9 posts

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    103 sounds
    216 posts
    is Internet dying?

    "...the Web, as the dominant technological form based on the internet, is now dying, as a result of both mobile apps and social networks. Internet still exists as the infrastructure. But instead of being an interconnected of websites, it is now comprised of a collection of disconnected mobile apps."

    This is the opinion of Hossein Derakhshan, a well-known Iranian-Canadian blogger.

    Since I am not a coder nor an intellectual (and my english is poor) I leave the word to esteemed technology experts.
    The subject is vast, prejudice is always around the corner, and FreeSound is more for sounds than to discuss life, the universe and everything: I anyway hope these materials will help to better understand the actual situation of the Internet.

    Hossein Derakhshan / also known as Hoder, is an Iranian-Canadian blogger, credited with starting the blogging revolution in Iran.
    "The Web We Have to Save""The rich, diverse, free web that I loved - and spent years in an Iranian jail for - is dying. Why is nobody stopping it?"

    "Social Media Is Killing Discourse Because It's Too Much Like TV" / from MIT technology Review
    "We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.

    an interview
    "The internet started from Pentagon, but it became quickly a utopian project by anti-capitalist technologist or academics. But gradually as its political and economic potentials were revealed, states and corporations jumped on it to control and benefit from it."

    Jaron Lanier / American computer philosophy writer, computer scientist, visual artist and composer. Considered a founding father of the field of virtual reality. In the late 1990s Lanier worked on applications for Internet2. From 2006 he began to work at Microsoft.

    "Ten Arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now" / 2018, book by J.L. / from J.L. website
    "You're losing your free will.
    Quitting social media is the most finely targeted way to resist the insanity of our times.
    Social media is making you into an asshole.
    Social media is undermining thruth.
    Social media is making what you say meaningless.
    Social media is destroying your capacity for empathy.
    Social media is making you unhappy.
    Social media doesn't want you to have economic dignity.
    Social media is making politics impossible.
    Social media hates your soul."

    Tegenlicht interviews Jaron Lanier / here's my non-professional and unauthorized italian translation
    "The Google business plan is the greatest threat to freedom in the internet, greater than the NSA, greater than any censor, because it's directly making money from controlling what people know about, and that is a huge problem."

    Aral Balkan / cyborg right activist, designer, and developer. He's one third of, a tiny not for profit working for social justice in the digital age. At he works on Better, an ethically designed privacy tool that stops you from being tracked while surfing the web on Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

    "Encouraging individual sovereignty and a healthy commons" / from Aral Balkan's website
    (article in English, Nederlands, Français, Catalan, Español, Deutsch)
    "Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto outlines his vision for a centralised global colony ruled by the Silicon Valley oligarchy. I say we must do the exact opposite and create a world with individual sovereignty and a healthy commons."

    "We didn't lose control: it was stolen" / from Aral Balkan's website
    "The Web we have is not broken for Google and Facebook. People farmers are reaping the rewards of their violations into our lives to the tune of tens of billions in revenue every year. How can they possibly be our allies?"

    "Excuse me, your unicorn keeps shitting in my back yard, can he please not?" / video
    "Are we being farmed for profit without even knowing?"

    Tristan Harris / spent three years as a Google Design Ethicist developing a framework for how technology should “ethically” steer the thoughts and actions of billions of people from screens. In 2016, Tristan left Google to work full-time on reforming the attention economy with the non-profit initiative, Time Well Spent. (from TH website)

    "Social Media's Dark Side: How Facebook and Snapchat Try to Steal Our Self-Worth" / Big Think video

    "Distracted? Let's make technology that helps us spend our time well" / TEDx Talks video

    "How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day" / TED video

    Shoshana Zuboff / "I've dedicated this part of my life to understanding and conceptualizing the transition to an information civilization. Will we be the masters of information, or will we be its slaves? There's a lot of work to be done, if we are to build bridges to the kind of future that we can call home." / from SZ website

    "The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism" / article from Frankfurter Allgemeine - English version
    "Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?"

    Aneesh Aneesh / Stanford University, University of Wisconsin / author of Virtual Migration (2006) who put forward the concept of "algocracy" now widely used to convey the growing importance and threat of algorithms in social life. The idea of algocracy means governance by computer algorithms, instead of bureaucratic rules or surveillance.

