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#61 2018-08-15 17:19:02

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,750
Website

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

I always think you never make your point, Michael, until someone takes your cryptic bait first. Then you pounce with something unforeseeable and a list of quotations and sources to read. So here I am, eating the mystery cheese… What’s your point?

Mine is that most new decentralized software projects I find trying to tap into the fediverse are sourced in Europe, quite often in France, Germany, one of the north countries, and even Switzerland (though more privacy oriented here than decentralized), so not just the EU as I mistakenly narrowed it.

I’m waiting to see when a sincere one is US-based. And there could very well be some I’m not aware of it. If so, share them here.

Oh, wait, I know of one… Write.As, a writing platform (did I list that one already?), is converting to a federated model using ActivityPub, I think. Been seeing talk of it. You’ll soon be able to write blog-length copy that can be interacted with via the fediverse. Matt Baer is American, I think, unless he’s Canadian. I’m not positive, actually, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t live in San Francisco hustling VC. He runs the Masto instance I’m on too. Talks about his ideas/goals openly. I like his ethos and where he’s at.

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#62 2018-08-15 21:29:17

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 4,153
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Re: Decentralized software alternatives

Destry wrote #313446:

I always think you never make your point, Michael, until someone takes your cryptic bait first. Then you pounce with something unforeseeable and a list of quotations and sources to read.

True. My guess is Michael meant that the EU itself is not exactly a model of decentralisation… As an entity, despite all the bashing it takes, it has proved something of a bulwark in the face of Trump’s attempt to unhinge trade negotiations as he can’t lean so easily on individual countries as he’s doing with Turkey at the moment. Hence his transparent attempts to destabilise key figures and praise the wackos on the sidelines.

While I sense a similar sentiment, I was wondering about what you wrote and why that might be. The US is comprised of federal states with their own legislative instances too. Germany is also a federal republic with legislative and administrative roles shared between central government and each state. Switzerland has its cantons and devolved politics with lots of referendums. England, by comparison, is more centralised; it has its counties but they don’t have their own laws or parliaments. I wonder what gives rise to the mindset you’re talking about.


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#63 2018-08-16 00:14:43

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,750
Website

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

jakob wrote #313451:

While I sense a similar sentiment, I was wondering about what you wrote and why that might be.

Are you talking to me or Michael? The quoting makes it a little confusing.

In any case, nothing I was talking about was meant to be political, but low and behold the co-opting from big tech capitalists I was warning about earlier takes an ugly turn…

Here is a nutty little story about ‘DWeb’, which is meant to stand for ‘distributed web’, and comes from the company, Distributed Web Project LLC. Trying hard to create something that sounds an awful lot like ‘decentralized’, no?

The company seems associated with a guy named Jarod Rice Sr., who I never heard of before today. He identifies himself as the creator of the ‘DWeb protocol’. The company offers this thing called DBrowser, where you can see it talking about the protocal and what it can supposededly do for you.

Before I quote some of the website you can read yourself there, it turns out this so-called ‘dweb’ protocol is a fork of Beaker+DAT with licenses stripped then shipped as Dweb.

When called on this by DAT in an IRC exchange, rightly asking for licensing to be added back, this Rice guy got kind of weird. I quote from a source in masto, quoting someone involved in the IRC exchange:

Like, berating us on IRC mad, threatening violence, saying things like “I’m being pushed to my limits and I’m gonna have to do something”’

And then this was surfaced about him, showing he doesn’t exactly have an ethical track record (or good legal one), to say nothing of some perso-political agenda too.

Here are some choice bits from the website…

‘They can seize everything we have but they’ll never seize our vision.’

‘Made by patriots & built for everybody.’

‘Join the fight against global censorship and help take back what is truly ours.’

And from their new Twitter site…

‘#LettingFreedomStream’

If anyone can’t see the distinct flavour and message in all that… Well.

Btw, they’re in Texas, I think. Seems right, eh?

All and all not a shining example of a good project out of the US. Or maybe it is. So like I said in my previous post, be careful what projects you follow as you learn about the decentralized movement.

Btw, if mods think this post is a little too inviting of outside trouble, feel free to delete it.

Last edited by Destry (2018-08-16 00:22:04)

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#64 2018-08-16 15:08:20

michaelkpate
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From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,367
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

Destry wrote #313446:

I always think you never make your point, Michael, until someone takes your cryptic bait first. Then you pounce with something unforeseeable and a list of quotations and sources to read. So here I am, eating the mystery cheese… What’s your point?

1) Jakob is correct. I was pointing out the non-decentralized aspects of the European Union. I meant for it to be lighthearted, though. In fact, most of my comments are. When I changed my signature a few months ago to point to a bunch of centralized services where I have accounts, that was also intended to be funny.

2) I really haven’t noticed that American Open Source Projects are less decentralized than one in the US. I do agree that Silicon Valley is very much focused on centralized products more than decentralized ones – which only makes sense because it is easier to monetize. But most OS doesn’t really come from the Valley.

I just checked – my openID server is still up and running at http://openid.michaelkpate.com/. I can’t remember the last time I used it for something.

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#65 2018-08-16 23:53:04

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,750
Website

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

Thanks for clarifying, Michael. I guess the jump from software to politics went out of scope and over my head.

I never followed your sig links before, sorry, but I did notice your sig looked better.

I never used OpenID. Seems kind of centralized to me. And PGP keys are a pain in the ass. I’ve tried but always forget the passwords, and I don’t know anyone else using them anyway. I feel sorry for journalists or whoever that have to.

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#66 2018-08-17 10:09:42

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,750
Website

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

Destry wrote #313446:

Oh, wait, I know of one… Write.As, a writing platform (did I list that one already?), is converting to a federated model using ActivityPub, I think.

