🦊 OneRedFox 🦊

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Cake day: June 9th, 2023

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  • Video hosting/streaming is the hardest use-case to replace due to infrastructure costs. PeerTube exists, which works like torrents and is probably the best solution that we’re gonna get for this. I don’t see it replacing YouTube though, since decentralization fundamentally limits reach (and potential income as a result) and a lack of data collection makes it harder to accurately profile viewers (both of which professional content creators care about). It’s probably fine for hobbyists and FOSS projects that want to distribute videos though.


  • I’m currently rebuilding my math foundation and part of that process was tracking down high quality educational resources with passionate instructors, rigor, and entertainment factor (because I want stuff to recommend to parents). I did eventually find something that was better than what I got in grade school, but I have to say that the Pythagorean Theorem just isn’t going to be as interesting as social media feeds and entertainment products custom tailored to my preferences. No teacher is realistically going to be able to compete with the multi-billion dollar entertainment industry for attention and tech companies are abusing psychology research to make their shit as addictive as possible. It’s not the biggest problem with the US educational system, but it is one of many, so I’m down with restricting smartphone access at schools.





    1. GitHub, and to a lesser extent GitLab. These platforms commodify the FOSS community and minimize the social aspects that matter – people over stars. They are proprietary (or open core) and consequently encourage a consumption culture with respect to FOSS: users consume GitHub, rather than participating in it; and this culture fans out to the broader culture associated with projects and people that work with it.

    Yes, though I like stars as a feature. Forgejo is just as good, so use that instead; I also hear that they’re working on adding federation support, so it’ll work like the Fediverse at some point.

    1. Open washing, which is to say the proliferation of licenses that look FOSS if you squint but don’t work if you look closer, and practices related to these licenses. Here we have big players like Elastic, Redis, MongoDB, and numerous smaller cases as well. The practice of building off of the lavish advantages of being in the FOSS ecosystem, then pulling the rug and seeking exclusive commercial monopolization of the end result.

    Yes. The GPL is still king in my book, but less protective licenses have flourished after corporations conceded the superiority of our development model and encroached on our space.

    To address this we need to better educate people on how money and free software can co-exist in a way which does not threaten FOSS, and for people to learn and grok the social and economic dynamics of free software. The commercialization of FOSS is not a bad thing – so long as the critical provisions that all users are equally entitled to share that wealth and capitalize on it on equal terms is upheld.

    Yes.

    1. Discord. This is another proprietary platform and many of the same arguments regarding GitHub apply here. It’s an incredibly popular platform, and it’s no surprise to find it landing on our shores. However, it is especially toxic for FOSS in many respects: it seeks legal action to prevent anyone from attempting to build software on top of it. It’s a walled garden: Discord is an incredibly exclusionary platform which has countless accessibility issues for the disabled, poor, and many others.

    Yes, the FOSS community settling there is just baffling when alternatives exist and could use the attention and polish.

    It’s also exclusionary, and even unsafe, for many other marginalized participants. Many Discord servers are infested with far right recruitment and campaigns of hate and harassment. Many harassment campaigns are launched from Discord and racist, sexist, and queerphobic sentiments go unpoliced. It’s an issue with the platform, which retains ultimate control and refuses to use it to moderate this behavior, and with the culture, who develop small monarchies where these problems go unanswered.

    Yes, but that’s also going to be the case on any FOSS alternative that attracts attention, so not sure why he’s singling out Discord here; this is especially true if it’s a decentralized solution, where the chuds can host their own instances. The problem here is lackluster content moderation and not the platform itself; the tools exist—they just need to be used.

    Worst of all, it’s really good. It’s simply outcompeted the FOSS market. This isn’t like GitHub, where the alternatives are equally good or better on technical merits. To solve Discord we need to both take the approach of committing our own projects to free platforms, but also investing in our free chat platforms to make them even remotely competitive with Discord.

    Yes it did, lol. Matrix is the most viable alternative at this time, but the jank is pretty noticeable. That being said, it still has millions of users so it seems to be in “good enough” territory, especially for tech nerds. Just gotta give it some polish.

    1. Lack of diversity in FOSS. Yes, I mean the culture war sort, but also others besides. Most of the people reading this post still fit the mold: the relatively affluent white male cishet computer science major. We live in a time of struggle and if we don’t foster solidarity with other political movements it’s going to break down our doors sooner or later. We need different perspectives and backgrounds among our peers and leaders, and so far they’re mostly relegated to users if even that.

    We need to deal with bigotry. In particular we need to acknowledge the quiet sort, especially sexism and the behavior of problematic men in our communities. For all of our advances in other domains (in spite of the loud pushback against these advances), sexism remains an important flaw in the FOSS community.

    Always a good idea.

    Moreover, we need more people than just programmers. You know why we don’t have an answer to Discord? A big part of it is that we don’t have people doing visual design, translations, marketing, etc. Learn about people who differ from you and your expectations: their struggles, their victories, and their needs and what’s important to them. Become a student of the other, and take your skills to your leadership and moderation roles, to make safer and more inviting spaces.

    I’ve been saying this for like 10 years. People don’t seem to design UIs/do marketing for fun though in the same way that we program for fun, so not sure if there’s actual people to pull into our projects here, but we do need this. Maybe we should crowdfund hiring designers.

    1. The Free Software Foundation.

    The one thing all of these issues have in common is that the FSF has no answers for them. The EUPL and MPL are doing a better job of facilitating copyleft than the GPL family. Savannah isn’t a match for Codeberg, let alone GitHub. Most egregiously, the FSF has utterly failed to address diversity and social issues, especially sexism, and with RMS’s position restored and maintained at the helm that is never going to change.

    The FSF is dead, but its message cannot die. Free software is the philosophical superior of open source, and its lost a lot of ground due to the FSF’s negligence and incompetence that we must recover. We need to underscore the political and philosophical meaning of free software independent of them and reclaim our movement so it can succeed without them.

    I’m not convinced that the FSF is still culturally relevant in the FOSS ecosystem outside of Stallman memes; they fell off pretty hard even before Stallman got cancelled for being a neckbeard. I agree that the FSF’s message needs to persist, but I think the problem here is that corporations have encroached on our space and they’re better drivers of inertia since they have more resources to funnel into this stuff.

    The way we need to do this is through decentralization and solidarity. We don’t need to restore a heiarchical vision of the movement, instead we need to foster a distributed culture of mentorship in not only our techniques and practices but also in our values, our philosophy, and our culture. Stand up to be a leader, to empower burgeoning leaders around you, and to take personal responsibility for the issues enumerated in this thread.

    I don’t think that’s going to be enough to solve the problem here. Tech companies need legislation to reign in their power and influence, especially big tech since they seem to have accumulated so much that it’s not realistically feasible to compete with them anymore.











  • Marx is being juxtaposed here because the article the author is addressing did that; he’s not equating the two, nor is he trying to legitimize lobster man (the dude’s already gotten on mainstream platforms and has a fuckton of fans—that ship has sailed). The CurrentAffairs audience is expected to already be familiar with this guy on account of the fact that it’s a niche libertarian socialist magazine that writes critical pieces about him every so often. The author agrees that he’s a charlatan and intellectual fraud that peddles reactionary bullshit to depressed young men.

    If you want to do a deeper dive into why lobster man sucks (or share other pieces that do), then that would be a good contribution to the comments section here. Or post it to the beehive, provided that it’s socialist critique. Either would be welcome.