Alternative Social Media Framework

March 27, 2018 · Posted in abundance, innovation ·  

Ban Facebook, Ban Youtube, Ban Twitter, Alternative Social Media Privacy & censorship concerns make it obvious we need alternative social media systems. The design of a good alternative to existing social media services must be better than current systems and better than past systems such as blogs.

Social media became very popular for publishing content but social media services puts content creators at the mercy of the the people who run those services. Facebook, YouTube, & Twitter have censored many people because of religious & political opinions in arbitrary ways They’ve even censored users because of different tastes of humor. People running the social media services can & do censor anyone they feel they don’t like. Additionally these sites collect & use your data in ways you might not want. Facebook has recently been exposed but all of them do it. Data collection & selling that data is their business model.

You could create your own blog but there are many negative points to that. It’s harder for people to discover your content, you must pay for the bandwidth which might suddenly be very expensive if your content is very popular, and it is hard to be anonymous. A new system must improve on all the weak points of social media services and the traditional paid web hosting model.

Improvements

  • Low / no cost
  • Anonymous / Privacy
  • Verify authorship
  • Detect lost content (censorship)
  • Detect alteration / forgery
  • Prevent lost content (censorship)
  • Avoid SPAM
  • Discover desirable content
  • Payment system

Components of  an Alternative Social Media System

Encryption

GNUPG GnuPGis free open source encryption software that allows people to securely send private messages to other users of GPG using any system such as email, social media, SMS, or even paper. A less well known feature is signatures. You can digitally sign a message to prove you sent it. If a content creator wants to remain anonymous they can publish their content with a GPG signature so that anyone can verify the content came from the same person but not know who it was. All they need is that person’s public encryption key.

Peer-to-Peer Networks

BitTorrent. BitTorrentThe problem of bandwidth was solved a long time ago with BitTorrent.  The BitTorrent protocol is free & open source and there are many free & open source clients for computers & mobile devices.. If instead of publishing your content you only publish a GPG signed Torrent to your content then people can use BitTorrent to download and share your posts. This automatically provides free bandwidth for popular content. You can host your content from your home computer. It also prevents intentional censorship or accidental loss of your content by spreading copies all over the Internet to anyone who has downloaded it.

BlockChains

BlockchainBlockChain as a concept is more than just cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin  A personal blockchain of your content can be created by including a hash of your previous post in each new post all signed with your GPG private key.  Anyone who has your public key, which you can include with the post, can verify that none of your content is missing & that it was published by you even if you remain anonymous. This type of block chain doesn’t require miners so it scales infinitely. Only the publisher adds new blocks to their own block chain. Anyone using GPG can verify your block chain for changes or deletions.

Using this type of blockchain to reference material can also reduce “fake news.”  If the person doesn’t provide a link to signed content you can suspect they are not quoting it correctly. Expectation of verifiable sources will reduce misquoting.

Fraud Prevention. BitTorrent verifies your content is not altered by using a hash, GPG can also be used to do this plus prove you published it. This prevents people from altering your content and falsely claiming you posted something you did not say or pretending to be you even if you remain anonymous.

Whitelisting / Blacklisting

Whitelisting BlacklistingWhitelistingSPAM is a problem with any communication system especially one that allows people to anonymously send messages. One technique to avoid SPAM is Whitelisting. Content from people on your whitelist are approved. The opposite is Blacklisting. You can block content from someone on your blacklist.

Discovery is a big problem for the traditional private blog approach of content publication. One of the biggest advantages of using Social Media is sharing content with other people. You can find things you want to see and other’s can find things you want to share. Shared Whitelists & Blacklists can provide a reputation system for discovering new content & filtering SPAM.

You can publish your Whitelist & Blacklist signed with your private key so people can verify who’s it is. If they like you they can use your lists to discover other content they might like or avoid content they don’t. The combination of lists from everyone you follow creates your own personal search system for finding desirable new content.

Some very sophisticated systems could be created to determine content you might like based on what you like and the likes of others. The key difference with this Alternative Social Media system is you can remain completely anonymous.

Privacy has two key elements, your identity and your actions. You can use a different anonymous identity for watching than from creating. TORYou can create as many identities as you want and there is no connection between them unless you choose. Your actions can be hidden with a VPN either build into this system or an external VPN you choose. This greatly increases your privacy. There are many paid options available and TOR is a free open source (FOSS) option.

