Here's your irregular reminder that:
Twitter was a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of employees.
Mastodon is a niche hobbyist product run by volunteers
The fact that we're being seen as a viable alternative to them is an admission that a federated, decentralized future is not only possible, but desirable.
Mastodon is not one thing, or one place. It's a network of many things and many places. We don't have a spokesperson (I mean, there's me. I'm the official spokesperson for 💯 of the fediverse, but beyond me there is no spokesperson) we don't have consensus on moderation or blocking or tools or what is good and what is bad. Some of us are professional SREs and Sysadmins, some of us aren't. Some of our instances have been around for 5+ years, some won't be here in six months.
And that's good! All of it, every last bit of it is good.
We're wrestling power away from the billionaire class, in real time, and reclaiming it for the People.
We're wrestling power away from the billionaire class, in real time.
This is bigger than some technical standard.
This is cultural, political, and economic.
We represent an existential threat to the business model of some of the most wealthy corporations on the planet, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let anyone take that away from us without fighting against it with everything I have.
We are standing on the precipice of a transformative shift in the way we, as a society, relate to one another through the internet.
We are moving away from a Broadcast and Toward a conversation.
This is mutual aid, this is anticapitalism, this is collaborative ideation.
We are living revolutionary values, right here, right now, on a silly little social media network.
And I will fight to my last breathe any God Damn corporation that tries to Monetize that.
This is the future, and you're a part of it now. Be a good steward of the future.
@ajroach42 Which is why we also have to be vigilant about corporations capturing the narrative via corporate proxies like the W3C (who are already publicly patting themselves on the back for having gifted us the fediverse).
@ravensview And the folks running it are losing money hand over fist and have been blocked from the majority of the network.
@sj_zero I'm pretty sure that being against the capitalist class is the definition of anticapitalism.
Maybe your definition of capitalism differs from the common one, and somehow has grown to include all forms of ownership and commerce?
Websites wouldn't stop existing under socialism, and it's foolish or wildly misleading to pretend otherwise.
@sj_zero banning corporations from existing sounds an awful lot like an anti-capitalist stance to me, although going hyperindividualist route instead of a collectivist route at the end sounds counterproductive, but if it gets us to a world where the workers own the means of production, I don't much care.
@ajroach42 @midway @sj_zero corporations can be held cooperatively. They just usually are not. I used to be against llc. but its not the llc that is the problem its that the shareholders have sole control over the corporation. if there was a more democratic ownership structure this would not be an issue.
Or able to rewrite laws through lobbying with governments, effectively excluding and hampering the citizens of a country at adapting the law to their needs.
When government and companirs get to cosy we are in danger of fascism and untempered capitalism.
Look at the Uber case.
Why Is Anti-Monopoly Cool Again? Part I (Big issue 6-24-2019)
@ajroach42 @sj_zero Man, I don't even know what capitalism is anymore. Part of the problem (from a theoretical standpoint) is that capitalism was originally defined by socialists, who framed it in the terms provided by the labor theory of value. Mainstream has since rejected labor theory in favor of marginal utility. So it's as if the dictionary defined combustion in terms of phlogiston.
@ajroach42 @sj_zero uh, let me back up. I'm not an economist, I'm a philosopher who's taken a few intro econ courses and I've done some reading on my own. I'm working on an apology for social liberalism, and I'm currently writing a chapter against anarcho-socialism. So I would like to hang out with some anarcho-socialists, to make sure I'm not screwing up.
That said, do y'all grok what I mean by "elastic in response to demand"?
Adam Smith and David Ricardo also subscribed to the labor theory of value. In the 18th Century it was absolutely the mainstream among the founders of political economy.
The penny didn't drop until some of Ricardo's followers realized that the labor theory necessarily implied that profit was theft that the backpedaling and tracks-covering began.
@Voline @ajroach42 @sj_zero Yeah, labor theory was mainstream until early 20th Century. The economists who proposed marginal utility were doing some anti-Marxist propaganda. But marginal utility is still a better theory than labor. Dismissing as *just* capitalist propaganda would be committing the genetic fallacy.
Agreed. I think maybe we are also referring to markets? But markets have always existed. Capitalism as an ideology has not.
I do wonder though if the core capitalist ideology ever really conceived within itself the ideal of ever unlimited profits? When you read about innovation that improves the costs of production or market equilibrium, it always seems there is some understood need for profit but not exponentially increasing profit.
