Thinking in terms of data portability, it would be kind of cool to have a jf2 (serialized microformats) backup of all my site content, that I could just then reimport into another app that ingests jf2, if I ever want to move away from my current infrastructure, which I undoubtedly will.

I guess that’s not really data portability, it’s more app portability. I mean, as in, I already own my own data and can put it where I want, it’s just in a format that isn’t that reusable.

#indieweb

I switched our Metabase install from running on Jetty using a certificate wrapped in a Java keystore file, to using nginx to reverse proxy to normal Jetty and Let’s Encrypt for the SSL.

Seems more complicated but I guess I don’t like/understand .jks files. And I prefer traffic to go through nginx first. So works for me.

Does anyone do the automatically delete/private your old toots/tweets/microblogs thing? Thoughts about it?

Someone made the point to me recently that the only people trawling through random thoughts you had two years ago are not going to be the ones that have your best interests at heart.

Gotta say, it’s making more and more sense as I sit with that.

What I currently get out of social media:

– giving me a space to write down my own thoughts
– getting clarity and dialogue on them from others
– learning about interesting things

What is missing for me:

– feeling part of a community
– forming solid, long-lasting friendships

I have a bit of a tendency towards isolation so I could do with changing my own patterns of behaviour, but I also think social media platforms could do a better job of nudging you towards actual social bonds.

There’s also an online chat space which is open 24/7, and you can participate in it via IRC, Slack, Matrix, or just via a website.

It’s separated out into different rooms so you don’t drop into it and get turned off by hardcore developer speak when all you’re wondering is what this thing is.

Not trying to ‘sell’ the indieweb to anyone… just reflecting that I really like the cut of its jib when it comes to community building.

#indieweb

One of the things I really like about indieweb is how it fosters meeting in real life. Local meetings once or twice every month, IndieWebCamps dotted throughout the year, and an IndieWebSummit once a year. Everyone is welcome to attend any of these, whether you founded the movement, or have never had your own website before.

Without counterbalances I find social media is weirdly and paradoxically alienating, so it’s cool to have community baked in.

#indieweb

Read What to do once you admit that decentralizing everything never seems to work by Nathan Schneider (Hackernoon)
Lots of tech projects these days, especially crypto-networks, aspire to decentralization. Or their evangelists say they do, because they feel they need to. Decentralization is the new disruption—the thing everything worth its salt (and a huge ICO) is supposed to be doing.

Really good article by @ntnsndr: https://hackernoon.com/decentralizing-everything-never-seems-to-work-2bb0461bd168.

I’m intrigued by the idea of where centralisation arises in decentralised systems. Is the protocol by which decentralised apps communicate a point of centralisation? Maybe you need some things centralised to facilitate decentralisation. Is that then a single point of failure?

Personally think it’s healthy to see a plurality of decentralised protocols, and it’s even better to see them bridging to each other. All about the bridges.

First two candidates for albums to get on my phone for offline listening:

Entrance – Prayer of Death
Comets on Fire – Blue Cathedral

A couple of great long players I used to listen to a lot.

Looking forward to getting long form again!

Bookmarked October readings
Art by Jocine Velasco. Source: Commune Mag Once a month, we put together a list of stories we’ve been reading: things you might’ve missed or crucial conversations going on around the web. We focus on environmental and social justice, cities, science fiction, current events, and political theory....

Final talk of the day was Mitchell Baker to give a bit of a state of the union. It was an unstructured Q&A so I’m struggling to remember much of it now.

You can watch it here though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmcU-uMWNj0

I remember one intriguing point: that Mozilla is going to have a focus on smart homes / IoT going forwards. As they see it as somewhere where no big player has yet monopolised. Is that true? Alexa, Google Home already out there. I’m a bit sceptical of the utility of IoT in general.

Afternoon we ran our own session, "Let’s fight for our right to repair."

Gauging people’s interest in the right to repair, and their reasons why. Discussing what people have personally found has been a barrier to repair.

Good turnout, lots of good discussion. Right to repair feels like a strong framing. It seems to resonate intuitively across the spectrum.

There’s a right to repair movement coalescing in Europe in addition to that already in the US.

#mozfest #righttorepair

I caught some of the talk on ‘Who Controls the Internet?’ with Maryant Fernandez and Chris Riley.

White dudes in Silicon Valley controlling a lot of tech is a big problem. Much more diversity is needed. Not white saviour complex but genuine flourishing of tech from all around the world. It’s all already there but it’s stifled.

Monopolies/anti-competition is a big problem. They tended to focus on regulation. Around interoperability, data portability.

I don’t think capitalism was mentioned at all?

I think green IT guides are important. But there was some interesting criticism from participants of the criteria of the rating system used in Greenpeace campaigns.

For example in smartphones (http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Guide-to-Greener-Electronics-2017.pdf), Fairphone and Apple get almost the same grade, but Fairphone lacks the same level of quality control, which would make it hard to recommend Fairphone on that rating system alone. Makes it important to know what values go into a rating, if they align with your own.

#mozfest

Caught the second half of Greenpeace’s session on their green IT campaigns, also their internal tech use and procurement policies.

Greenpeace try to avoid dirty hosters (e.g. AWS); they teach staff about the importance of repair, e.g. inviting iFixit in to talk about fixing.

#mozfest

Sunday I started with the session Patterns of Decentralised Organisations run by @richdecibels and Natalia Lombardo of The Hum (and Loomio and Enspiral). I couldn’t stay for the full session due to a clash but really wanted to attend some and glad I did.

Some great (and funny because it’s true) insights into how to reach decisions and take action in a decentralised organisation. Definitely want to read more of this.

https://www.thehum.org

Always the question posed about Mozilla is where is the money coming from. To host the MozFest event itself must have cost a ton, but felt super worthwhile.

The evening party at the RSA felt kind of extravagant.. But on the flipside, as the saying goes, a revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having. And a revolution that has a Jurassic 5 MC and an improv’ed rap battle that includes the words ‘decentralisation’, ‘algorithm’, and ‘privacy’, I’m pretty OK with that.

#mozfest

That was it for Saturday. Honestly, there was like 20 other sessions I would have gone to if I had the time and could clone myself. So many good people and good topics. Even if you can’t be part of them, good to know they are taking place.

#mozfest

In general MozFest is a mixture of super exciting and depressing.

Exciting to learn meet people working on so many great projects. Depressing to learn about the havoc being wreaked by the Silicon Valley consensus and capitalism. Depressing to learn about the struggles of brothers and sisters around the world. Exciting again to learn how strong they are in their resistance.

#mozfest

On a more positive note, that Bahrainian techno is, apparently, better than anything you will find in Berlin.

I think Esra’a is probably biased 😆
But still, I want to check out some Bahrainian techno.

Then caught a panel discussion with Esra’a Al-Shafei and Mahsa Alimardani about data in oppressive regimes, how citizens can operate online when surveillance is routine and dissent is dangerous.

Learned that in Iran the state had taken the source of Telegram (which is used as both messenger and a social network) and set up it’s own replacement. And to not use it was a mark of dissent.

Source alone will not change the world, and can sometimes enable repression. Politics and ethics are vital.

Good take by Cory Doctorow. Apple will only ever do what they see as profitable. It could be that with declining sales and changing public perception they are seeing repair as a service as one alternative avenue for profit. Unfortunately they will do it as a form of rent-collection, not an open ecosystem of repair. So it may be Apple’s goal that Apple devices will become more repairable, but only by Apple. And only if and for so long as it is profitable.

Analyst: Apple’s poor earnings will recover now they’ve switched from innovating to rent-seeking