In order to be categorically more useful than commercial offerings, an open and free system must take advantage of functionality that is difficult or impossible in revenue-bound services.
Here’s a rough list of some advantages we can leverage in open systems:
- Attack surface - Centralized systems are centralized attack points. Decentralized architectures can present a confoundingly elusive and vast attack surface that is an impractical target for any entity.
- User control - Users of for-profit systems are not allowed full control of the interface they use, or users would be able to make changes incompatible with profitability.
- User data - As social networks have leaned into data mining their users, they have become inextricably addicted to having access to this data. A decentralized system only needs to send data where the user has a need to send it.
- Data locality - using small networks local to their users instead of massive centralized network “hubs” through which all data passes results in fewer bottlenecks and lower resource consumption.
- Simplicity - the complexity of a system that simply sends data where a user directs it is much lower than a system designed to do that in addition to generating revenue. This reduced complexity should make it feasible to serve the majority of our information sharing, discussion, and collaboration needs using the hardware and network connections we already have.
To really be self-sufficient and free of third party manipulation, communication must be secure.
Trust should be purposeful and central to social interactions. If you don’t trust someone, it’s not possible to interact with them and be confident that there isn’t manipulation.
People have goals, and those should be the backdrop for most social interactions in order to make progress.
Updated: 14 December, 2021
Created: 27 November, 2021