Enshitification is Why We Need Distributed Solutions
Parker Malloy had a good thread on the birdsite on Musk’s todayest braindead plan to kill classic twitter verified, where she also linked to her review of Cory Doctorow’s article on Tiktok’s enshitification. I know, a long chain of thoughts.
Got me thinking and to that all I’d just like to spitball and add:
This is why controlling your own platform is so important, as the linked Oatmeal comic also reminds. And it’s a clear corollary why bit companies have such an interest in controlling the platforms themselves but also preventing you from doing so. In that context it’s clearer than ever to me why we say such a pivot from big tech away from early distributed solutions, none clear than the pivot away from RSS. It makes a lot of sense why google would kill Google Reader. It’s why I now pay for NewsBlur because it’s that important a tool to me and I don’t want it to go away.
But RSS is some like web 1.5 tech. Instead we have blockchain grifters today trying to sell us web3 nonsense which has next to no useful solutions for the array of problems we’re facing. And lets not get started on the problems with federation, but someone did opine recently that “Federation is just feudalism” (sorry lost the link, I believe this was about the implosion of an instance).
We’ve always needed distributed tech. The last decade’s centralization is only further continuing to highlight this. So please invest in it, I do. And I work on it. It seems like the last shred of hope at chipping a bit back at this looming nightmare world we’ve been building. But that work can only get done if it’s funded.
I didn’t intend for this to turn to a funding call, but I prolly have more followers outside of tech than in tech. If you’re in tech, I hate to pile on to what I assume is a pretty tired, overworked, and burned out audience, but pick something small and write some code or chip in. Look for a small distributed project solving something and ask if they need help. Build something on Tor perhaps. I have about a million ideas and little time myself.
And at the very end, look for distributed alternatives, try using them, try and get your friends on them. Everything’s governed by the network effect, so the more people you can help get using things, the more adoption it might see. A great example of this is Onion Share a really great quick way to share files, that also conveniently works around firewalls etc.
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