2019-03-19

This is my first blog post on this website. My goal is to make semi-regular
short posts, and the occasional long one. I'll write about software,
politics, type theory, category theory, games... pretty much anything.
I made some minimalistic choices when setting up this website, to make the
website  more maintainable and make posting here an easier habit to form.
Also, I like this simple style.

My larger goal in setting this up is to move away from platforms that are
owned by large corporations. I'm unhappy with the corporatist structure
of the software world, and how social media platforms dominate us. Platforms
mediate how we interact with each other, and they profit off of each
interaction by selling our data to marketers, by selling our attention to
advertisers, and by using our content to attract more users. Over time,
platforms shift and users change, but all that data belongs to the platform,
and it becomes increasingly painful to part with it.

Platforms are a fresh source of exploitation.

The rise of platforms is also tied to the rise of fascism. We've seen over
the past several years how platforms fail to counteract misinformation
campaigns, and are in fact designed to spread outrageous falsehoods. We've
seen the effects on democracy, and we've seen the effects on individuals.

Meanwhile, minorities get bullied and pushed around. Terms and conditions
are twisted to protect abusers. Honest users are prey to the gang tactics
of organized flagging campaigns. Instead of true justice, platforms dish
out a blind algorithmic justice that is easily gamed by coordinated
malicious groups.

I'm sick of feeding this system. Let me take refuge in this little corner
of the web, my personal glade hidden among the thick trees. I'm not going
to disappear from the platforms, but I'm not going to rely on them so much.

The only solution I see is users taking back the control that they ceded.

Right now, the barrier for taking back control is a bit too high for the
average user, but hopefully we can push it down. My end-vision is a future
where people control their own content, where people share the resources
needed to make it widely available, and where people support each other
directly.

But that is a grand vision. A small step we can take today is to start
hosting our own content, on our own servers, and our own domains.

So that's why I started this minimal website.
If you want, you can start your own minimal website too.
We can form a minimal website community. :-)

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