Freetheinter.net is an experimental dynamic infrastructure system that allows anyone to host their own network services using the devices and connections they already have. It was created in recognition of the severe need for individuals to take control of their own social interactions and information online.
Instead of individuals existing as tiny components of massive centralized services, individuals are elevated to the centerpiece of their online presence. Instead of services accumulating users, users accumulate services.
Once the basic design of automated self-hosted infrastructure has been completed, the first application is to implement a simple text-based social sharing system. This will serve as a technology proof-of-concept and realize the constraints of these systems.
Centrally controlled implementations of social networks are severaly handicapped by the very nature of being closed and controlled by a self-interested entity. Because control of information grants ultimate control of society, replacing social networks with user controlled systems is the only way for individuals to meaningfully control society.
Personal social infrastructure
As consumer hardware and internet connections have improved, so has the capacity to self-host services. In many places in the world, most small groups of people already pay for devices and connections that are sufficient to handle the hosting requirements of the bulk of their social interactions.
Freetheinter.net’s goal is to build a system that enables everyone to host the services they need to interact online.
Abuse of authority
Individuals have had difficulty cooridinating well enough to solve many important problems such as infrastructure development, scientific research, military and defense development, resource distribution, tax collection, law enforcement, information distribution, policy creation, etc. In order to address these issues, institutions of power were created to ensure these needs were addressed in a coherent way:
- elected officials
- news media
Unfortunately, these kinds of institutions are very attractive to those who hunger for power. The result is that over time, institutions are overrun and twisted to serve self-interested, power hungry entities rather than contribute to the helpful purposes for which they were created.
These authorities abuse the power they are given to gain more power and enrich themselves.
…how do they do it?
In the information age, control of information is control of society.
There is currently a bias that allows centralized power structures to play an outsized role in the spread of information. This bias is used to amplify the goals of a select few above everyone else.
- The vast majority of news corporations are owned by just a few entities. These entities carefully craft their content to support their agenda. Most consumers have no clear way to determine what is true, so on average tend to favor these biased presentations.
- Corporations fund election campaigns in exchange for policy influence.
- Social networks perform deep analysis of user interactions and behavior, and sell access to their users and their data to increase revenue.
The result is that people largely make decisions using untrustworthy data that has much more influence than it deserves.
…so how will we do it?
We need to design our social infrastructure as an engine that efficiently translates information into action. A small amount of truthful information should be adequate to create a widespread concerted response.
- truth is highly impactful
- manipulation is difficult and expensive
- longstanding relationships are important
Building upon a general purpose secure connection and collaboration infrastructure, we can define applications which take advantage of its mechanisms to perform various types of social interactions.
Each app has inputs, outputs, and a facilitating mechanism. The inputs and outputs are shared only within each person’s private infrastructure with other participants, but the channel can be anything (even an in-person meeting, and even involving people that aren’t directly connected such as video chat hosting providers).
Social engine applications:
- tutoring service to take educated inputs and increase education of others as outputs using screen sharing and audio streaming.
- vote vouching service for safe and secure decentralized voting. a set of relationships and opinions into a submitted, vouched, and blindly auditable vote using text chat, data exchange, and finally an https POST request.
- basic text chat.
- sharing media that’s encountered. pasted input to share output.
- resharing content that’s received. share input to share output.
- debating a topic. statement input into quorum output via audio, text, or video chat.
- sharing likes and dislikes.
We must find a better way for individuals to filter information and arrive at a shared consensus.
See the plan for project-level details.
Updated: 7 July, 2022
Created: 19 November, 2021