librelist archives

« back to archive

The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
mempko
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 03:01
Hi All,

I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.


https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/

Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political issues of
decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.

Cheers!
Max

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Brian Cloutier
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 05:32
Thanks for posting! I enjoyed the link to Telekommunism, "venture
communism" is a fun phrase.

Your post reminds me of another sent to this list, I want to believe.
<http://adamierymenko.com/decentralization-i-want-to-believe/>

You focus on funding, it's easier to monetize centralized services so more
venture capital is poured into creating them. The other post mentions
technical difficulties, distributed systems are *hard *and getting them to
work even when you trust each piece to act in good faith is difficult.
Writing a distributed system which is also a good product is harder than
simply writing a good product; centralization helps you outcompete.

How might we get around these pretty substantial market forces?

On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM mempko <mempko@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>
> https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-
> cloud-on-grass-computing/
>
> Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
> I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political issues of
> decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>
> Cheers!
> Max
>

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Adam Ierymenko
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 22:21
I LOVE the term “grass computing!”

This slide deck is from a talk I gave at a conference called border:none 
in Nuremberg, Germany last year:

https://www.zerotier.com/misc/BorderNone2014-AdamIerymenko-DENY_ALL.pdf 
<https://www.zerotier.com/misc/BorderNone2014-AdamIerymenko-DENY_ALL.pdf>

It goes into a bit of the history of how we got here and why everything’s 
become so centralized. I think economics is only part of the story.

As far as funding goes, three of the projects you list are funded to some 
level by angel or venture capital: BitTorrent, ZeroTier, and Sandstorm. I 
think OwnCloud, which you didn’t mention, is funded too.

Some capital is going into this stuff, but it’s a very tiny trickle 
compared to what gets invested in centralized systems. That’s not because 
of any ideological agenda. It’s because centralized systems usually get 
more users (due to better user experience mostly) and make more money (for
multiple reasons).

The only alternative would be to have government fund all this stuff. I’m 
not sure how folks elsewhere feel, but I don’t trust the U.S. Federal 
Government more than I trust VC firms.

I do wonder if the tide is turning. Centralized/decentralized is basically
the old mainframe/micro cycle of reincarnation. First we used dumb terms 
to access mainframes. Then we used PCs. Then the Internet has made it easy
to access really big mainframes in “the cloud,” which is really just 
marketroid rebranding of mainframe computing. (All the tech, like 
containers and VMs, is old mainframe tech reimagined/rebooted.) Now we’re 
starting to see some efforts to push things back toward personal computing
again, albeit with a different more networked model from the old grey box 
PC.

There are aspects of the cloud that aren’t going away though. At central 
data centers it’s possible to achieve economies of scale that can make 
things like storage and compute cheaper in bulk there than they are in a 
distributed system. They can also be more reliable. I host many things in 
the cloud because it almost never goes offline, while my home Internet 
connection is much more flaky.

What we really need — and many many people including you have hit on this 
— is to find ways to change the technical power dynamic. The cloud should 
be the slave and the PC should be the master. The cloud should be 
encrypted “zero knowledge” backup, storage, and support infrastructure for
personal computing.

The way Apple uses cloud is close to what we ought to be trying to build 
in the more free/open software community. Apple uses cloud exactly this 
way— as dumb storage and support for rich endpoint devices. They just 
don’t do the open or encrypted / zero-knowledge part, as they have no 
incentive to do so.

As far as economics go, I’ve started to believe increasingly that free “as
in beer” is in fact the enemy of free “as in freedom.” This will be true 
until and unless we actually make it to some kind of post-scarcity society
where production can truly be decoupled from powerful economic forces.

I’m not saying we need toll booths everywhere, but we need them somewhere.
There must be some mechanism for open and free “as in freedom” projects to
finance themselves. Otherwise they’re at a permanent disadvantage.

Free “as in beer” also encourages the development of dishonest pseudo-free
business models, such as the use of surveillance to monetize free 
services. In the late 90s, many services and online media outlets tried a 
paid or freemium model. People mostly refused to pay. Meanwhile the 
services that opted for pseudo-free models built around stealth 
monetization strategies like surveillance grew exponentially and took over
the market.

This is nothing all that new. Media has always been a deflationary race to
the bottom, giving advertisers and astroturfers/propagandists the most 
power over what gets made and shown. The difference now is that now the 
media is bidirectional: it watches you as you consume it. In the past the 
cost of free was ads/propaganda slipped into your news and entertainment. 
Now the cost of free is total surveillance.

