There's good thinking here. P2P, distributed storage, zero trust. We can do all of that without blockchain. Blockchain doesn't solve the distributed communication problem. For that, we need Internet-wide multicast.

@dentangle could you say more about what you have in mind when you say "Internet wide multicast"? It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I get exactly what you mean.

@codesections multicast is essentially many to many (group) communication. We can do this at the IP level, Internet-wide. The technology already exists, but is disabled by default on routers. Librecast is the project I'm working on to fix that with some transitional tools.

@dentangle so are you imagining a serverless future? (In the real sense of the word, not the double-speak version where "serverless" means "more servers")

If so, how do you deal with people not leaving computers online 24/7?

If not, what content gets distributed many-to-many? What's the (non ideological) advantage of doing so instead of routing it through a central server?

(These aren't hostile questions—your ideas sound really cool and I'd like to understand your thinking better)

@codesections @dentangle What's the non ideological advantage of routing everything through a central server?

There's a lot of ideology to centralism, relating to ability to have control over who does what and extract rents, etc.

@bob @dentangle

The non-ideological advantage of of a central server is that content from many individuals is avaliable whenever the server is online—without the different users needing to keep their individual computers online.

(My use of "central" need not imply "centralized". For example, I get a lot of advantages from having my toots stored on 's server, which acts as a central server for its 1000+ users)

@codesections @bob @dentangle
Then we need to put a size to "centrali(z/s)ed".
I run a centralised mail platform for me and my family, other platforms for small/large organisations and naturally the Mastodon instance where unrelated (family and/or work) people share content but...
... from my perspective I'm actually running decentralised platforms as they are not under the control of a single massive (size to be defined) entity.

@codesections @bob @dentangle I'm very much for a decentralised world where, due to low costs and energy requirements, each household/organisation can have its own email/social/storage/sharing platform.

@paolo @bob @dentangle

Yeah, I agree with that. I think products like the are getting us closer to that world, but we've still got a ways to go

@codesections @bob @dentangle There is still work to do but we are getting there.
This, in the meantime, is happening:

Combining a decent HW with a platform that makes it easy to run consumer services (something like Kodi and @yunohost together) as a set-top box then we could have proper decentralisation for the masses.
I bet we'll get there within a year :-)

@bob @paolo @yunohost @codesections Where/when? I'm considering pitching talks to CCC and FOSDEM. I pitched one to the decentralized devroom at FOSDEM last year but the room was already full apparently.


@bob @paolo @yunohost @codesections @taziden

Out of interest who is organising the decentralized dev room for ? Is the room going to be shared with Privacy again?

@onepict @dentangle @bob @paolo @yunohost @codesections @bram both @how and @dachary expressed interest in organizing it, I don't know where they are on this.

At least, what I can tell is that Bram and me won't be part of next year's effort :

@onepict If you're interested in talking about the EU #CopyrightDirective or similar topics in the decentralized devroom I guess that would be welcome. Have a look at what's cooking :)

Thanks, I will have a look. We definitely have views on this. It was great at the last Fosdem being able to chat with you at the debian stand. Hopefully I'll be able to get in the dev room this year if it goes ahead.

Although I definitely have someone in mind who could submit for Privacy and copyright. He isn't on Mastodon atm, but I'll point him at the forum.

Is it worth posting about the proposal on 's chat server?

@onepict I don't know what is, so I leave it to you :)

Cool, it's another hub of people who want decentralised communications and a couple of blockchainers although rather ironically the chat software they use is centralised. I will see how active it is at the moment.

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I just remembered the story of sita sings the blues and how even though Nina Paley purchased the right to use Annette Hanshaws songs for global distribution GEMA got her film taken down in Germany. I suspect we may get more artists and developers who encounter these issues.

@onepict I tried to convince Nina Paley to move from Twitter to Mastodon before I closed my T account but I don't think she did.

No sadly she didn't come over she also doesn't seem to be Aware of the vote for the copyright directive, which is a shame as her case is a text book example of what could happen. But she's promoting seder masochism atm, and that's a copyright protest in action right there.

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@paolo @dentangle @bob @codesections

are y'all familiar with NDN?

I think we need a fundamental shift in how we think about networking that shifts the advantage away from organizations who have the resources to leverage economies of scale.

named data networking brings a lot of the advantages of tech like bit torrent, with the additional flexibility that is needed to do real time streaming applications like VoIP and such.

real prototypes exist too! I'm planning on writing one myself whenever I can free up some time.

@paolo @codesections @bob Paolo: centralized on your own kit is a hellavu lot better than putting in an untrustworthy cloud, certainly :-)

@codesections I'm writing a paper on this which will explain this in more detail, but briefly:

1) decentralised doesn't necessarily mean serverless, but very few services *require* central servers. Some work better with servers. There's no single global answer for all applications. I want to build a new and better Internet at the network level - the exact shape of the things built on top of that doesn't concern me so much. That's for application developers to decide.



2) what gets distributed? Everything or nothing. Again, application-specific. Distributed storage is one of the tools we need, but it's not required for every application.

3) It's the communications that are distributed many-to-many. Data can be too, but this is about efficient group communication.



4) Non-ideological? Hmm. That's not a word I'd use here. The safety of parties communicating is a very practical reason. Avoiding death or prison is practical, not ideological. For democracy to function we need the rights of free assembly and association, in rl and on the Internet. We need people to be able to communicate freely without censorship. I see making the world a better place as a very practical, not idelogical thing.

@codesections Security, again, is a practical thing. Trent (trust) is dead. We cannot rely on centralised services like DNS and TLS certification which we know to be compromised.

@codesections And thanks for the questions. I like to be challenged.


I mean, I don't disagree with any of that, but then I share your views. (Tempted to say "I share your ideology", but that might be begging the question a bit).

But I think *many* people view free association and privacy as ideological issues—they have the attitude of "well, so long as I'm not doing anything wrong/don't want to associate with criminals, I've got nothing to worry about". I'm not saying I agree with that view (at all!) but I think it's one we need to overcome

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