On Questioning Communication/Social Platforms for commons & non-Hackers


#1

Whenever, we humans see a attractive medium (depends on several social, economic, psychologicla factors), we tend to use it. For instance, if the medium makes us easy to express our ideas, using new objects, new syntax, etc… As long as the medium provides a minimum cost for communicating and aids expression with additional objects, it is hard for a individual to find a reason to remove themself from it.

But Medium - as we know is a social infrastructure through which we connect and then communicate with desired persons. Before the telecommunication era, we have to physically explore and find people, measure adn judge each other to create a circle of association which we categorize each association based on a relationship.

After telecommunication, networking, internet came up, new medium that reduce the cost of exploration, searching, ease of measurement, etc… were made possible, wihich earlier took days, months, for a person to gauge about others. With ease of creating a social network for an individual, and with each of detaching from each other with a click of a button, boom of Digital Social Network took root in every day life of humans.

As long as capitalism, and its new avatars such as neoliberal systems exist, in a society that is already stratified with other regressive factors like race, caste, language, and forces like fascism, nationalism, etc… the division, hate, mob mentality etc… gets accelerated too and gets reflected in all the information systems that construct this Digital Social Network.

We know that Centralization is not always a problem, and Decentralization is not always good. We must construct and produce systems that are appropriately use both structural implmentation - in short be flexible to operate. In this case of centralized social network, the users of the network who participate inorder to enjoy the fruits of ease of discoverability and scale of expression of ideas, now gets hooked, which further calls for reinforcement with their immediate associations of individuals, and continues to proceed - creating an avalanche.

When such an avalanche is combined with massive centralization of information overlayed on a public network grid (internet hardware), the network provided gains power one bit at a time through the analytical power offered by the new technological developments in computaitonal systems - one more fundamental things like telecommunication and networking.


Coming to the point, people use several centralized social netowrking platforms which are built for profit motive and a vision to make everyone depend on it, so that they can monopolize the whole social network fabric, which either intentionally and unintentinally makes them and the technology they control just above the law. This is one perfect phenomenon of where cultural appropriation is happening through technological means. Technology has never solved the problems in current demoracy, but only reflected, amplified the stratification.

So what will happen to an individual who believe in science, and witnesses a scientifically produced technology, that produces a near perfect alternative for the existing social netowrk ? Consider that the very production is accomplished through commons participation and collaborative mechanisms through democratic practices.

With such a profound nature, the individual who sees value in it will not be rationally inclined and attracted to the alternative. But since communication is a social phenomena, migrating from the current structure (that is addictive) , and moving to the other is not going to be easier, and begs for lot more inertial, because communication is not possible by migrating only one individual. It happens slowly and painfully. First the producers themself have to use the platform, and has to spread the information about the platform and wait for similar thinkers and activists to use it - amidst additional burden of managing communication.

We need already known people to migrate to the new better alternative. Communication platform are not just a tool, people expect reliability, attraction, expression aiding, near zero cost, etc… to participate (as their mental model is shaped by the existing proprietary centralized social network). Now new platforms are only percieved as services that compete in the current market.

This is a usual phenomenon that occurs whenever diversity of options come to place. But the inertial to move from one communication or social networking platform to other is a huge social migration that can easily happen only through some crisis in the existing structure.

As we know capitalism is ridden with crisis, and they obviously return. With that, hackers, researchers, activists build alternative platform like Mastodon, which provides a low barrier to entry for mass migration with a fundmanetally different architecture of social networking.

In the case of what’s app, we cannot move ourselves without undergoing pain of losing existing relationship. Either one has to educate the peer or else the whole group - which is an inertia. Moreover one cannot shout from another platform to this platform without being here. One has to be in both to facilitate migration. We can stand illustrative of how good the alternative is. And to engage with people who do not have either the time or capacity to understand it, we have no other way but to be in such anti-scientific platforms.


Thus being in RIOT, IRC, Jami, Retroshare, etc… does not mean one has to leave Whats app. And the reason he is not that one do not want to leave, but one just cannot simple leave and it can happen with time and most probably it wont happen until a epidemic crisis happens and everyone gets affected by it significantly in a manner that the effect they experience must be more than the addiction threshold which the system daily adds to them.


So please, there is no point in debating about why we people are still using Whatsapp, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, stating the reaosns of free software, hardware, oppeneess, transparency, affordability, availability, accessibility. We all know that (i hope). But we are still one of the commons and have the responsibility to engage with people outside the communities.

Please understand migration is not easier, as well as we have the duty to participate and engage with people. What good is of a news if it cannot spread and reach people even if the news is against the medium that spreads it. ?

Please stop digging rabbit hole questions, that kernel is full of blobs, and further we dont have a relly transparent hardware architecutre, so nothing is really free. Please go educate yourself with history of technology once and make peace. Much more better contribution will be good if one stops crying at why everything is not transparent and sicentific, and start making economic alternative and practicing it so that what one contributes for might become what people really use.

Educating people with awareness campaign, festivals are essential, but really creating something of usevalue for everyday tools and instruments will have a significant impact.


So yes, we use proprietary platforms and participate in them, as well as in alternative platforms like Mastodon, Zeronet, IRC, RIOT, Jami, etc…

I humbly request the community and core members of the community to not make ourselves bore with such discussion again. Becuase if one initiates this topic again, its a clear indication that the so called member is still ignorant about the political economy of information and communicaiton systems.


Remember we are practicing against commercial proprietary centralized media platforms. Losing people is what we cannot afford. What we can make sure is that internal communication, discussion, etc… can happen in community supported and funded self hosting services.


#2

This is long “eassy” and I will finish by this week.

The part of WhatsApp, I’ve been fighting with it and failing by going back to it.

These months, I use WhatsApp Business with Shelter app to isolate it.

No contact saved so WhatsApp can’t steal my contacts :grin:

I totally, not able to use WhatsApp status.

May be, soon, I’ve gut to ditch it.