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posted by takyon on Monday December 10 2018, @04:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the giant-leap dept.

Aral Balkan has a blog post about taking small steps to end surveillance capitalism. In particular he focuses on the need for federated services. He points out that the move to re-decentralize the WWW is difficult and needs to start at the beginning, using a comparison of Apple's original computers to their latest generation of tablets as an illustration.

Five years ago, when I decided to devote myself to tackling the problem of surveillance capitalism, it was clear what we needed: convenient and beautiful ethical everyday things that provide seamless experiences1 on fully free-as-in-freedom stacks.

This is as true today as it was then and it will remain so. The only way to compete with unethical products built by organisations that have control over hardware + software + services is to create ethical organisations that have control over hardware + software + services and thus have at least the possibility to craft competitive experiences. We remove our eyes from this goal at our peril.

Related: Tim Berners-Lee Launches Inrupt, Aims to Create a Decentralized Web


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  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @06:31PM (40 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @06:31PM (#772472) Journal

    The reason such surveillance is so lucrative is that it's being sold to government agencies...

    Capitalism...

    --
    Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
  • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @06:50PM (39 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @06:50PM (#772486)

    Capitalism permits only voluntary trade; therefore, capitalism precludes governmental allocations of resources (i.e., paying for things with money stolen from people against their will via "taxation").

    You cannot just include government as part of a capitalistic organization of society; it breaks the conditions.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @06:55PM (31 children)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @06:55PM (#772487) Journal

      We voluntarily voted for the government we have. The market has spoken.

      --
      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @07:12PM (30 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @07:12PM (#772493)

        The government fabricates votes out of thin air and then hands them out equally both to the fool and to the scholar.

        And, politicians buy votes with other people's money, against other people's will.

        It has nothing to do with capitalism.

        • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @07:55PM (29 children)

          by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @07:55PM (#772520) Journal

          Wrong again, the government has the full consent of the governed. Nobody can claim ignorance any more. Those innocent days are gone. Resistance is too feeble to notice.

          --
          Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:08PM (12 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:08PM (#772532)

            Stability in society is definitely related to consent among individuals.

            You would be wise to look for ways of organizing society around measurable consent rather decreed "consent".

            • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @08:18PM (11 children)

              by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:18PM (#772536) Journal

              The election results are as measurable as it gets. And that would include the people who choose not to vote. What are you looking for exactly?

              --
              Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:36PM (10 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:36PM (#772546)

                Under Capitalism, not only is every decision you make a "vote" for how society should be shaped, but the weight of your "vote" is dependent on well your previous "votes" served society.

                Capitalism provides a much finer-grained, much more dynamic measurement of consent.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:42PM (9 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:42PM (#772581)

                  >Under Capitalism, not only is every decision you make a "vote" for how society should be shaped, but the weight of your "vote" is dependent on well your previous "votes" served society.

                  do they don't, most "decisions" are inertia driven, pushed by market experts and with big pockets to follow. grow up from this libertarian nonsense

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:55PM (8 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:55PM (#772582)

                    That may be so, but that's argument applies 10x to Democracy; the question was "What is a better way to measure consent?" The point stands: Capitalism.

                    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday December 11 2018, @12:18AM (7 children)

                      by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @12:18AM (#772658) Journal

                      Capitalism can only measure the consent of the well to do, one dollar, one "vote". The election results measure a far wider range of the population. But likely in both, the bottom 49% are screwed. The more you think about it, the most similarities you will find.

                      --
                      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:48AM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:48AM (#772709)

                        Your comment makes no sense.

                        Not only does capitalism measure the consent of the poor (better than democracy, mind you), but it also measures society's consent to the poor; under capitalism, if you're poor, that's a signal that you're not much worth to society—the few who can't help it will be helped by those who have compassion, and the rest should change their ways.

                        • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday December 11 2018, @06:07AM

                          by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @06:07AM (#772769) Journal

                          Capitalism (and most of society) sees the poor as a mule. Its consent (or lack thereof) is irrelevant.

                          --
                          Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:22PM (4 children)

                        by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @01:22PM (#772842) Journal

                        Capitalism has a good bit of control over the election results though. Poor people tend to vote less, because they can't get off work to go stand in line at the polls, or because they can't get a ride to one of the two remaining DMVs in their state to get a newly required photo ID.

                        And that's not even getting into the long-term structural issues...for example, corporations lobby for laws, those laws make people who oppose the agenda of the corporation into convicted felons...who then often lose their right vote. Once the ball gets rolling it gets harder and harder to stand up against it, because the people who would most want to would also be disqualified for that very reason.

                        • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday December 11 2018, @03:41PM (2 children)

                          by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @03:41PM (#772891) Journal

                          Submissiveness is not an option if they want anything to happen. It's still up to the voters. You know, with all the excuses being made, I really wonder what people have to offer in place of voters taking their own initiative.

                          --
                          Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                          • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Tuesday December 11 2018, @03:56PM (1 child)

                            by urza9814 (3954) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @03:56PM (#772901) Journal

                            Oh, I absolutely am not suggesting "submissiveness" as a viable option; I'm merely pointing out that voting isn't necessarily a reliable indicator of peoples' preferences any more than a random sampling of TV commercials would be.

