Well, that’s that, then.



Might as well have pissed my words up a wall. What a waste of time. Right, let’s move on.


@aral If they have hired developers and they expect to free the software later then it would be better to make that clear at the start, because otherwise developers will hold joint copyright and there could be disputes.

@torgo Afaik, the Pirate Party is a single issue party (copyright) that “unites” people from left libertarian to right libertarian. I use “unites” in quotes because, from what I’ve seen, that’s also why it has trouble forming policies in other areas (I base that on inside knowledge from conversation with leaders of several pirate party groups in the past.)

DiEM’s started goals and approach are, to my knowledge, quite unique. Hence my disappointment.

@aral you might be interested in what we’re trying to do with @somethingnew, but I’ve not had chance to read your DiEM25 post yet to be certain... :)

@Floppy Will check out what you’re doing. Thanks for the heads up, James (and happy new year) :)

@aral thanks - I had better get the website updated :)

@torgo (I’m quickly reaching the opinion that traditional centralised political structures are incapable of incentivising decentralised infrastructure that would make those political structures themselves irrelevant if implemented properly. Perhaps the best way forward is to concentrate on building that infrastructure and allowing new, decentralised political entities to spontaneously organise and operate.)

@aral @torgo As I see it the first thing to democratize is basic communications. Being able to run fediverse instances or other kinds of decentralized communications, perhaps with mesh or just via conventional internet architecture. An internet run by and for the people.

Once you have that then you can also begin to think about civic systems which are more about creating organizations with roles are workflows and perhaps voting mechanisms in a quite dynamic way which also allows organizations to interface their workflows more efficiently than is possible today. There is something like this idea within Pursuance, but whether that project amounts to anything remains to be seen.
@aral I agree with their point about demonizing Russia, and all the Russia paranoia within the last year has been irritating. It's like Red Scare 3.0, but without the reds. imho statements from Zuckerberg and some very sketchy agencies doesn't amount to any kind of proof of electoral interference.

@bob Yep, but @aral 's note didn't mention Russia even once.

@Tryphon @bob I mentioned Moscow in passing when speaking about WikiLeaks (“what happens if DiEM gets into political power? Does Wikileaks become its own little NSA? Via proxy of Moscow perhaps?”). It is very telling which areas were focussed on and which were ignored. Anyway, new year, new projects. Time to move on :)

@aral @tryphon I notice that the EU has some sort of next generation internet research project about to start and run over the next few years. It mentions decentralization and "internet of people" type stuff. Maybe that might be worth investigating.

@bob @Tryphon Met the people leading that project in Rome this year. Was initially excited about it based on the stated goals you mentioned also (and puzzled that it was coming from the European Commission). After seeing their first report, I’m far less enthused.

Our focus this year with will be on building things and working with the City of Ghent to explore ways of deploying a decentralised system starting at the city level.

@aral @bob I have some experience with that kind of EC research projects and they usually favor the kind of companies who don't want a free and open internet. Maybe academia will get something out of it? But I wish the EC would just give no-string-attached grants to open source projects or individual with a track record in the field.

@aral If it's any consolation, you helped all the people who read your letter and the response form an opinion on this movement. Disappointing but useful.


Very well said and done. Quite incidentally, I just resigned from DiEM25 a few days ago, but I don't have as elaborate thoughts about the process.

@aral I must say, I can definitely see both sides on this. So a couple of comments:

1. Maybe you should have calmed down a bit, a less inflamatory post might have got a more constructive response.
2. They're saying their decision was about priorities, not fear.


3. It is actually an extreme position to say all software must have their code publicly available, even for Richard Stallman. What he means is that everyone must have the source code for the software they run and freedom to do what they want with it. I do understand though that this is a difficult distinction to make for somewhere outside the software industry, or product person like yourself.

Let me put it this way, @aral. You know just how important it is to use federated if not peer-to-peer systems, as you talk about it all the time and I very much respect you for it. This is because having those services be opensource is not enough, as additional code could have been added to track you.

It's for the same reason that society doesn't benefit much from being able to audit the code others run: who's to say that's the exactly the same code?

@aral My advice: don't try to make bespoke (what Stallman calls "trivially free software") software like DiEM's voting system public. That's the vast majority of software out there, it barely gets any of us anywhere, and you'll just look like a jerk.

Instead continue competing with any of the more visible software companies (like with Heartbeat or Better). There you'll look principled and make a big difference.

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