One of the big things I'm taking-away so far reading the platform -op book is that we really need a standards-based reputation/identity system.

I remember reading some protocol-level work on this a few years back when I was getting into architectures.

Clearly something that demands a decentralized approach.

@jjg as far as i can tell decentralized identity is really difficult. I think a big reason for the success of things like slack or facebook is that centralization helps control spam


@alienghic I thought facebook and slack were the *definition* of spam... ;)

Seriously though the approaches I remember revolved around hosting your identity on your own webserver under the same domain as your own email server and email was used as the identity "handle" (assuming I remember it correctly).

I've run my own email for years and see far less spam than I did when I used gmail/google apps, surprisingly.

@jjg cost of domain and difficulty running servers puts identity solutions based on that out of the reach of most people. I regularly see anonymous spammers on irc, something i don't on slack. Part of your less spam on your home domain may be due to others not finding it. I was getting away with pretty simple antispam techniques until i started contributing to Debian.

@alienghic Obscurity is certainly a factor, but I disagree that cost/difficulty are limiting factors.

I think a lot of effort has gone into convincing people that they are incapable of owning & operating these services but it's nothing compared to some of the other systems people consider essential (automobiles, for example).

@mayel @jjg That was a pretty neat collection of essays.

I think there's an advantage to some social network fragmentation. As there are many human cultures, and I worry that forcing everyone together really quickly is a recipe for anger and resentment.

@alienghic @mayel funny I was just talking about something along these lines at the coffee shop.

There’s some evidence that primates are not well-suited to live in large groups and systems which constrain their ability to split-up and move-around may be at the root of a number of perennial problems we experience.

@jjg @mayel I have this hunch that the modern Internet & globalization is to societies like having two continents merge is to species extinction events.

@alienghic @mayel I think that may be true, although I think the process pre-dates the Internet considerably (although the Internet certainly accelerates the process).

I believe it’s avoidable (at least theoretically ), but based on this mornings conversation the solutions may be counter-intuitive.

Need to do a substantial amount of research before I have more confidence.

@jjg Automobiles are a good example. They're quite expensive, and they're mostly black boxes.

End users are at the mercy of the mechanics. Very few people can work on a modern car.

My boss once showed up with a small plastic square with an antenna on it she found behind her rear view mirror. We researched and found dealerships are hiding RFID tags on cars so they can greet people by name.

The computer equivalent is probably being a windows 10 user. (Trading money & privacy for ease of use)


I think you just described Slack & Facebook :)

I don't think it has to be all or nothing. I think it's possible to design technology that gives people control over their tools & identity and doesn't over-burden them at the same time.

Of course if you delegate that work to capitalists they are going to assert their extractive nature on the solution and convince everyone that doing so is essential.

@jjg Also I'm not saying decentralized identity is impossible, I think its harder than centralized identity.

I also tend to think people interested in FOSS tend to underestimate how many people have no interest in learning how technology works.

After hearing of the success of framasoft, I've been wondering if instead of targeting end users, those of us interested in reducing the power of Google/Facebok should be developing software targeting community groups.

@alienghic I hope my responses don’t come off as dismissive, I agree that with the current state of these things it is beyond most folks to manage them.

My point is that if we (the technical types) can define standard protocols (RFC-level stuff) for these functions, we can start to build consumer-grade tools that empower users without exploring them.

@alienghic @jjg

There's no need for servers (if you want to avoid that), it could just use CNAME, which most anyone who can follow a tutorial could configure.

@mayel @jjg My mom has switched to her phone as her primary compute device I believe because android is easier to use & lower maintenance than Windows.

I watch users regularly just search for att instead of typing att in the address bar (and letting it auto-complete).

My boss can't be bothered to understand what a file system is and just randomly saves files where ever Word defaults to, and uses search to find everything.

DNS is a fairly complex concept.

@alienghic @jjg

I've already seen someone (maybe Google?) do a two step DNS config system: you pick your domain registrar, it asks for your credentials, and voila you're setup!

Not great for security, but I guess those people don't care...

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