                            Plenty of alternative means of taking action are still available though...organize, unionize, and strike is one which has worked pretty well so far for my family in both the past and present...

                            • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday December 11 2018, @08:23PM

                              by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @08:23PM (#773055) Journal

                              Random TV samples involve maybe up to a thousand people. Voting counts over 200 million, including the non voting block (which can either be taken as consent, or 'no confidence', something we should demand on our ballots). I will take those numbers more seriously.

                              All those "alternative means of taking action" still comes down to us and our own ability to delegate. I don't understand the difficulty here. What do people expect? I mean, is everybody looking up to the sky, or what?

                              --
                              Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @04:48PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @04:48PM (#772931)

                          I do not think it means what you think it means.

          • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Monday December 10 2018, @08:22PM (15 children)

            by shortscreen (2252) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:22PM (#772537) Journal

            If by full consent you mean a 20% approval rating.

            • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @08:36PM (14 children)

              by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:36PM (#772547) Journal

              Media ratings are bullshit. Your 20% is really 94.3% [wikipedia.org]. Same round numbers apply to most local elections also. If you're going to use numbers, use the ones that matter.

              --
              Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:47PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:47PM (#772558)

                [Value not in citation given]

                • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @08:54PM

                  by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:54PM (#772562) Journal

                  Oh? Then tell me, what is 46.1 and 48.2 in your world?

                  --
                  Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
              • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Monday December 10 2018, @08:51PM (11 children)

                by shortscreen (2252) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:51PM (#772561) Journal

                LOL.

                So what's your angle here? Are you an establishment shill saying "nothing to see here, move along" or are you a misanthrope saying "people are garbage and they have the garbage system that they deserve" ?

                • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @09:02PM (10 children)

                  by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @09:02PM (#772565) Journal

                  Quite some imagination you got there. The people have what they asked for. They can change it anytime. My opinion of them is totally irrelevant. Everybody's simply looking for the most advantage.

                  And yes, outside what's in the mirror, there is nothing meaningful to see. Believe it, or not... it's all perfectly natural and instinctive. All those books on animal psychology apply to humans too. Maybe that's why people are in such denial.

                  --
                  Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:19PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:19PM (#772573)

                    The North Koreans have what they've asked for; they can change their choice at any time.

                    So, unless you want to claim that the North Koreans are living under the consent of the governed, you have not made a convincing argument. And, if you did make that claim for NK (in order to remain consistent), well, then you'd be supporting a worthless point of view; it wouldn't help anyone design a society.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @12:51AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @12:51AM (#772682)

                      *sigh* such a weak tiresome old game... not worth the time

                  • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Monday December 10 2018, @09:19PM (2 children)

                    by shortscreen (2252) on Monday December 10 2018, @09:19PM (#772574) Journal

                    I find it rather curious. You choose to believe one number over the other. There must be a reason.

                    It's true that the people could change things. But they don't realize this, because the corporate media keep telling them the opposite.

                    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @10:04PM

                      by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @10:04PM (#772587) Journal

                      But they don't realize this, because the corporate media keep telling them the opposite.

                      Yeah, and?

                      --
                      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday December 10 2018, @10:07PM

                      by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday December 10 2018, @10:07PM (#772588) Journal

                      Sorry for the 2nd reply:

                      You choose to believe one number over the other. There must be a reason.

                      Yeah. I believe the one that counts. What are you getting at?

                      --
                      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @05:47PM (4 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @05:47PM (#772957)

                    The people have what tjey asked for?

                    Ok, no more arguing with you, you are almost as bad as buzzy boy.

                    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday December 11 2018, @06:52PM (3 children)

                      by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @06:52PM (#772999) Journal

                      Ok, no more arguing with you

                      Excellent! I'm not looking for one. Especially from people who don't want to read correctly what was posted.

                      --
                      Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:16PM (2 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:16PM (#773012)

                        And I don't want to argue with riled up libertarians with misplaced superiority complexes.

                        • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:38PM (1 child)

                          by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:38PM (#773026) Journal

                          Who's forcing you to stay??

                          Be off! You cease to amuse me

                          --
                          Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
                          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @08:00PM

                            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @08:00PM (#773041)

                            I am off, this is just another symptom of your multiple personality disorder. Apologies for the hard drop but you aren't really Jesus either.

    • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Monday December 10 2018, @08:05PM (3 children)

      by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday December 10 2018, @08:05PM (#772527) Journal

      You cannot just include government as part of a capitalistic organization of society; it breaks the conditions.

      On the contrary. In order to have working capitalism larger than a garage sale or farmer's market, a government is required to provide a regulatory structure to keep the evil down to a dull roar. Without stable currency, limits on predatory behavior, bounds on safe behavior, stable and fair enforcement of contracts, a robust transport infrastructure and all that goes with it, any attempt at "capitalism" would fall flat on its face outside of isolated local instances.

