb” and “closedweb” have to do with encryption per se.

Q. if you are interested you could start looking here http://hamishcampbell.com/tag/encryptionists/

A. Our current dogmas are a mess… good to take a step away.

Q. Uhm… there is nothing written about why encryption is supposed to be bad… It just uses “encryptionists” as some weird swear word. In general, I don’t really get the text. Sounds very confused to be honest. That being said, I am also against neo-liberalism, individualism and esoterics and for an open web. What this does have to do with encryption remains obscure to me…

And it’s not a dogma. It is a scientific fact, that eavesdropping on well encrypted communication is close to impossible.

A. This is an interesting point:

2) all Mastodon instances I know use TLS.

The dev of mastodon told “white” lies about privacy and security as few #fashernistas would go with a #openweb project that did not pedal this dogma.

#TLS is a fig leaf, everything on the server is in plain text and the admins can read most of what you post and the sysadmin can read and change anything. it’s a trust based #openweb project and works well Because of this building of trust.

Maybe this gives you ideas of what #openweb and #closedweb are about?

“Trust nobody” is the rallying cry of conservatism and an easy-to-understand worship of the #deathcult we need to stop pushing this shit.

It would be an #ecryptionst #geekproblem to call any online project secure in any real senses as the operating steam it runs on for 99.9% of users is insecure and likely backdoored for the state and corporate spy. And even if you are in the 0.1% who run something that just might be secure then the firmware is all  insecure with issues that CANNOT be fixed in contempery devices…

The mind set is the problem am talking about – you can blow smoke over conversations by not looking at the big picture.