Oddly enough, a conversation about this in masto yesterday reveals there are people suspicious of this project, calling it ‘openwashing’, whatever that means. The preferred project to watch as far as a Medium competitor goes seems to be the Plume project I mentioned earlier in this thread.

Clearly there is a backstory I’m unaware of as a non-developer. I’ll reserve judgement until I learn/see more play out. But I guess it proves my point even more: be careful what you get into, if you do, as decentralization options emerge. The lure of money is a strong force.

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#67 2018-08-25 14:11:28

colak
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From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,632
Website GitHub Twitter

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

A very thoughtful article on the decentralised web.


Yiannis
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#68 2018-09-07 05:25:59

colak
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From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,632
Website GitHub Twitter

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

decentralized technology without decentralized ownership is ultimately meaningless. (medium.com/resonatecoop/my-three-blockchain-moments-and-why-i-love-rchain-9cce70f26bf8)


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | State Machines | NeMe @ github
I do my best editing after I click on the submit button.

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#69 2018-09-07 05:40:32

michaelkpate
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From: Avon Park, FL
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,367
Website GitHub Mastodon

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

Nothing shows your love of decentralized software like publishing your essay on Medium. :)

Essentially, Williams said the future of publishing is not in individual websites but in large platforms (such as Medium, he hopes, as well as Facebook, maybe Apple, and others to be determined). Ultimately, only they can offer wide distribution to large groups of people, he believes. – Medium’s Evan Williams To Publishers: Your Website Is Toast

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#70 2018-09-07 07:54:15

colak
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From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,632
Website GitHub Twitter

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

michaelkpate wrote #313889:

Nothing shows your love of decentralized software like publishing your essay on Medium. :)

Indeed:)


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | State Machines | NeMe @ github
I do my best editing after I click on the submit button.

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#71 2018-09-07 08:30:41

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,750
Website

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

michaelkpate wrote #313889:

Nothing shows your love of decentralized software like publishing your essay on Medium. :)

Yep.

This is a running joke in M’don too. I think if there’s one reason I keep using M’don, it’s because so many there actually see the shit through the mud. Hapless newbies brainwashed on centralized platforms arrive and exhibit all these fresh off the Twitter boat habits and quickly hear about it. It’s nice. ;)

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#72 2018-09-07 09:31:30

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,750
Website

Re: Decentralized software alternatives

colak wrote #313639:

A very thoughtful article on the decentralised web.

It’s a fairly written article, though there are some points I see in there that could be nitpicked for validity — e.g. it might be functionally possible for centralized platforms to be ‘GDPRable’ and ‘the right to be forgetable’, but their VC-enforced obligations to be ‘monetizable’ rarely permits that to any ‘easier to usable’ degree (i.e. they are certainly ‘onboardable’, but not easily offboardable) — but I won’t bother with that because it does end on a hopeful note with that list of reasons decentralization could take off.

For those paying attention to this stuff, some of those things are beginning to happen…

No. 1 from that list: Big tech reputations right now are suffering, and I see articles daily showing how they don’t seem to be adjusting their heading. It’s only their extreme wealth, established reach, and government arrangements that hold back the damage so far. It may not last.

No. 2: Radically cheaper cost? I’m not sure what he’s suggesting there. Centralized has only become successful and engrained in society because of VC money kickstarting it (with very few exceptions, like Basecamp). And because there’s a mean ROI involved, it’s very cut-throat and marketing aggressive. Thus the ad-tech, user tracking, AI and algos, yadda yadda. So if ‘cheaper cost’ means getting a buttload of money to play with that needs to be forever paid back with interest… Whatever. I don’t see how FOSS software is any less cheap, on the contrary, and when people’s privacy and rights aren’t being abused, they’re generally happy to donate to keeping it that way. This is working out very well so far in M’don. But the next five years will be interesting to see how this plays out.

No.3: I’d say it’s getting fashionable. It’s early, but it’s happening with the early adopters, as these things always do proceed. The fact that decentralization is in the news a lot lately is evidence alone that people are thinking about it now more than ever before. Even the VCs are eyeballing any possible opportunities, which is why the Decentralized Web Summit took place in San Francisco. Bet on it. (Keeping them out, however, is imperative, or it’s right back to using centralized again.)

No. 4: The decentralization movement has a way to go with ‘superior designed applications’ but it’s riding on the tails of the open source movement in general, which has made a lot of advance in this respect. Look at FOSS OSs now compared to ten years ago. That momentum will continue. And M’don, is largely successful in a short period of time — far more so than GNU Social or Diaspora, as two examples of the same kind of software — because it’s UI is designed better. It’s not perfect, and the brainwashed still gripe, but the default design has clearly proven to have made a difference on the adoption angle. Anyone can take the software and build their own skins or pipe it through a different interface, which is what things like Brutaldon and Pinafore have done. Designers only need take an interest and it could go so much further.

No. 5: Geographical isolation… I guess. That probably comes from a political/borders perspective. But it makes me think of another decentralized angle, which is Scuttlebutt. The idea there is decentralization for those who must be offline for periods of a time, then when online again your content is federated. It’s a very cool concept, and I like that it comes from the idea of patchy internet connections and being in remote places (middle of the ocean, top of a mountain, etc/wherever).

No. 6: Neanderthals / Humans. I think he made a mistake suggesting a division in people, and especially one with underlying notions of contrasting intelligence and progress. But I’ll just say that I don’t want access to 90% of the so-called ‘humans’ of society. I don’t want access to 90% of the fediverse. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. So the mistake, I think, is comparing these things on any numbers-as-success level, if that’s what he’s doing, because it’s entirely beside the point of decentralizing. Humans that keep thinking that way are clearly still caught up in the capitalism aspects of centralization. The growth, the marketing, the profit off of sheeple… Fuck that shit. Tear it all down.

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