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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

I hear tech folks saying that RSS is dead, and people on social media saying that blogs are dead.

The problem with this is twofold:

- RSS is doing just fine, and not even remotely dead

- Blogs are doing just fine, and are not even remotely dead, either

There's this strange sort of defeatism around. "Well, we lost, so what can you do". Um, not undermine things that still work and are actively being used? Support them as well?

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

Further, the combination of RSS and blogs means that I *daily* get information i'm not going to get elsewhere (anything having to do with neurodivergence that isn't massaged through clinical gatekeeping, and is by neurodivergent beings themselves, for starters), as well as being a perfectly fine way to aggregate digital comics, for another.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

And get this -- it's not paywalled, it's not fee-based, there's no hurdles. Ironically, "it just works". :P

I don't see open networks as being any different. There's this presumption that there needs to be large-scale, siloed server farms to make this work -- the problem with this assumption is even simpler:

- that's not true at all, lol

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

Peer-to-peer protocols exist. The problem is that people keep assuming that it's impossible for them to be used, when that's not true.

And even if that was true, there's nothing keeping anybody with the right skillsets (many of whom are part of the underlying sets of assumptions of inevitability here) to create them.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

So why keep believing it? It's like people have bought into several different lies, and are acting as if that's just the way it is. When it's not.

It's almost as if we keep slipping into some sort of "escape from freedom" sort of totalitarian dynamic, when in fact, open publishing of literally *everything* could happen, right now, and everybody could ditch Amazon, right now. The rest would be up to the readers, which is true anyway.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

This isn't a "things could be better, so why aren't they" situation. This is a "things are better period, so why keep acting as if they're not?" one.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

Look at all the ways this is true.

- the corporate internet? not a requirement.

- the internet itself, as opposed to other already existing protocols? not a requirement.

- syndication via digital gatekeepers? not a requirement.

- whatever huge environmental footprint that is happening because of digital streaming? not a requirement.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

Here's a story.

I hate digital streaming, but I love being able to watch things when I want. Also, I hate wading through ads and at least some previews.

But you know...I hate destroying the environment even more. ;p So I'm trying to work my way back to DVDs -- which aren't perfect either, but at least I can get them from a variety of different ways, including in ways that allow for sharing them, both paid and not.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

So I look on everybody's favorite retailer, industrial labor overseer and climate disaster change agent for an external DVD player, and it's a total shitshow of bad design. Like it's not meant for sitting in a couch or recliner, with a laptop.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

Because the cables are a foot long and can't reach to an adjoining table, or they require the USB ports to be set up in a way that typically isn't done on a laptop, or buying an entire new laptop to power a $25 device.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

So I get in a huff about it (as I do), and won't let it go. So I go to America's favorite computer-based design ware emporium, and ask for an overpriced device, and I tell them a condensed version of this story. They're like *nods* "ok, then" and I get the thing.

Keep in mind that somehow, I've convinced myself that Time Marches On Even If I Hate It, and am planning for this not to work, and to have to return it, and aaaaa.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

I get home, hook it up, and...

nothing's wrong.

I move the box I'm using as a makeshift side table, stack a couple of books, rest the DVD player on it, and...problems, solved.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

Which is kind of how I feel when people get pissed (including myself) about how fucked up the internet is now. The public internet has only existed for 25 years, and social media, for around 15, give or take. Which is nothing -- and is a short enough time that all sorts of options still exist (like RSS and blogs), and new ones keep emerging (like DAT, meshnets and palm-sized open protocol computers).

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

It's not like everything has the Linux problem, where it actually is harder. If anything, the mainstream aggregators for media consumption now make things harder and more expensive, while alternatives still exist. This is way before getting into additional bullshit like DRM.

So *shrugs* maybe don't assume that we're not doomed quite so quickly just yet, that's all.

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If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos getting a laptop with a DVD player in it is hard in this day and age

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@a_breakin_glass @poiseunderchaos Just an FYI; in general, those external drives (I've got a blu-ray re-writer, for instance) only ***need*** the second (extra power) connection when they're *writing*. So for just watching films, you might be fine with the just the main cable. Mine certainly reads disks with just the one, and it's some cheap no-name thing from ebay, years ago.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos moving physical dvds around is worse for the environment than pushing packets

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@sneak @poiseunderchaos that's... debatable. pushing packets come with an entire surveillance metadata, for ad tracking. It keeps growing.

