Defending Internet Freedom Through Decentralization: Back to the Future? | Barabas, Narula, Zuckerman

Chelsea Barabas, Neha Narula, Ethan Zuckerman; Defending Internet Freedom Through Decentralization: Back to the Future?;a book?; The Center for Civic Media & The Digital Currency Initiative; MIT Media Lab; 2017; 113 pages.

tl;dr → theoretical; mentions Bitcoin on page 2; offers a cook’s tour of the boosterist community and their projects: Freedom Box, Diaspora, Mastodon, Blockstack, Interplanetary File System (IPFS), Solid, Appcoins, Steemit.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • The Rise of the Centralized Web
    • Risks Posed by the Centralized Web
    • Structural Interventions as a Possible Solution
  • Section II: Federation
    • Freedom Box
    • Diaspora
    • Mastodon
  • Section III: Open Protocols
    • Authentication
    • Blockstack
    • Interoperability
    • IPFS
    • Solid
  • Section IV: Appcoins
    • Steemit
  • Conclusion

Recommendations

  • Wait and see, only time will tell.
    <quote>A precondition for the success of these distributed
    platforms is a shift towards user-controlled data,</quote>
  • Fund the projects (the best-of-breed exemplars, below, and more)
    e.g. Let’s Encrypt.
  • The fascination, gee whiz!; it’s simply phenomenal!
    Use Appcoins

    • circumvent Venture Capital funding.
    • business model: unspecified, but definitely “not advertising”
  • A fool and his money are soon parted:
    • <quote>However, this space also has a lot of potential for scams, and it might be unreasonable to expect users to manage a financial stake in many different networks.</quote>

Mentions

  • Bitcoin
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • Let’s Encrypt
  • Appcoins
  • Digitial Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Exemplars

  • Freedom Box
  • Diaspora
  • Mastodon
  • Blockstack
  • Interplanetary File System (IPFS)
  • Solid
  • Appcoins
  • Steemit

Concerns

  • User and developer adoption
  • Security
  • Monetization and incentives

Promotions

References

There are 201, presented as footnotes.

Separately noted.

Decentralize It! | Track Changes

Paul Ford (PostLight); Decentralize It!; hosted centrally on Medium; 2017-08-23.
Paul Ford is co-founder PostLight; adviser to Medium.

tl;dr → dude, literally nothing is stopping you from performing your vision, as you’ve outlined it (the servers-at-home thing). Nike! (recipe below)

Occasion

Chelsea Barabas, Neha Narula, Ethan Zuckerman; Defending Internet Freedom through Decentralization: Back to the Future?;a book?; The Center for Civic Media & The Digital Currency Initiative; MIT Media Lab; 2017; 113 pages; separately filled, noted.
tl;dr → theoretical; mentions Bitcoin on page 2; offers a cook’s tour of the boosterist community and their projects: Freedom Box, Diaspora, Mastodon, Blockstack, Interplanetary File System (IPFS), Solid, Appcoins, Steemit.

Mentions

Rebuttal

  • He does note the irony paradox contradiction between his words and his actions.
    <quote>I’m writing this on a centralized platform called Medium.</quote>
    The Socratic Method: And why is that?
  • Anyone can stand up a server and put it in the hall closet.
    Convincing other people to access it reliably & consistency has always been the problem.

Design

Hardware
Software
  • Fedora
  • ownCloud,
  • and the rest
    • sendmail
    • dovecot
    • httpd
    • bind
    • openvpn
    • etc.

     

Alternate

Librem 5A Security and Privacy Focused Phone; separately filled.

Quotes

  • <quote>Centralized things end up easy to use and make money for relatively few people. </quote>
  • <quote>The web is inherently decentralized, which has made it much easier for large companies to create large, centralized platforms. </quote>

Previously

In His Blog

How “Demo-or-Die” Helped My Career | Danah Boyd

Danah Boyd “danah boyd”; How “Demo-or-Die” Helped My Career; In Her Blog hosted on Medium; 2017-08-01

tl;dr → Dr. Boyd doesdid like busking; it is unbecoming. She has better patrons now. She is first smong equal of the peers she cites. But she learned something by that experience.

Book

Molly Steenson; Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscap, MIT Press; 2017-10-27; 320 pages; Amazon:0262037068: Kindle: no, paper: $35+SHT.

Concept

<quote> Everything about what I do as a researcher is rooted in the goal of using empirical work to help challenge people’s assumptions and generate new frames that people can work with. <snip/>And that requires being able to explain your thinking to anyone at any moment. And that’s the skill that I learned from the “demo-or-die” culture.</quote>

Mentions

Epithets

  • “handwaving,” attributed to Stewart Brand.
  • “deploy-or-die,” attributed to Joi Ito.
  • “publish-or-perish,” in academia, attributed to Nicholas Negroponte as “dismissal.”

Who

  • Stewart Brand
  • Judith Donath
  • Joi Ito
  • Nicholas Negroponte

Referenced

  • Stewart Brand; The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at M.I.T.; Penguin Books; 1989-09-03; some pages; Amazon:B017YC9V3I: kindle: no, paper: $11+SHT.
  • Molly Steenson; Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscap, MIT Press; 2017-10-27; 320 pages; Amazon:0262037068: Kindle: no, paper: $35+SHT.
  • Joi Ito opines “Deploy-Or-Die”; Some Cub Reporter; In O’Reilly Media; 2014-04.