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[Social-discuss] @versionvega

From: Markus Sabadello
Subject: [Social-discuss] @versionvega
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 00:51:05 +0200

Honorable delegates to the GNU social list,

I'm new here. If you're interested, have a look at this:

The idea is to built a general-purpose and normal-user-friendly P2P platform and then applications on top of it.
And by P2P I mean ordinary client machines, not servers talking to each other. It uses the P2P library FreePastry for communication, XULRunner for the UI and some not-(yet)-so-well-known technologies called XRI and XDI for identity and semantic data storage.

The political goal is not so much privacy or freedom of speech or liberating us from the big, evil companies, but finding new (and beneficial) communication patterns that go beyond the ubiquitous (and incredibly boring) client/server architectures that shape both the online and offline world.

There's some code, a wiki, a few videos and even an attempt to write a science fiction story :D

I'm having doubts that something like GNU social or Diaspora will achieve a lot, because normal people don't know how to set up a server, and if we build something that only we geeks can use, then yes we're going to have a lot of fun discussing whether to name it "tiramisu" or "strudel", but ultimately we're just as selfish as the big, evil companies. I know, I know, the "normal" people can still "choose" some host to provide the service for them, but I believe such an approach will automatically create competition and turn evil. Just look at what happened to OpenID. Originally it promised that "everyone can set up or choose" their identity provider, but by now that system has been completely swallowed by the big companies, and today it mostly serves to give Google and Yahoo even more control over what we do.

So, the conclusion is to get rid of servers at all.

I first presented @versionvega earlier this year at the Internet Identity Workshop. Someone told me "@versionvega doesn't exist, I can't google it!!!". I only smiled back at the guy and felt a satisfaction of a kind that I haven't felt in a long time.

I do not know too much about GNU social, but I have found your wiki a great source of inspiration and would like to ask if it was be OK to add @versionvega to the "On your computer" section of this list:

Any feedback (or pointers to related resources) would be sweet, feel free to e-mail or call me. I've been working on this on my own for quite a while and would like to become involved with a wider community.

And in case this is somehow considered spam, go ahead and flame me, because I think today's Internet is way too well-behaved and desperately short of good old-fashioned flame wars anyway.

Markus (from Vienna/Austria, therefore strongly favoring "strudel" over "tiramisu")

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