Also, streaming means redownloading same content anytime you want to watch it.

If anything, DVD is more like buying in bulk.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos can you point to any research on the footprint of dvds vs streaming? i'm not playing the skeptic; just interested to learn more.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos the corporate internet is a requirement where i live

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos Sounds like you might be interested in adrian.geek.nz/movies ! I'm (slowly) watching/listening to DRM-free shows/movies, and communicating what I enjoyed about them.

I've been recommended a decent collection, mostly from @ajroach42, and I'm really impressed by the quality! Otherwise I found them too hard to dig up, which is why I'm doing this.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos I'd also add that I full-heartedly agree with you that RSS and blogs are not dead, I'm actively using them!

As for DVDs I've struggled getting those to work again, but perhaps it's just that I haven't tried enough. Oh well, I've got plenty of other stuff I'm busy checking out and enjoying. And soon I think I'll check out what ReelHouse has on offer.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos thanks for this thread i needed it today

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos

"When people understand that the flipside of freedom is responsibility, then you start asking for freedom from freedom."
--Nolen Gertz

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos ha that's funny, i just broke down today and got a Feedly for my comics cause i couldn't find any info on alternatives

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@cosine usually what i do is go to their blog, search the HTML for "RSS", and copy the URL to a feeder. it's sort of nerdy, but it's not hugely that way, either.

most of the time, it works. almost all content-based sites have RSS feeds, wordpress ones in particular. unless they've removed it, for completely asinine reasons, which sort of makes my point here. talking content that is posted without a paywall here.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos yeah, the question is what feeder, especially given i check my comics sometimes on my phone and sometimes on my laptop

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@cosine does thunderbird sync across devices? not sure

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@cosine (if thunderbird has an app, which i'm also not sure of)

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos no idea on either count

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos When I see this, usually combined with some handwavy "standards have changed" bullshit with total inability to articulate standards, even when pressed, I want to break my head open on the wall

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@slowfallinward yes, exactly.

"um, i'm right here, using a free newsreader, getting information that way daily, but ok"

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@slowfallinward

it's like listening to people licking a bunch of boots complain about how awful bootlicking is. "oh, what we have lost!" when thankfully, there's not only no enforced licking of said boots (save for social pressure, of the "such is our bootlicking plight" variety), the freeshoes emporium - pay what you can! :D is literally across the street, and the traffic is just made out of holograms and hubris.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@bamfic

shitposting, but...well, ok:

don't shoot hipsters, shoot the people who mass commodify hipster novelty

it'd be cool if "hipsters" learned to throw down against developers and speculators more, and early gentrify uncritically less, though. just a thought

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos True. It's also "influencers". Viral marketers. State-sponsored propaganda agencies, bot farms, and troll farms. Advertisers and click farms. Tech startups. This whole disgusting process of trying to ride (or create) a wave of popularity, to go viral, to be a star, get in on the ground floor of something that goes big, to be a market leader, to hit the big lotto capitalist jackpot by being the first to conquer and dominate something. It's just toxic. And it poisons our thinking, even to the point of considering that something widely used is "dead" just because it isn't the latest wave to jump onto and ride to the shores of stardom and wealth and success.

End rant.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos
i believe it’s pretty easy to blame the commercialized internet and adtech in particular (which is why it’s not surprising to read those opinions on e.g. hackernews)

maybe it’s like this:

RSS is “dead” because you cannot conjure up imaginary engagement metrics with it, and to begin with a feed reader is designed to be the very opposite of what the ad-supported part of the internet wants — by effectively reducing the time you spend consuming media and ads, and giving no clues as to which types of content you prefer. your interests are not transparent, your views and clicks cannot be sold.

blogs are dead because blogs are static platforms for discourse, if they engage viewers at all beyond passive consumption. there is no constant stream of “micro-entertainment” that keeps you hooked, and few opportunities to interleave advertising with content. this is not interesting to adtech or their shareholders because you cannot build exponential growth (imaginary or not) on such a platform. it’s also why news sites are having such a hard time monetizing their content.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@lachs0r *nods*

