I have lot of sympathy for Matt Slater's arguments for Protocol Cooperativism. This is essentially the songbook I was singing from, since the late 90s, and throughout my time working on the Aotearoa localizations of #Indymedia and #CreativeCommons. But in hindsight, those songs were naive. As Matt points out within his own essay, capitalists have already figured out ways to dominate open networks based on open protocols (eg Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish"). Ownership matters.

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@strypey

Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?

Or SSB?

@bhaugen
> Have capitalists dominated the fediverse yet?

Not yet, but what's stopping them? History makes it clear that relying on the decentralized nature of the protocol is not enough. If we don't want the #fediverse going the way of email (vast majority of users on a handful of #DataFarms), we need ways to ensure that both software development and the deployment of non-capitalist instances are economically sustainable. The point I was making was that #PlatformCoops is one way to do that.

@strypey

Economic sustainability in a capitalist economy is tricky. Cooperatives find themselves immersed in capitalism and then infected, maybe in the first place by needing to get money from either capitalist markets or competing for investments or grants, which are never as close to "free money" as they might seem.

It's all tradeoffs and good strategy and good tactical maneuvers.

@strypey

> It's all tradeoffs and good strategy and good tactical maneuvers.

And collective and personal mental transformation...

@bhaugen this reminds me of the discussion that started here:
mastodon.nzoss.nz/@strypey/101

... where I started out disagreeing with @matslats and then realized we were both arguing for the same thing ;-)
@Matt_Noyes

@bhaugen sorry, ambiguous sentence, what I meant was that what @matslats was advocating in his piece turned out (once I read it properly) to be the same thing I was arguing ;-)
@Matt_Noyes

@bhaugen
This is true, yet the cooperative form is still far, far better than any other form of economic organisation as it has democratic values baked in by default. Also, cooperatives are a good way to exploit the capitalist obsession about private property and entrepreneurship in our favor: by posing as "businesses" FOSS projects would be harder to attack as dismantling them would appear as an attack on people doing business, a taboo under capitalism
@strypey

@Antanicus

I agree.

I hope it is clear from lots of other toots that I like cooperatives. Ain't nothing pure in this world. All tradeoffs.

@strypey

@bhaugen
Agreed, it is very important (especially for some on the left, who appear to be lost in a quest for pureness) to accept that compromise is part of life and sometimes the only way forward.

@strypey

@Antanicus THIS! 1000 times this! Cooperatives are a kind of anticapitalist aikido. They *both* help us improve our lives in the here and now, *and* prefigure post-capitalist democratic economies (at least in a larval way), all while posing as business-as-usual in a way that's hard to justify attacking (openly).
@bhaugen

@strypey
I argued in favor of replacing the BDFL model in FOSS with cooperative ownership for years, it's good to see the idea is slowly making its way into the discourse.
We can no longer afford the "rockstar developer" complex.

@bhaugen

@Antanicus my position on that is some from column A, some from column B. Some developers don't play well with others, and simply do better work in the BDFL model. Others do well in consensus-based teams like #Loomio. I don't see any need to impose external control on how developer-workers organize themselves. But there's a difference between core development and *deployment*, especially when deploying server-based software as online services. That's where #PlatformCooperatives shine.
@bhaugen

@strypey @Antanicus

"deploying server-based software as online services. That's where shine"

It's also nice to have cooperative hosting organizations that do not impose a platform, either offering a selection of hosted apps or host-your-own, and both are even better.

@bhaugen I'm still not clear on how you're defining "platform" here, because everything you describe is a kind of platform. In my mind, platform just means anything you can build something else on top of. So almost everything except end user apps is a kind of platform.
@Antanicus

@strypey @Antanicus

I described how I think about the difference between protocol, framework, and platform here:
loomio.org/d/SU1KiLVn/holo/16

In the context of discussions here, Facebook or Uber's app are examples of platforms. So a platform cooperative might create a cooperative ride-sharing app.

You may disagree, but that's what I meant.