> On Apr 2, 2015, at 10:32 PM, Brian Cloutier <briancloutier2010@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Thanks for posting! I enjoyed the link to Telekommunism, "venture 
communism" is a fun phrase.
> 
> Your post reminds me of another sent to this list, I want to believe. 
<http://adamierymenko.com/decentralization-i-want-to-believe/>
> 
> You focus on funding, it's easier to monetize centralized services so 
more venture capital is poured into creating them. The other post mentions
technical difficulties, distributed systems are hard and getting them to 
work even when you trust each piece to act in good faith is difficult. 
Writing a distributed system which is also a good product is harder than 
simply writing a good product; centralization helps you outcompete.
> 
> How might we get around these pretty substantial market forces? 
> 
> On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM mempko <mempko@gmail.com 
<mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
> Hi All,
> 
> I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
> 
> 
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/

<https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/>
> 
> Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
> I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political issues of
> decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
> 
> Cheers!
> Max

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Adam Ierymenko
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 22:31
Had one other thought I wanted to add about free economics:

I have this intuition that the pathologies caused by free “as in beer” 
online are somehow a special case of what economist John Maynard Keynes 
called the “paradox of thrift.”

The simple paradox of thrift goes like this:

For you to get paid, someone else must spend. That’s because all 
transactions must have two parties. This results in a paradox. If everyone
is thrifty (as often happens during downturns), paradoxically nobody can 
save because nobody is getting paid. For you to save, someone else must 
not.

It’s a classic sort of emergent pathology as often seen in complex systems.

The inverse works too. Individually, spending money makes you poorer. But 
if we *all* spend money, we get (paradoxically) richer. We create a lot 
more economic activity which creates many more opportunities and tends to 
inflate things like wages in the long term.

So paying for stuff online makes you poorer, but if nobody pays for 
anything online we get pathologies like the surveillance-driven 
centralized silo Internet. We all get poorer. Seems at least analogous to 
me. If we all paid for decentralized systems, we’d get richer — both in 
terms of freedom and privacy and in terms of opportunities for new 
technology businesses.

