Been thinking about @mala's comments yesterday about how mastodon's diy and decentralized vibe evokes the spirit of the "first web".

On the one hand, I am feeling the nostalgia for power-to-the-people techno-utopianism.

On the other hand, we've since learned that the most likely outcome of that ideology looks less like infinite transcendent expression and more like /r/bitcoin.

Can we do better this time?

tbh prioritizing witches & furries over encryption seems like a reasonable start…

@njs *shrug* initial conditions are important. Human rights, Marxism, even academic intersectionality analysis all bear the marks of eurocentrism or their initial conditions, but they aspire to universality. My experience is that new ideologies don't lead somewhere automatically -- their end result is as influenced by who read what and who slept with who as it is with what they explicitly say.

@njs I think we're in a period where ideas can be tainted by origin: I was -- am -- a fan of theft and collage, because we didn't know (pretty obviously!) about deeper interconnections. If it was weird, throw it into the stew. I know people who are opposed to tenets of free, uncensorable, speech because, in strong part, their opponents support it. The engine supports them as much as it supports their opponents, they just have more pressing and clear tenets to argue for.


@mala That's all fair, and I don't know that I have much really constructive to contribute on the topic – it's just something that's been nagging at me. Even in retrospect I feel like the flaws in that kind of techno-optimism weren't so much in the articulated precepts, but more in the penumbra of which perspectives were prioritized and which were missing. (Slogan version: wtf were weez and Jake faces of a movement. Or RMS or ESR or Perens for that matter.)

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@njs no I get it; I guess my only answer is be the people you thought your predecessors should have been, it seems a good way to iteratively get to a better place

@mala (Well, RMS is complicated b/c he has genuinely important ideas mixed in with the radical awfulness. But nonetheless.)

I guess ESR and Perens are interesting as faces of how vulnerable techy principles were to co-option by capital, which is a huge part of the story too.

Well, and that's something: I expected we'd need another market crash before this kind of thing got traction again; I'm surprised and pleased that it might not be true.

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