Cryptocurrency

CryptocurrenciesThe obvious mechanism for paying content creators is cryptocurrencies. Content creators can remain anonymous and still receive payments. This can support distributed versions of memberships such as Public Broadcasting or Patreon, Crowdfunding such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo,  commercials from paid advertisers, private newsletters, and many more business model possibilities.

Summary

Widely available proven effective Free Open Source Software (FOSS) can be combined to create a distributed alternative social media that improves on all of the weaknesses of existing systems. No new technology is required. Easy to use wrappers to connect these tools can quickly be created. What I’ve described is a framework of a possible alternative social media system. The fundamental concept is a distributed network to eliminate dependency on centralized power of either large corporations or government. That is the key to both privacy & censorship concerns as well as inclusiveness & availability problems.

I welcome discussion of this topic and offers to participate in building systems based on this framework.

Is Apple agreeing when Trump says make iPhones in the USA?

November 21, 2016 · Posted in abundance, economics, innovation ·  

Trump Make US Jobs Again?
Many analysts laugh when Trump says make iPhones in the USA and expects Apple to move production from China. He isn’t even in office yet & Apple is already talking about it. Is it because of Trump? What does it mean for jobs in the USA?
One discovery of Predictive Innovation is a natural progression of technology from Single, to Multiple, and finally to Continuous types. Continuous are Any, All, & None. Automation is a continuous type, no humans or easy enough for any person to do it. As the costs of robots decrease and communication technology improves, robots become available to more people so the work can happen in more places.

Trump says make iPhones in the USA, China cuts 60,000 Jobs

Foxconn, one of two companies in China that manufacture iPhones for Apple, has cut 60,000 workers from a single factory this year replacing them with 40,000 robots. They have plans to produce 10,000 more robots per year. That means 15,000 fewer employees every year.
Apple looking at moving iPhone production to the USA is following the natural steps towards anyone producing anywhere. It is distributed production. When the costs of this technology drop to make it more profitable, Apple and others will distribute some production away from China closer to consumers. This is a different form of globalization. Anyone, anywhere, producing anything for their local consumers.
Trump’s proposed lower taxes removes a barrier. In that way Trump could help cause Apple and others to start producing in the USA. Is that good for US jobs? Not really. Is it good for US citizens? It’s great for citizens everywhere, eventually.
Foxconn is moving away from human workers to robots. Robots cost less than paying even low wage Chinese labor. That means robots cost far less than US workers. The new production will be heavily automated. It will not create more jobs. It will create some new jobs but overall will reduce jobs. Depending on how we adapt culturally this could be great or it could be terribly painful.

There are two paths

People could choose the fun easy path and life would be great. It doesn’t seem like enough people are heading that direction. My concern is people will continue on the painful path until society finally catches up with technology. Even if there are more jobs when they make iPhones in the USA it won’t solve long term cultural problems from the economic changes.
Historically these big radical cultural changes require 20-50 years. There isn’t any fundamental barrier, it just tends to be that way. There are reasons for the tendency but those could be changed tomorrow if people wanted.

Is software eating the world?

Don’t think this change is caused by automation. The change is a natural progression towards Any, All, & None. Robotics or computerized systems are tools for achieving that result. Those aren’t the only tools. The same result can be achieved in other ways. For instance anything that makes a task possible for anyone to do is an Any type. Making information widely available such as a system of libraries or just a culture of sharing knowledge could do it. If you teach two people a skill then the next day they each teach two more people that skill, all 7 billion people on Earth are trained in just one month. Better yet make the task unneeded, that is a type of None. Incorporating the solution into another part of the larger system is also a way of achieving a type of None.
Schools don’t teach the skills needed for this change. The media & politicians don’t promote the values and mindset needed to adapt to this change. As I said there isn’t anything preventing people from changing tomorrow, they just need to know what to do and be willing to do it.

The way forward

I’ve mapped out ways to deal with the changes. Many are low tech. Most require little investment. All dramatically improve life for everyone. There are things Apple can do, there are things China can do, there are things President Trump can do, most importantly there are things you can personally do. My next book covers the biggest future challenge facing all leaders.



LIVE Sustainability Talk, 216 Cheaper than Free Resources

November 20, 2015 · Posted in abundance, innovation ·  

Join me Sunday morning November 22 at 11 am EST for one hour discussion of sustainability where I’ll introduce 216 Cheaper than Free resources available to use for innovations of all kinds.

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Blab is a new live streaming video platform that makes it easy for people to hold meaningful discussions. The 168 Hour Big Blab Event has already had 738 participant talking about a huge variety of issues relevant to entrepreneurs.

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