> On Apr 3, 2015, at 3:21 PM, Adam Ierymenko <adam.ierymenko@zerotier.com> wrote:
> 
> I LOVE the term “grass computing!”
> 
> This slide deck is from a talk I gave at a conference called border:none
in Nuremberg, Germany last year:
> 
> https://www.zerotier.com/misc/BorderNone2014-AdamIerymenko-DENY_ALL.pdf 
<https://www.zerotier.com/misc/BorderNone2014-AdamIerymenko-DENY_ALL.pdf>
> 
> It goes into a bit of the history of how we got here and why 
everything’s become so centralized. I think economics is only part of the 
story.
> 
> As far as funding goes, three of the projects you list are funded to 
some level by angel or venture capital: BitTorrent, ZeroTier, and 
Sandstorm. I think OwnCloud, which you didn’t mention, is funded too.
> 
> Some capital is going into this stuff, but it’s a very tiny trickle 
compared to what gets invested in centralized systems. That’s not because 
of any ideological agenda. It’s because centralized systems usually get 
more users (due to better user experience mostly) and make more money (for
multiple reasons).
> 
> The only alternative would be to have government fund all this stuff. 
I’m not sure how folks elsewhere feel, but I don’t trust the U.S. Federal 
Government more than I trust VC firms.
> 
> I do wonder if the tide is turning. Centralized/decentralized is 
basically the old mainframe/micro cycle of reincarnation. First we used 
dumb terms to access mainframes. Then we used PCs. Then the Internet has 
made it easy to access really big mainframes in “the cloud,” which is 
really just marketroid rebranding of mainframe computing. (All the tech, 
like containers and VMs, is old mainframe tech reimagined/rebooted.) Now 
we’re starting to see some efforts to push things back toward personal 
computing again, albeit with a different more networked model from the old
grey box PC.
> 
> There are aspects of the cloud that aren’t going away though. At central
data centers it’s possible to achieve economies of scale that can make 
things like storage and compute cheaper in bulk there than they are in a 
distributed system. They can also be more reliable. I host many things in 
the cloud because it almost never goes offline, while my home Internet 
connection is much more flaky.
> 
> What we really need — and many many people including you have hit on 
this — is to find ways to change the technical power dynamic. The cloud 
should be the slave and the PC should be the master. The cloud should be 
encrypted “zero knowledge” backup, storage, and support infrastructure for
personal computing.
> 
> The way Apple uses cloud is close to what we ought to be trying to build
in the more free/open software community. Apple uses cloud exactly this 
way— as dumb storage and support for rich endpoint devices. They just 
don’t do the open or encrypted / zero-knowledge part, as they have no 
incentive to do so.
> 
> As far as economics go, I’ve started to believe increasingly that free 
“as in beer” is in fact the enemy of free “as in freedom.” This will be 
true until and unless we actually make it to some kind of post-scarcity 
society where production can truly be decoupled from powerful economic 
forces.
> 
> I’m not saying we need toll booths everywhere, but we need them 
somewhere. There must be some mechanism for open and free “as in freedom” 
projects to finance themselves. Otherwise they’re at a permanent 
disadvantage.
> 
> Free “as in beer” also encourages the development of dishonest 
pseudo-free business models, such as the use of surveillance to monetize 
free services. In the late 90s, many services and online media outlets 
tried a paid or freemium model. People mostly refused to pay. Meanwhile 
the services that opted for pseudo-free models built around stealth 
monetization strategies like surveillance grew exponentially and took over
the market.
> 
> This is nothing all that new. Media has always been a deflationary race 
to the bottom, giving advertisers and astroturfers/propagandists the most 
power over what gets made and shown. The difference now is that now the 
media is bidirectional: it watches you as you consume it. In the past the 
cost of free was ads/propaganda slipped into your news and entertainment. 
Now the cost of free is total surveillance.
> 
>> On Apr 2, 2015, at 10:32 PM, Brian Cloutier 
<briancloutier2010@gmail.com <mailto:briancloutier2010@gmail.com>> wrote:
>> 
>> Thanks for posting! I enjoyed the link to Telekommunism, "venture 
communism" is a fun phrase.
>> 
>> Your post reminds me of another sent to this list, I want to believe. 
<http://adamierymenko.com/decentralization-i-want-to-believe/>
>> 
>> You focus on funding, it's easier to monetize centralized services so 
more venture capital is poured into creating them. The other post mentions
technical difficulties, distributed systems are hard and getting them to 
work even when you trust each piece to act in good faith is difficult. 
Writing a distributed system which is also a good product is harder than 
simply writing a good product; centralization helps you outcompete.
>> 
>> How might we get around these pretty substantial market forces? 
>> 
>> On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM mempko <mempko@gmail.com 
<mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> 
>> I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>> 
>> 
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/

<https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/>
>> 
>> Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
>> I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political issues of
>> decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>> 
>> Cheers!
>> Max
> 

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
mempko
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 23:11
Adam,

Great slide deck, really well done. Lots of good ideas there. When I 
tell people that those things are p2p they don't understand. People 
think of napster or torrents as p2p and the media has made using p2p to 
be something thieves and drug dealers and the terrible "hackers" use.

I always tell people, investment is not made in great technology, great 
technology is made with investment.

I am 100% with you here and it was at the heart of my post. We need to 
figure out a way for society to spend resources on decentralized and p2p 
technologies over centralized ones. People need to pay for this stuff 
because there is no other way for it to get better.

And, as you described, the "free" model is a lie and really is a 
determinant to peoples freedoms.

One way I propose we solve this issue is supporting the idea of basic 
income. I really do believe more people would spend more time working on 
decentralized systems if they didn't have to worry about money. I also 
think you will have a more rich society as you described through the 
"paradox of thrift".

It could be a government investment without government control. Most of 
the the tech we use today was funded by the government. Even todays VC 
investments would vanish instantly without government pumping money into 
the system.

If we get funding without control, what could be better?

In the meantime, how do we get people to pay for the tech? The free and 
almost free world that corporations push now is no help because people 
are not used to paying for software anymore, or services.

Maybe the solution is to just charge for this stuff and fight the race 
to the bottom. Another idea I had is charge corporations for the right 
to use the tech and make it cheap or attractive enough than the alternative.

This is why I tell people I am not an Open Source developer, but a Free 
Software developer. I don't work for free.

