Aral Balkan

Aral Balkan boosted

Proposing guidelines for an ethical and harmonious app ecosystem. (Thank you @aral for helping me understand how we can improve the current state of mobile experience !)

“Kurdish Afrin is democratic and LGBT-friendly. Turkey is crushing it with Britain’s help. Northern Syria’s Kurds are establishing direct democracy and a gender revolution. Why are we arming jihadist-linked Turkey?”

I have Turkish parents and I was a Turkish citizen. I strongly urge you to read this, take notice, and – if you can – take action to get our representatives in Europe and elsewhere to put an end to this gross injustice.

Aral Balkan boosted

Thank you for helping move humanity forward, Stephen, and for being a progressive voice for social justice, science, and reason. You will be missed.

Longer term, any such project that seeks to be an alternative to the closed, centralised silos of the mainstream is going to live or die based on how convenient it is. And that’s overall convenience, from setup onwards. The greatest design challenge we have, as I see it, is to have decentralised apps/sites compete with the 30 second sign-up of Facebook, etc. If we can bring going from zero to you up and running on your own domain down to < 1 min, we can radically change this game.

One of the guiding principles with an Indie Site (what we’re calling our federated personal web site implementation) is that it must be as lightweight as possible. Since these are single tenant sites, we can simplify a lot of things. I want to keep everything in a single process, for example, so we’re using LevelDB. Installation should be a single command/automatic. (We’re working on a separate installer app w the goal of <1min domain registration to site live… that’s going to take work…) :)

Really enjoying working with Nuxt + Vue + FeathersJS…

Can’t wait to get the basic functionality for a federated personal web site (FPWS) up and running and share it with you all. Getting back into web dev has been a learning process (especially since I’ve been working in Swift + Cocoa/CocoaTouch for the last few years) but finally feel like I’m getting my head around it all – and having a lovely little team in Ghent helps. Just got public-key & JWT auth implemented so that’s a start… ;)

Think of AI as Augmented Intelligence instead of Artificial Intelligence.

Whose intelligence is being augmented? Is it yours as an individual? (Yes, if you own and control the AI.) Or is it augmenting the intelligence of a corporation? (The norm today.)

Aral Balkan boosted

@aral Haven't followed through, but isn't this the version that some users reported messing with permissions [1]? 5.7.1 seems to have fixed the issue [2], so maybe use that instead?

[1] -
[2] -

Is npm driving you crazy by removing your git-based packages every time you install a new package?

They’ve fixed it in 5.7.0! 🎉

npm i -g npm@5.7.0

Aral Balkan boosted

When you say 'keep politics out of tech', you mean 'your politics', you don't feel the existing politics of white supremacy and misogyny because you are so used to it you can't feel it anymore or you are actively contributing to and benefiting from it.

Welcoming film and TV director and social justice advocate @Lexialex to the fediverse. She just made a principled move away from Twitter after they banned someone’s account for cussing a Nazi (

Welcome, Lexi!

CC @Gargron

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

“People want health care and education to be social goods, not market commodities, so we can choose to put public goods back in public hands. People want the fruits of production and the yields of our generous planet to benefit everyone, rather than being siphoned up by the super-rich, so we can change tax laws… None of this is actually radical.”

Excellent article by Dr. Jason Hickel

@Gargron Correct me if I’m wrong but from what I’m seeing, unless I implement WebFinger, my ActivityPub server cannot federate with Mastodon. Is that correct/as designed?

e.g., I search for my server’s URL. Without WebFinger, nothing is found. With WebFinger, the account is found. Mastodon doesn’t seem to ask for the actor – at least via a search – unless WebFinger exists.

It’s not AI vs people
It’s not Big Data vs people
It’s not robots vs people

It’s corporations vs people.

Aral Balkan boosted

@aral Corporations don't need a code of ethics. They need democratic governments holding guns to their heads, ready to shut them down at the first sign of malfeasance.

Getting there, of course, is the hard part.

Aral Balkan boosted

@aral Actually, there already exists such an oath (see Archimedean Oath here [1]). I guess it is more or less well known depending on the country, but when I finished my MSc, my former university proposed us to signed it.


Should Data Scientists Adhere to a Hippocratic Oath?

A growing amount of my time is being spent countering Silicon Valley spin:

Aral Balkan argues that an ethics code like that drafted this week could actually worsen societal harms caused by technology. He fears it will be used by corporations as a signal of virtue, while they continue business as usual. “What we should be exploring is how we can stop this mass farming of human data for profit…”

Aral Balkan boosted

many kurdish accounts on #twitter get suspended. Twitter is by that supporting fascism in this very crucial situation

You can help with:

- giving more visability to this issue through joining a twitter storm
- presenting an alternative

This would bring a benefit to the kurdish struggle and be on the same supportive for the fediverse

If you'd be into joining a twitterstorm pls boost this post (follow for updates)

Time and # announced if enough interest is there. suggestions welcome