and the FSF and GNU are basically just a distraction. the stallman thing doesn't matter, none of it matters, because we'll never have meaningfully free computing in the hands of the many
@tindall idk about that. i think that right now, we don't have meaningfully free computing in the hands of the many because we don't really have meaningful computing at all in the hands of everyone.
personal computers are one of those things, i think, that's going to be a battleground of technical development for a long time yet to come just because of the range of things they enable.
and, well, i think peer-to-peer networking is going to be the next big thing. we just haven't gotten to mass adoption yet, but i'm eyeing blockchain as one of the things that will get the idea enough popular acceptance to really spark the general imagination. there is quite a lot there that could be repurposed.
@carcinopithecus blockchain is not just only bitcoin, nor is it only just tech bros trying to make sick gains in the global north.
the thing that makes bitcoin wasteful, the proof of work trust model along with ever-increasing difficulty, is not an inherent part of any blockchain system. the idea of it being necessarily even about a coin at all is not an inherent part of it either, although it has been a huge driver of use because it's convenient to fund development of other things related.
the way i look at it is as a peer-to-peer distributed data structure, with some cryptographic trust model to verify the integrity of what everyone collectively is storing. there is quite a lot of room to creatively define those terms and the uses of those components.
@KitRedgrave fair enough, i do remember reading that when this stuff first started being A Thing
but i've yet to see any other use for blockchain that wasn't first and foremost someone looking for a use for blockchain rather than anything it clearly did better than the existing alternative
for data verification i literally cannot imagine a situation where a central arbitrator (+ succession plan if that arbitrator is compromised) would not be more efficient overrall
@KitRedgrave practically, the only situations i can imagine where there's so little trust among 3+ parties that they can't ever agree on any third party to arbitrate mere data verification (not any actual decision, just making sure everyone's copy of the data is the same), those parties aren't exactly inclined to share anything in good faith with any of the others
@carcinopithecus you would be surprised how many decentralized autonomous organizations there are on these platforms, that have proposals and verified votes.
low trust on the infrastructure level and multiple verifications enables you to trust that anything that stands up to that scrutiny is legit, because it would be increasingly harder to cheat.
@KitRedgrave no exaggeration: the notion of a group of equals voting on something tjey had to work together on had completely slipped my mind
been spending way too much time in an environment where every decision is finally decided by either deference to authority or threat of reprisal
@carcinopithecus yeah, that is the thing about blockchain that's really cool. you can encode things like votes, and they're permanent, and if there are things on the blockchain that are tied to that proposal, then the transaction specified in that proposal happens without anyone having to follow up.
@KitRedgrave idk I mean even a feature phone has enough computing power and connectivity to do really cool shit if it weren't ultra locked down
@KitRedgrave and yeah as someone who was heavily into blockchain around the first big Bitcoin boom I'm. Deeply skeptical of it tbh
@tindall i was skeptical too tbh (but i hadn't gotten to it that early), but i have been giving another look at what's out there, and it seems to me that the rampant scams have more or less subsided by now and what is here is stuff that's actually of some use.
it's still pretty early days though.
@tindall yeah perhaps but like...
the thing i wonder about is how our idea of cool shit lines up with most people's. we're a lot more extremely online than most, and i think that unfree computing couldn't have taken off as well as it has if it didn't serve people's needs.
there's a lot of free software to do stuff locally, but it's been historically pretty difficult to sustain platforms to do stuff on a network that has an effect offline.
@KitRedgrave yeah I mean that's the thing right. It does serve people's needs, exactly well enough to get them to buy it over and over but no better
Like a modern family sedan, or a hot dog, or whatever