@ajroach42 The main caveats I see are ISPs trying to throttle things if you self-host, as well as people just paying even more money to Amazon, DO, and others.
@torgny ... Lots of folks self host on raspberry pis and similar on home connections without giving any money to DO.
Amazon is far from the only cloud provider.
Are you sincerely worried, or are you concern trolling because we don't all run co-los? (I'm working on it, but physical infra takes time.)
@ajroach42 No, not trolling... I am sincerely worried for the people that are self-hosting.
The problem as I see it is mainly with the stack Mastodon runs on.
Node + Rails + Postgres + Redis is a pretty high-level hydra when it comes to fighting the battle of scaling.
Which is obviously why a lot of Mastodon servers are facing issues right now and why there's so much talk about how "slow" Mastodon is.
As if Mastodon is a single entity.
@torgny Instances are too big. Mastodon isn't the only fediverse software. Scaling this stuff isn't actually that difficult, but it can be expensive if done poorly.
Is there a sustainable business model? That would require there to be a business. I stated pretty clearly that we're mostly a bunch of hobbiests.
as for the scaling problems, DAUs essentially increased 3 - 5x across the whole network, and 10x on many instances. Show me any company that can absorb that much traffic without a hiccup. None of the places I've ever worked could do it.
@torgny In all seriousness, I'm actively exploring what the expenses would look like for a 10 - 50k user instance, and what the moderation and technical support needs would be.
If we can figure out a way to make it sustainable, we'll do it.
In the meantime, there's no "business model" just people doing a thing because they believe in it.
@ajroach42 I definitely am on the believer side!
I fired this same server up in 2016, ran it for a while and then lost interest because most people were still on Twitter.
Now I'm back, probably for the long haul. And it looks like a bunch of people have made the switch, which is very exciting.
I chose to use DO for this because I am not entirely comfortable hosting a public instance on my home network where I also work.
@torgny We're on DO at the moment, too, but that's transitional until we end up in the co-lo we're spinning up across town.
I've self hosted from a pi in a closet, I've run containers in the cloud, I've run bare metal in bulgaria. It all just keeps chugging along.
The software, for all my complaints, is pretty good. Throw brutaldon.online in to the mix, and it's downright pleasant.
@ajroach42 That sounds awesome! I definitely host things on a variety of different hardware as well.
I finally got my fourth Pi 4 so I can spin up my home k3s cluster that I put in a cute little 1U rack thingie.
As a new user, I couldn't be happier to have found this place. The core philosophy and intended user experience of this platform feels like a very positive evolution of the technology that connects us.
Learning how to participate and contribute, however, has been a bit of an uphill battle. I wish that there were more resources for onboarding new users.
@Adversarial_Geography It helps on the smaller instances, you normally get a little more handholding.
What help do you need?
@ajroach42 While it's defiantly an adjustment, I'm hoping this will be a good fit for a weirdo like myself- trans, queer, neurodivergent and NSFW are not really accepted in the greater world, even when you make sure to follow guidelines.
@ajroach42 it would be easy for corporations to embrace and extend fediverse and re-create their own centralized version of it, wouldn't it? It's bound to happen in a couple of years, so let's enjoy what we have right now.
@zenia Would it?
We don't have the same problems XMPP had, and we have better tools for isolating corporate centralization.
What would EEE look like here?
@ajroach42 I'm not gonna pretend I know the protocol, but is there some reason why a company with lots of servers could not offer quick user onboarding and additional services and do so progressively so that it didn't get blocked until it's too late?
@ajroach42 From my experience of being on the web since its existence, the majority of people do not have either the curiosity or the energy to try new things. When otherwise intelligent people complain (nicely) that Mastodon is hard to understand, I wonder about how we measure intelligence. Some folks will never try a "new" thing until the one they're used to is gone.
In order to be the viable alternative to the bird site, we'll have to support some big growth over the next few months, and that will take some $.
Who's working on sustainable ways to fund Mastodon, globally and locally? What will create a community spirit of donating to support both local instances AND the movement as a whole? As the movement that takes down Twitter ... what's our equivalent of Bernie Sanders' "$27 bucks"?
(Former Mozilla Foundation grassroots fundraising lead here :-) )
A social network for the 19A0s.