    Algocratic Governance / PDF 116KB
    Technologically Coded Authority: The Post-Industrial Decline in Bureaucratic Hierarchies
    "In an ideal typical sense, the new form of management - or what I call algocracy, i.e., the rule of algorithm - shifts from its industrial predecessor chiefly in two respects. First, domination is less and less distributed through elaborate worker hierarchies; rather, it is increasingly effected through information and software systems that structure the possible forms of work behavior. Second, algocratic governance appears to partly transform the early subject-object relationships, where a superordinate as an observing subject must watch over the work of a subordinate. This shift is marked by an authority relation enabled through information systems and networks, where all are subordinated as nodes in such networks. My argument relates the continued disintegration of vertical management to the emerging architecture of information systems."

  • avatar
    11 sounds
    6 posts

    The internet sucks these days. I remember when it was a haven for free-thinking nerds rather than hatespeech and the absolute worst people.

    Thriving under the influence.
  • avatar
    191 sounds
    73 posts

    It's no surprise really how it turned out. Majority of people are like this, it just wasn't displayed this clearly and in such concentration.

    In a way the demand was there all the time. All that was needed was to make it easy from HW/SW point.

    Great thing is you don't need to participate, there are other good search engines than google that don't spy on you. And if you need some nerdy conversation about your favourite topics, various forums are still doing well.

  • avatar
    3478 sounds
    516 posts

    I would say it's not dying, just evolving into a completely different tool, aimed at different goals. So did tv during the past century, and what you got now?


  • avatar
    103 sounds
    216 posts

    Thanks to you all for comments. Please forgive my poor english. This is a complex topic, made of many different layers like an onion.

    @The_Funktasm and @matucha: hatespeech is nourished unvolontary by social networks' current managements. The business of attention consists in keeping the user constantly focused on reward from his actions in the social network: likes, comments, reactions however. But positive interactions are slower to build, just like in real life. Instead, a negative reaction is easy and quick (one doesn't have to think too much) and it gives the same injection of dopamine as one positive action. We humans always look for a dopamine reward, and for many of us the etic worth less than the reward, thus in the digital arenas the hatespeech is flourishing far more than the constructive talking. The problem is not inside the concept of social network but in the lack of etic: who manage the structure doesn't care about the quality of interactions but only about quantity, they only wants people always connected and active so to constantly profile them (us) and make money from targeted ads.
    Within this frame digital arenas offer a worldwide public to frustrations, racism and other negative expressions which in the past had fewer public "followers".

    Jaron Lanier and Chamath Palihapitiya (former FB founder and CEO) are pointing out well this psychosocial aspect.

    The involuntary nature is proven by the statements of repentance of the founder of Twitter and of Chamath Palihapitiya: this repentance, however, is not enough because does not change the business model, it is only the demonstration of how difficult it is to manage new technologies, and how dangerous it is to do it without cooperation and with the sole purpose of eliminating all competitors.

    @matucha: I use DuckDuckGo since his birth. But this limited action, meaningful only if it becomes a mass choice, doesn't affect the creeping power of gugol, as Jaron Lanier clearly says:
    "The gugol business plan is the greatest threat to freedom in the internet, greater than the NS-A, greater than any censor, because it's directly making money from controlling what people know about, and that is a huge problem."
    ...and this was said years before gugol has admitted to read all gmail content and share it with third parts for profiling!

    The ranking system by gugol moreover obscure those precious little websites of alternative information, give them bad ranking because these have no paid for ads or too few links point to them: you find those only if you know the url or through a direct link. If you consider the time one spend on average on a search, the ranking system become a relentless censor.
    (...unless we add a links page in our website: links to friends, to other interesting sites, thus creating alternative paths which doesn't ask for password... rediscovering the gigantic power of direct links, the original free structure of internet, still valid and working in the era of locked paddocks... because internet is still free!)

    Forums are still an important resource in the internet. But the mass is always connected with mobile devices: on 2014 the internet connections by mobile surpassed those from pc. And the mass ask for instant dopamine rewards more than real informations. And those interesting forums remains far from interactions, well hidden by censorship ranking. From this point of view the internet is actually impoverishing itself because the initial free anarchical push is dissolving in abandoned websites and secluded forums.