@bhaugen #SSB, like any distributed/ #P2P system, is perhaps more structurally resistant to capitalist domination than server-client systems based on publishing stuff to the web. But for many of the same reasons, it's much harder for Jo User to understand and use (and the #fediverse is already harder than #DataFarms). I mean, I haven't figured out how to install an SSB client myself yet ;-)

@strypey

ActivityPub will be easier for people to get into than SSB.

But I'm not sure if and how "structurally resistant to capitalist domination" is possible.

Capitalist logic seeps into everything and tries to exploit it. I think the only reason the fediverse and SSB have not been taken over is there is no obvious way to make big money. Yet. If and when somebody finds a way, it will happen.

Culturally resistant might be better...but we'll see, I lost my prophet license last year....

@bhaugen
> But I'm not sure if and how "structurally resistant to capitalist domination" is possible.

Can you name a distributed net technology that's been used by a corporation for #DataFarming in the same way server/client architectures like the web have? Capitalist domination requires some degree of centralization, so you erect tollgates. Pure #P2P networks treat tollgates as damage and route around them.

@strypey @bhaugen If your business model consists of mining data, then p2p is just fine. Take bittorrent and the surveillance services around it for example
@bhaugen
@ckeen @strypey

And Bittorrent is now launching a cryptocurrency (as optional add-on though)

@strypey

Does using a server make it not P2P to you? Even if somebody runs their own personal email server?

How about if I run my own personal ActivityPub (which I do)?

How about if I run my own scuttlebot (which I do)?

@ebel

@bhaugen
> Does using a server make it not P2P to you?

Yes. Peer-to-peer is just that, not client-server-client. It's not about who runs the software, it's a description of the network topology.
@ebel

@strypey @ebel

So the peers here are not people....? Purely technical components?

(Odd to me, but I now understand how you think about it..)

I've seen distributed and decentralized as network topologies, but P2P always about people.

@bhaugen my understanding is the phrase "peer-to-peer" was coined as a description of a network topology, and was later applied to human-to-human by analogy. The #P2PF were the first folks I came across using it in that way. I could be wrong though.

@ebel

@strypey @ebel

P2PF got it from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yochai_B and they are not really big on it from a network topology perspective.

@strypey @ebel

The P2PF, ironically, is big on FB...they think it is necessary to popularize their message.

@bhaugen yeah, I remember that from when I brought up federated social networks on the #CommonsTransition group on #Loomio ;-) I can see the value of a group like #P2PF having a token "presence" there, to make them discoverable from those outside the choir. But it seems odd to hold their main forum discussions in a FB group, instead of on Loomio or some self-hosted forum system.
@ebel

@strypey

P2PF has several discussion fora, including at least 2 old-skool mailing lists. I don't do FB so I don't have a good comparison of traffic and topics.

@ebel

@bhaugen I don't do FB either (suspended my account almost 10 years ago and never looked back), but I've been told the FB group is very central, and I've seen criticisms of this inconsistency between ends and means in comments on the P2PF blog.
@ebel

@strypey @ebel

Scuttlebutt is client-scuttlebot-scuttlebot-client, with maybe a pub in the mix.

So what is actually peer-to-peer in your definition of network topology?

@bhaugen
> Scuttlebutt is client-scuttlebot-scuttlebot-client, with maybe a pub in the mix.

I don't know that much about Scuttlebutt. You say there "maybe a pub", so they are entirely optional? If so, they are supernodes/ relays, not servers.

@ebel

@bhaugen can you tell me more about the separate of functions between "client" and "scuttlebot"? It could be that the scuttlebots count as servers, which would make SSB a server/client protocol. Or it could be that the scuttlebot is the back-end, and the "client" is the front-end, and together they make a peer in a P2P network.

@ebel

@strypey @ebel

One scuttlebot can server many clients. I use two clients regularly, patchwork and patchbay, and have also experimented with talenet.

People are also working on patchfox, which is scuttlebut from firefox.

The scuttlebot is also a peer in a gossip network.

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