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[liberationtech] [SPAM:####] Re: Decentralization

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Fri Feb 10 09:01:32 PST 2017


Network effects are powerful. And to create network effects, except in the
rare case of organic viral growth, requires a lot of marketing and
advertising. And marketing and advertising requires raising a lot of money.
And raising a lot of money requires angel investors, venture capital
investors, and so on. And then you are back at the Silicon Valley model of
collecting people's information and selling or trading it like a commodity.

But I have a question: What's a reasonable metric for success in terms of
the number of people using a decentralized system? My understanding is that
Diaspora remains decentralized and has a million or more users. Is that
good enough? Or do we have to be like email -- absolutely ubiquitous?

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 3:00 AM, F LM <flucom.02 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Because of the intangible nature of the internet, people don't treat the
> privacy of their communications with the same bar they would treat (we
> assume) paper correspondence.
>
> Having said that, it's fundamental to understand that people won't leave
> Facebook, Gmail or Windows, simply because, beyond theoretical manifestos
> about abstract concepts such as 'privacy', they don't have any reason to do
> so.
>
> In fact, it's quite the opposite — people won't make the move from any of
> the aforementioned companies for the simple reason that everything will be
> more difficult. And let's cut the BS here — easy-to-use and functionality
> on the "alternatives" are not the best.
>
> That's why I think is critical that the hacker community start focusing
> more on UX. Until my mother can see that Linux is as nice, easy-to-use and
> practical as Windows, only then she will start making the change (and even
> that won't guarantee that she leaves Windows, but is a basic a mandatory
> step). The same can be said about IM, social media, email and practically
> everything.
>
> FL
>
> > On 08-02-2017, at 10:06, Alberto Cammozzo <ac+lists at zeromx.net> wrote:
> >
> > Richard, you are right: maintaining email servers requires some skill
> > and has a cost.
> > Gmail does this reliably and is attractive for most non-technical users.
> >
> > But now imagine this:
> > Your favourite snail-mail service offers your university paper letters
> > delivery, but at these conditions:
> > 1) being authorized to open the envelope you send
> > 2) reading the letter looking for keywords
> > 3) attaching targeted advertising to your letter, according to keywords
> > 4) build and keep a profile of you and your correspondents network
> > 5) eventually deliver the letter along with advertising
> > 6) deliver targeted advertising in envelopes directed to you
> > Would your university accept, even in front of major savings? I don't
> > think so.
> > Despite being free, attractive and convenient this would be illegal in
> > most countries (in Italy, where I live, secrecy of correspondence is
> > even a constitutional provision).
> > But, inexplicably, this is pretty much what we accept without hesitation
> > with Gmail and most free messaging services.
> > And still, secrecy of paper correspondence is socially required and
> > legally protected.
> >
> > Building a decentralized, reliable, secure, private, open and cheap (if
> > not free) infrastructure for delivering and preserving emails at least
> > as well as Gmail does is something we should have.
> > By infrastructure I mean something like railways, telephone, power
> > lines, roads, bridges, Internet connectivity: in certain cases they
> > should or may be privately held, but with a major public commitment.
> > Their main goal is providing a public interest service, build an
> > enabling environment for social and economic life, not only being a
> > business opportunity.
> > And of course I'm not saying we should have national Gmails!
> > I think something more similar to dn42.net and zeroNet.io, but at least
> > as attractive and usable as Google services.
> > See also the paper by Aymeric Vitte in this thread.
> >
> > Bests,
> >
> > Alberto
> >
> >
> >
> >> On 07/02/2017 16:10, Richard Brooks wrote:
> >> On the other hand, why are they using gmail?
> >>
> >> Our university outsourced email to Google. They
> >> software up to date, handle the security, provide
> >> convenient cloud access (I personally dislike
> >> their GUIs),  etc. For our university, this decision
> >> probably did make our email traffic more secure
> >> as well.
> >>
> >> I am not wild about the decision our university
> >> made, but for most users using Gmail is probably
> >> the more reasonable and secure choice. Not the
> >> choice that I would make for myself. Being spied
> >> on bothers me.
> >>
> >> But, if you want to have the broad base of users
> >> move elsewhere, you need to address the clear
> >> advantages that Gmail provides.
> >>
> >> Political, social, and economics arguments will not
> >> convince most people.
> >>
> >>> On 02/07/2017 07:06 AM, Andrés Pacheco wrote:
> >>> Signore Camozzo hit the nail on the head, twice. So then I have to
> draw the proper conclusion...
> >>>
> >>> 1. We need concerted action to set non-proprietary communication
> standards at the application level, much like the TCP-IP Protocols did for
> the lower layer(s)
> >>>
> >>> 2. This action HAS to be POLITICAL, since it's not just a matter of
> devising technical standards, but to have them ADOPTED by the majority. We
> need the 75% of his email correspondents to not use proprietary email
> platforms (and so forth and so on, and including me and this email itself!)
> >>>
> >>> Ergo, it is at best naive trying to separate "Technology" from
> "Politics:" all Technology is Political, and ignoring this only rubber
> stamps the technology of the proprietary powers that be.
> >>>
> >>> Not by chance it's Technology companies at the top of the "most
> valuable company of the world" food chain: Google and Apple. If that's not
> a political statement, then what is? Where is "the swamp?"
> >>>
> >>> Regards | Saludos,
> >>>
> >>> Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes
> >>> <alps at acm.org>
> >>>
> >>>> On Feb 7, 2017, at 5:34 AM, Alberto Cammozzo <ac+lists at zeromx.net>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> So far so good, but what is it all for? ~75% of my email
> correspondents
> >>>> use Gmail ...
> >>>> You cant decentralize alone...
> >>>> We need to fix this quickly or the information revolution will be lost
> >>>> and archived as an annex of the industrial revolution.
> >
> >
> > --
> > -
> > TagMeNot
> > http://tagMeNot.info
> > @dontTag
> >
> > --
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