Max







Adam Ierymenko wrote:
> Had one other thought I wanted to add about free economics:
>
> I have this intuition that the pathologies caused by free “as in beer” 
> online are somehow a special case of what economist John Maynard 
> Keynes called the “paradox of thrift.”
>
> The simple paradox of thrift goes like this:
>
> For you to get paid, someone else must spend. That’s because all 
> transactions must have two parties. This results in a paradox. If 
> everyone is thrifty (as often happens during downturns), paradoxically 
> nobody can save because nobody is getting paid. For you to save, 
> someone else must not.
>
> It’s a classic sor t of emergent pathology as often seen in complex 
> systems.
>
> The inverse works too. Individually, spending money makes you poorer. 
> But if we *all* spend money, we get (paradoxically) richer. We create 
> a lot more economic activity which creates many more opportunities and 
> tends to inflate things like wages in the long term.
>
> So paying for stuff online makes you poorer, but if nobody pays for 
> anything online we get pathologies like the surveillance-driven 
> centralized silo Internet. We all get poorer. Seems at least analogous 
> to me. If we all paid for decentralized systems, we’d get richer — 
> both in terms of freedom and privacy and in terms of opportunities for 
> new technology businesses.
>
>> On Apr 3, 2015, at 3:21 PM, Adam Ierymenko <adam.ierymenko 
>> @zerotier.com <mailto:adam.ierymenko@zerotier.com>> wrote:
>>
>> I LOVE the term “grass computing!”
>>
>> This slide deck is from a talk I gave at a conference called 
>> border:none in Nuremberg, Germany last year:
>>
>> https://www.zerotier.com/misc/BorderNone2014-AdamIerymenko-DENY_ALL.pdf
>>
>> It goes into a bit of the history of how we got here and why 
>> everything’s become so centralized. I think economics is only part of 
>> the story.
>>
>> As far as funding goes, three of the projects you list are funded to 
>> some level by angel or venture capital: BitTorrent, ZeroTier, and 
>> Sandstorm. I think OwnCloud, which you didn’t mention, is funded too.
>>
>> Some capital is going into this stuff, but it’s a very tiny trickle 
>> compared to what gets invested in centralized systems. That’s not 
>> because of any ideological agenda. It’s because centralized systems 
>> usually get more users (due to better user experience mostly) and 
>> make more money (for multiple reasons).
>>
>> The only alternative would be to have government fund all this stuff. 
>> I’m not sure how folks elsewhere feel, but I don’t trust the U.S. 
>> Federal Government more than I trust VC firms.
>>
>> I do wonder if the tide is turning. Centralized/decentralized is 
>> basically the old mainframe/micro cycle of reincarnation. First we 
>> used dumb terms to access mainframes. Then we use d PCs. Then the 
>> Internet has made it easy to access really big mainframes in “the 
>> cloud,” which is really just marketroid rebranding of mainframe 
>> computing. (All the tech, like containers and VMs, is old mainframe 
>> tech reimagined/rebooted.) Now we’re starting to see some efforts to 
>> push things back toward personal computing again, albeit with a 
>> different more networked model from the old grey box PC.
>>
>> There are aspects of the cloud that aren’t going away though. At 
>> central data centers it’s possible to achieve economies of scale that 
>> can make things like storage and compute cheaper in bulk there than 
>> they are in a distributed system. They can also be more reliable. I 
>> host many things in the cloud because it almost never goes offline, 
>> while my home Internet connection is much more flaky.
>>
>> What we really need — and many many people including you have hit on 
>> this — is to find ways to change the technical power dynamic. The 
>> cloud should be the slave and the PC should be the master. The cloud 
>> should be encrypted “zero knowledge” backup, storage, and support 
>> infrastructure for personal computing.
>>
>> The way Apple uses cloud is close to what we ought to be trying to 
>> build in the more free/open software community. Apple uses cloud 
>> exactly this way— as dumb storage and support for rich endpoint 
>> devices. They just don’t do the open or encrypted / zero-knowledge 
>> part, as they have no incentive to do so.
>>
>> As far as economics go, I’ve started to believe increasingly that 
>> free “as in beer” is in fact the enemy of free “as in freedom.” This 
>> will be true until and unless we actually make it to some kind of 
>> post-scarcity society where production can truly be decoupled from 
>> powerful economic forces.
>>
>> I’m not saying we need toll booths everywhere, but we need them 
>> somewhere. There must be some mechanism for open and free “as in 
>> freedom” projects to finance themselves. Otherwise they’re at a 
>> permanent disadvantage.
>>
>> Free “as in beer” also encourages the development of dishonest 
>> pseudo-free business models, such as the use of surveillance to 
>> monetize free services. In the late 90s, many services and online 
>> media outlets tried a paid or freemium model. People mostly refused 
>> to pay. Meanwhile the services that opted for pseudo-free models 
>> built around stealth monetization strategies like surveillance grew 
>> exponentially and took over the market.
>>
>> This is nothing all that new. Media has always been a deflationary 
>> race to the bottom, giving advertisers and astroturfers/propagandists 
>> the most power over what gets made and shown. The difference now is 
>> that now the media is bidirectional: it watches you as you consume 
>> it. In the past the cost of free was ads/propaganda slipped into your 
>> news and entertainment. Now the cost of free is total surveillance.
>>
>>> On Apr 2, 2015, at 10:32 PM, Brian Cloutier 
>>> <briancloutier2010@gmail.com <mailto:briancloutier2010@gmail.com>> 
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Thanks for posting! I enjoyed the link to Telekommunism, "venture 
>>> communism" is a fun phrase.
>>>
>>> Your post reminds me of another sent to this list, I want to 
>>> believe. <http://adamierymenko.com/decentralization-i-want-to-believe/>
>>>
>>> You focus on funding, it's easier to monetize centralized services 
>>> so more venture capital is poured into creating them. The other post 
>>> mentions technical difficulties, distributed systems are /hard /and 
>>> getting them to work even when you trust each piece to act in good 
>>> faith is difficult. Writing a distributed system which is also a 
>>> good product is harder than simply writing a good product; 
>>> centralization helps you outcompete.
>>>
>>> How might we get around these pretty substantial market forces?
>>>
>>> On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM mempko <mempko@gmail.com 
>>> <mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>>>
>>> 
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/
>>>
>>> Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
>>> I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political issues of
>>> decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>>>
>>> Cheers!
>>> Max
>>
>

