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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: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday December 11 2018, @04:54PM (6 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 11 2018, @04:54PM (#772937) Journal

    And what exactly do you think capitalism + globalism is leading up to? You don't get it: government is not a first-order phenomenon. It emerges from sufficient centralization of power, wealth, and resources. Government and business are two forms of the same thing when they get powerful enough.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12 2018, @09:29PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12 2018, @09:29PM (#773693)

    Getting out of the failure state is removing coercion (i.e., taxation); well, that's the [probably asymptotic] ideal.

    Staying out of the failure state is achieved by competition.

    Competition is maintained by establishing self-reinforcing, "anti-fragile", decentralized protocols for interaction.

    Good centralization is then just a local efficiency in the solution space, and when a centralization goes bad, then participants can fall back on the underlying decentralized protocols so as to abandon that centralization and then create a new one. Spend your time figuring out how to make this description actionable.

    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:55AM (4 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:55AM (#773834) Journal

      Enough centralization will ensure that people can *not* fall back on decentralized protocols, as you put it. That's my point. For all that you insist on saying "men are not angels" at every turn, you assume far more angelic and intellectual capabilities of humanity than I do. Does that make me a tab Hobbesian? Perhaps so.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @02:54AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @02:54AM (#773856)

        The worse mankind is, the dumber your approach is.

        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday December 13 2018, @03:44AM (2 children)

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 13 2018, @03:44AM (#773875) Journal

          Still waiting for you to show me the foolproof contract-enforcement system in the absence of government of some description. Until you can produce one, your entire worldview is moot, based on falsehood. I know that stings, but it's the truth.

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          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:40PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13 2018, @01:40PM (#773948)
            • Straw Man. What I describe doesn't require perfection; it doesn't require being "foolproof". Quite the opposite in fact: As an iterative process, it assumes that foolproofery is at best an asymptotic ideal.
            • No True Scotsman. No matter how close to that ideal one could get, you'd still cry out "But that's not TRUE foolproofery! That's not TRUE freedom!"

            The point remains: Your system is the failure mode of my system; that makes my system inherently better than your system, which is why history has Civilization slipping, though kicking and screaming in defiance, towards evermore Capitalism.

            • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday December 13 2018, @05:27PM

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 13 2018, @05:27PM (#774033) Journal

              Again: until you can provide us a foolproof contract-enforcement system, government of some form is necessary. Until you do, you're blowing bullshit bubbles.

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