I think a huge problem with a lot of "free" technology culture is that there's a vocal segment of people in the industry (including tech workers) want that culture and capitalist enterprise at the same time, which only works if you're in the kind of well-paid tech industry bubble which makes such fantasies possible.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@lachs0r but even that isn't what drives monetized content -- that's the revenue side of the house. which makes this sort of libertarian horseshit even more out of touch.

one of the things about working in the culture industry outside of the software business is that "how the sausage gets made" becomes clear very quickly, because effectively, you're the sausage.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@lachs0r there's no paycheck for services rendered, you're just fired. if you ever even got under contract to begin with.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@lachs0r maybe everybody who wants to work in tech (especially tech bros) should have to play in bar bands for a year ;p not while giving their labor away for free, or close to free (which is an actual problem that keeps happening), but actually out there trying to pay rent without any safety net at all.

i'm not sure that's enough, frankly. but the idea is tempting, at least

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@lachs0r @poiseunderchaos exactly.

“dead” means we can’t easily extract value from your labor.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@lachs0r @poiseunderchaos

same reason Mastodon is dead

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos I love the convenience of RSS.

re: If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@tk likewise.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos @amolith rss is dead because rss readership is dead. like usenet and gopher. the protocols still exist, but gone are the days where tens of thousands of people would use feed readers to subscribe to you. you and your 10 friends can continue to use old protocols that have fallen by the wayside. i even have an rss feed on my own site. i just don’t pretend anyone cares.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@sneak
RSS is not a protocol. It's a file that sits there costing absolutely nothing.

If readership has declined (tho I'd say it's remained stable while internet grew causing an illusion of decline), that's because websites and blog authors are too lazy to provide feeds and most RSS apps are BS.

I use Feeder on Android which is the least worst I've found to date, but there are some improvements TBD.
@poiseunderchaos @amolith

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos Can we add email to that list?

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos also nothing is really death at this point of the internet, I mean people still uses gopher and even BBS so, a tight community and quality content is all it takes to keep the fire alive :)

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos @mhoye I use RSS daily. In large part so I can follow YouTube channels without logging into google. But also my RSS reader gives me an email address I can send newsletter subscriptions to so they don’t clutter up my email. And yeah, also for blogs. ❤️RSS

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos RSS forever 🙌

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos my favorite "rss is dead" is when people on podcasts say that

@poiseunderchaos Funnily enough, the opposite is true for me. If your site doesn't provide an RSS feed, I won't regularly consume your content. So if it doesn't have a major use case or is super interesting in another way, it's basically dead to me. :D

@esureL @poiseunderchaos I agree thay RSS/Atom are still pretty great, and thankfully widely implemented. I use RSS for following podcasts.

Blogs are a little harder. I have only ever found a few I enjoyed reading on the regular. I think it might be something about balancing too broad and too niche. And I am unaware of blogs having discoverability platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, etc. have provided for podcasts.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos I was thinking a lot about that while working on the (old-school, static file, pelican-generated) web site I just launched. I made sure it's got RSS and Atom feeds, and lamented the loss of Google Reader (which is why everyone says RSS is dead) and then something reminded me of NetNewsWire, which is a really excellent (and free) reader for Mac, and I rediscovered RSS for the umpteenth time. /

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos ... I think social media has made people lazy? On facebook you can "like" a thing that floats across your feed and you'll get updates from now on, it's very low friction.

Curating a bunch of news feeds is a little more deliberate, you have to leave your social media stream for a change and visit other sites, and then actively look for a feed and subscribe. (It's *not* a big deal, ppl just got out of the habit)

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@mayor right, that's the thing -- it's not hard, just unfamiliar at this point. especially for people who already have ample tech skills anyway, so the "ok, this is kind of intimidating" factor isn't at play, or shouldn't be imo

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@mayor @poiseunderchaos sure. but the invention of the magazine never obsoleted the novel. discover bloggers you wanna read via social media, then follow them via rss.

If people want an open network, stop shit-talking open things 

@poiseunderchaos

There's nothing I could do on the ARPANET I can't do here.

What's lacking is a publicly-supported backbone which bans commercial activity.

And clear cost regulation, colocation, common carrier, peering, and transparency rules for commercial ISP's and telcos.

Like we had immediately after the Modified Final Judgement against ATT, which led to the dotcom boom.

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