      Further, your argument is like saying you can't have free software as part of a capitalistic organization of society because "people doing that break the conditions." Neither that or your claim are true, and for the same reason:

      There is no "pure" capitalism. Capitalism, like any economic system, exists neither in isolation, or free of other systemic effects, or free of the nurturing environment it must exist within. It is people exchanging value, and to do that, a supporting structure must exist. The only structure we know of thus far that actually works is government.

      --
      Democracy: Where any two idiots outvote a genius.

      • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:26PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @08:26PM (#772539)
        • Your axiom is that there are certain services which require one, violently imposed monopoly; well, I dispute that claim as being magical. Indeed, at the level of the nation state, it is competition among the various "service providers" which has so far kept our planet free of global tyranny.
        • a government is required... to keep the evil down to a dull roar.

          Bastiat tore your claim asunder all the way back in 1850: [bastiat.org]

          The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.

          They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority.

          I'll add that neither the smart people nor the moral people aspire to become governmental paper-pushers, thereby making your claim even more ridiculous.

          If men are not angels, then that is a point against government, not for it.

        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10 2018, @09:34PM (#772579)

          If men are not angels

          But women are, and that's why we're honored to be called "she," like other objects that are the property of a man, a boat for example....

          Anyway, when do we kill all men? You've once again made an eloquent case for Emacs. If not now, when?

        • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Monday December 10 2018, @11:43PM

          by fyngyrz (6567) on Monday December 10 2018, @11:43PM (#772637) Journal

          dispute that claim as being magical

          Well hell, so do I. However, it is the only system which has been proven to be somewhat stable. No government-free entity has ever produced a nation worth the name. When one does, then your ideas might have merit when examined closely. Barring that condition, they don't.

          Bastiat tore your claim asunder all the way back in 1850

          That is nonsense. You and Bastiat cannot reasonably put forth ideals as viable propositions unless you have an ideal petri dish. And we don't, and we never have, and frankly, we probably never will - certainly not in the next few decades, anyway.

          Just quickly, from your quote:

          how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good?

          They aren't; that argument has not been submitted. Straw man. The argument is that they keep evil within the capitalist framework down to a dull roar. Which they do.

          The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse.

          The evidence show that they do even when regulated, and when they think they can get around the regulation, they do that, too. Removing the regulations offers not even a hint of a solution. "Hey, evildoers! Now we won't even try to stop you! You'll be good now, right?" What nonsense.

          The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction.

          They do make those claims; and those claims are validated by every evildoer they stop. And that list is very, very long.

          Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind;

          Pompous, nonsensical bullshit.

          They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us.

          The system — legislators, legislation, courts, juries, capitalism — is what shows the positive effect overall. The system again, has thus far proven its worth many times over. You can conduct your business in relative peace, without fear of invasion by foreign powers, with a stable currency, in a framework of somewhat reasonable rules, over a complex and robust transport infrastructure. In a system without government — AKA anarchy — you would have none of these advantages, or the barest shadows of just one or two of them.

          The argument for anarchy, which is what you are making when you suggest no government is required, is one only the evil, naive or deluded can make with a straight face.

          I'll add that neither the smart people nor the moral people aspire to become governmental paper-pushers, thereby making your claim even more ridiculous.

          No, it doesn't affect my claim at all, because I make no claim that the resulting system is either perfect or even working all that well. I'm just saying it's working way better than anarchy would. Looking around the world where governments have collapsed, over and over again the evidence is 100% in favor of no government = the people are screwed.

          If men are not angels, then that is a point against government, not for it.

          That is facile. Or possibly just stupid. So the government is made up of the fallible, the corruptible, the corrupt. Does this mean that letting the population in general exercise those same traits without any controls will be better? Of course it doesn't. And when the people have some input — as they do in our system at least (the US), there are extra-governmental factors at work all the time to steer the system, to keep it from falling completely into chaos. For instance, it is a very rare thing to see a toxic leader like Trump reach the oval office... and the system is working to pull him out of it, and it may very well succeed.

          We have laws and enforcement against rapine. Against pollution. Against mugging, theft and murder. Against hit-and-run. Against bribery. Against monopoly. Etc. All of these things work to counter the chaos that you would have if your ridiculous idea of "no government" were to take root. For that reason, no one with a wet neuron will take you seriously. Certainly I don't. I just found it worthwhile to pound your head against your own idiocy.

          --
          The 3 Functional Retardations:
          traditional, jingoistic, and religious.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:37AM (2 children)

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 11 2018, @07:37AM (#772790) Homepage Journal

      Quit your job

      I once met a man who'd been homeless for thirty years. He was one of my neighbors under a highway overpass

      "Surely you qualify for housing?"

      "It is my choice! Jesus did it, I can too!"

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @02:37PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 11 2018, @02:37PM (#772862)

        Quit your job

        Sorry, not sufficient. You'll also have to abandon all investments, and all real estate. And refrain from ever buying anything (or else you'll pay VAT).

        I once met a man who'd been homeless for thirty years.

        Did he beg for money which he used to buy food? Then he was paying taxes.