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

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Fri Feb 10 15:44:02 PST 2017


I was describing the "Silicon Valley system," not necessarily endorsing it.

Here is Wikipedia's description of Diaspora's social networking site, which
started out as a Silicon Valley startup that ultimately became a non-profit
foundation:

Diaspora is a nonprofit, user-owned, distributed social network that is
> based upon the free Diaspora software. Diaspora consists of a group of
> independently owned nodes (called pods) which interoperate to form the
> network. As of March 2014, there are more than 1 million Diaspora
> accounts.[2]
>


The social network is not owned by any one person or entity, keeping it
> from being subject to corporate take-overs or advertising. In September
> 2011 the developers stated, "...our distributed design means no big
> corporation will ever control Diaspora. Diaspora* will never sell your
> social life to advertisers, and you won’t have to conform to someone’s
> arbitrary rules or look over your shoulder before you speak."[3]
>


Diaspora software is licensed with GNU-AGPL-3.0.[4] Diaspora software
> development is managed by the Diaspora Foundation, which is part of the
> Free Software Support Network (FSSN). The FSSN is in turn run by Eben
> Moglen and the Software Freedom Law Center. The FSSN acts as an umbrella
> organization to Diaspora development and manages Diaspora's branding,
> finances and legal assets.[5]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora_(social_network)

On Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 12:07 PM, Andrés Pacheco <alps6085 at gmail.com> wrote:

> What is "Diaspora?" My concept of diaspora is people fleeing their
> homelands to stay out of harm's way...
>
> And, btw, I refuse to believe that the only way to go for any "startup" is
> to sell out to venture capitalists and McMarketeers.
>
> The issue here is moral, not economic. So think of The Phantom of the
> Opera!
>
> Apparently, "High-Tech" has become synonymous with "The Golden Rush!"
>
> But this list is called "LiberationTech," and there's hardly anything
> "liberating" with cooking up get rich quick schemes!
>
> Regards | Saludos,
>
> Andrés Leopoldo Pacheco Sanfuentes
> <alps at acm.org>
>
> On Feb 10, 2017, at 11:01 AM, Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu>
> wrote:
>
> 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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