Here is an interesting thought to post to a mastodon instance. From Dmytri Kleiner via P2P Foundation:

"Going back to an early Internet architecture of cooperative, decentralized servers, as projects such as Diaspora, GNU Social, and others are attempting to do, will not work. This is precisely the sort of architecture that anti-disintermediation was designed to defeat. Decentralized systems need to be designed to be counter-anti-disintermediationist."

@wu_lee he is right, but not for the reasons he provides. The problem is that platforms like Diaspora, GNU Social, Mastodon etc... all rely on ISPs to exist. Kleiner's idea of "[platforms] run[ning] on the computers of the platform’s users" won't solve a thing: ISPs can still lock people the fuck out of the internet as they please. Cooperatively owned ISPs are the only long-term solution to the anti-disintermediation problem.

@Antanicus: do you mean "ISP" as in a "internet connection provider" (like AOL, BT, Virgin Media) rather than "hosting service" (like whatever runs

So agreed, as but both can be counter-d15n'ed, wouldn't full anti-counter-d15n of the *gateways* (as I think you mean) require a mesh network, because the telco infrastructure is private and c-d15n'able?

> do you mean "ISP" as in a "internet connection provider" (like AOL, BT, Virgin Media) rather than "hosting service" (like whatever runs
-Yes, ISP stands for "internet service provider". Some of those also offer hosting services too, but that's not relevant.

- the telco infrastructure is private and c-d15n'able? That's why we need to overtake it and cooperatively own it. Local telcos need be the main target for this

@Antanicus @wu_lee alas there was even a point in Britain (late 19th/early 20th century where many telcos *were* locally owned (albeit by the Council) if not private companies; but because they *wouldn't* federate the Govt nationalised them into the Post Office and (as political views changed) later privatised as British Telecom, with the exception of Hull in Northern England. This remained in Council ownership until quite recently when the *citizens* of Hull *voted* to let it be privatised.


@Antanicus @wu_lee

Secure Scuttlebutt is aiming to be run on user hardware only. And to be connection/communication method agnostic.

So is a possible mechanism to counter this.


Another somewhat as proposed here

"goTenna" is a smart-phone based mesh network. The speaker asks at the "Blockchain Summit" how to create an incentive for users to run nodes.

@Antanicus @vfrmedia

I was wondering if #holochain could be a potential means to incent users to run mesh network nodes (it already has a model for running hosting space). You get credit for hosting.

@vfrmedia @Antanicus @alanz


@wu_lee @Antanicus @alanz all interesting projects but mesh networks require experience with radio comms on top of traditional networking, a skillset that currently is lacking in younger generations (more common amongst older folk who have done military service!).

To get "network effect" we really need things that can work with existing fixed and mobile telephones and are not merely confined to techs/geek types with advanced computer skills, and a co-op that can pay a living wage to techs.


@wu_lee @Antanicus

True, but things have to start somewhere.

Solar panels were initially only viable for space missions, where the cost was unavoidable.

@alanz @wu_lee @Antanicus I agree and also remember small solar panels turning up on calculators etc as long ago as late 1970s.

Here in UK I think (*provided* the educators do not give up on their plans to reintroduce the generalist IT/electronics education my generation benefited from) the tech skills will return to younger folk in 10-20 years as according to a friend in NE England with a teenage son they are starting to teach them again (NE England was a tech hub in 20th century)


Also, co-ops subject to laws, therefore may be hamstrung in those not-so-free countries referred to by @Antanicus & @vfrmedia

The original thought about anti-counter-disintermediation seems to stand, no? @Antanicus just seems to be saying, a-c-d15n of servers alone insufficient in bad cases.

So do what you can in your circumstance. Belt and braces.

@wu_lee @alanz @Antanicus a curious consequence of global situation is a lot of "not so free" countries appear to have *less* /domestic/ monitoring/control of wireless spectrum and same license exempt bands as ROW, because much equipment used in "West" is *built* there; and their govt radio techs have other military/defence stuff with higher priority to keep them occupied. That may allow a mesh network (that does not cause interference to anything else) to develop *quicker* than in "West"!


@wu_lee @Antanicus

There is also the leapfrog effect, where the old gen tech does not exist at all, so the first tech is mesh or some such, which becomes the incumbent.

@alanz @wu_lee @Antanicus although even "developing" countries have extensive GSM (and now LTE) mobile networks. Its quite likely a combination of these and mesh will co-exist (as both require some kind of radio equipment and not every enduser wants to use only a mobile telephone) wth mesh filling in gaps or services that LTE providers do not want to supply as its not profitable or problematic with domestic govts.

@vfrmedia, agreed. I
believe goTenna is intended to be a device which plugs into your phone, adds mesh networking.

@Antanicus @alanz

@wu_lee @Antanicus @alanz

has potential but needs to be as available and similarly priced to VOIP telephone adapters (about €40 for a two line one) that today you can order and are delivered to your house next day. Global licensing may be a small hurdle but manufacturers of wifi equipment have managed it for years.

BTW I was inadvertently being a bit UK-centric about lack of RF/tech and electronics knowledge amongst current generations. it seems a bit better in mainland European countries.


That's not true anymore, makes it as easy as flashing the firmware on a compatible off-the-shelf device and plugging it in to join (or start) a mesh network. (Granted, some may need to get a minimally techie friend to help with that part, but then you're good to go!) in Catalonia have a mesh of 34.425 nodes running on it, with their own uplink.

@wu_lee @Antanicus @alanz

@mayel @wu_lee @Antanicus @alanz I've been monitoring that project and also Freifunk in the German speaking countries for some years now.

Again I'm being UK centric but over here a lot of the off the shelf devices are either older or hard to get in UK (there has been a panic caused by some fools turning off DFS and both FCC an ERO ordering "hackability" of WLAN equipment; and that many Brits would struggle to get any of it working. Those who don't, get hired by big telcos anyway. ++

@alanz @Antanicus @wu_lee @mayel

its not even just tech skills the Brits might be lacking, but the kind of "co-operative hacker subculture" I see elsewhere in Europe.

Many of those who are interested in tech tend to be apolitical or centre-right leaning and are perfectly happy with the status quo, especially if its providing them with /slightly/ more secure employment. If they design some thing away from day job they immediately want to become "startup entrepreneur" and profit from it.

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