    @dobroide: evolution can take many forms, it's up to us to shape the future in the best way, even if we are not venture capitalists nor genial coders. As consumers we have enormous power: the market follows us, even if it seems the opposite.
    Sadly, the only goal in the present internet is to collect as many users a company can, to make money by profiling them.
    This panorama is pushing us to think that every action on the Internet should have commercial value or a shared acknowledgment in branded ecologies, and if it does not then it makes no sense: this absurd rule is the negation of the large free space on the web where everyone can publish anything! There are about a billion websites on the Internet and about 4 billion pages: in recent times, how many have you opened without going through a social network or an app? When was the last time you randomly browsed for the internet by following only your mental paths?
    Nowadays more than half of the traffic to websites comes from social networks: this means that few now use a browser freely, and that the filters and "tips" of the social networks and apps are seriously limiting the fruition of this huge tank of ideas that is the internet.

    Mobile telephony is fantastic, we all love to exchange messages and photos and more with friends: but is it really a technological obligation to have a mediator between you and your friends who controls everything you exchange? No, absolutely not: it's only because of the greed of a handful of private companies.

    Being profiled on the internet creates commercial value: who said that this value should go only to that handful of private companies? Many tech experts and economists say that we could and should recognize this value and reward users of a service at least in part - instead there are those who become multibillionaire spying on others.

    the Mastodon Project is an example of a community-owned and ad-free social network. You've probably never heard of it... it's not a good news for the algocratic business model.

    The dark/deep web is the realm of the worst human atrocities, yet from there came the cryptocurrencies that are based on blockchain technology: this protocol could be the final solution to all intellectual copyright problems.

    Solutions come from all over... we just need to imagine, and collaborate


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    Cryptos didn't come from dark web. Bitcoin was/is very political project that came out of cypherpunk roots and inspired by decentralized tech like bitorrent. Darkweb is just a niche usecase.

    I'm skeptical about using "blockchain" for much else (than money). So far the only other thing I know of that has been useful is timestamping. You can tie some data to bitcoin to prove that something happend before that block was created.

    The problem is once you put things on blockchain that are not inseparable part of it. Once you extract them or once you can completely ignore them it's joke. Identities, land registries, copyrights... smart contracts that rely on external information (oracles) that can be false/manipulated. Maybe one day someone comes with something really great, but at this point I don't see it.

    Phones. Operating systems. CPU backdoors. Terrible situation.

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    103 sounds
    216 posts

    thanks for the clarifications matucha.
    I know little about blockchain and encrytpion, but there are many articles about the potential of the blockchain in the field of copyright.
    Jaron Lanier in his book "Who Owns the Future?" describe an old idea (never made) of the '70s: to insert an indestructible label in every digital file, so that the author is always traceable in every use of that file. This idea, in Lanier's view, could also bring to a new digital economy: the author is paid - even if little, and in different ways that could be not money - every time his work is used / linked.

    One critical problem of the current situation is that BigData and online contents are a value but this value is not recognized to those who create content, whether photos, texts or personal posts. In effect, by creating online content on social networks, we all work for free for a few multibillionaires. This also happens to journalists and online newspapers who are just now asking different rules for online content sharing.

    Sorry, I do not understand your last line: what's the terrible situation you're talking about?

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    191 sounds
    73 posts

    Yes, most content creators are screwed. And it's not only because of big companies. It's the nature of the digital medium itself, because it's very easy to copy. Nice example is highly valued art, the original could be $multimilion piece, but pictures of it are all around the internet for free.

    This is nice take on it:

    The terrible situation is, that all (most) phones and operating systems are spying on users. And people seem to be ok with it. They are ok with having location tracker, microphone, camera and other sensors on them almost all the time. That all actively collecting data and doing increasingly more complex analysis somewhere on the companies servers. It can be "fine" for years. Then times change and "the next big ruler" might want to use all this for his cause. And we all know how that can turn out.

    The CPU backdoors and bugs make your devices vulnerable to attacks without you being able to detect them even if you're very skilled hacker.

    Not saying it's all doom, but it's a thin ice.

    Bitcoin or something like that might help, maybe...

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    11 sounds
    6 posts

    The internet will languish in a state worse than early-days geofire/angelcities sites if they don't get shinola together.

    Thriving under the influence.

    9 posts