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Pierre Ozoux
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 23:38
Join IndieHosters :) I make myself a basic income, slowly, but surely.
And the key is that I just need a 1k/month to live in great conditions :)

Basic Income FTW \o/

On 04/04/2015 00:11, mempko wrote:
> Adam,
> 
> Great slide deck, really well done. Lots of good ideas there. When I
> tell people that those things are p2p they don't understand. People
> think of napster or torrents as p2p and the media has made using p2p to
> be something thieves and drug dealers and the terrible "hackers" use.
> 
> I always tell people, investment is not made in great technology, great
> technology is made with investment.
> 
> I am 100% with you here and it was at the heart of my post. We need to
> figure out a way for society to spend resources on decentralized and p2p
> technologies over centralized ones. People need to pay for this stuff
> because there is no other way for it to get better.
> 
> And, as you described, the "free" model is a lie and really is a
> determinant to peoples freedoms.
> 
> One way I propose we solve this issue is supporting the idea of basic
> income. I really do believe more people would spend more time working on
> decentralized systems if they didn't have to worry about money. I also
> think you will have a more rich society as you described through the
> "paradox of thrift".
> 
> It could be a government investment without government control. Most of
> the the tech we use today was funded by the government. Even todays VC
> investments would vanish instantly without government pumping money into
> the system.
> 
> If we get funding without control, what could be better?
> 
> In the meantime, how do we get people to pay for the tech? The free and
> almost free world that corporations push now is no help because people
> are not used to paying for software anymore, or services.
> 
> Maybe the solution is to just charge for this stuff and fight the race
> to the bottom. Another idea I had is charge corporations for the right
> to use the tech and make it cheap or attractive enough than the
> alternative.
> 
> This is why I tell people I am not an Open Source developer, but a Free
> Software developer. I don't work for free.
> 
> Max
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Adam Ierymenko wrote:
>> Had one other thought I wanted to add about free economics:
>>
>> I have this intuition that the pathologies caused by free “as in beer”
>> online are somehow a special case of what economist John Maynard
>> Keynes called the “paradox of thrift.”
>>
>> The simple paradox of thrift goes like this:
>>
>> For you to get paid, someone else must spend. That’s because all
>> transactions must have two parties. This results in a paradox. If
>> everyone is thrifty (as often happens during downturns), paradoxically
>> nobody can save because nobody is getting paid. For you to save,
>> someone else must not.
>>
>> It’s a classic sor t of emergent pathology as often seen in complex
>> systems.
>>
>> The inverse works too. Individually, spending money makes you poorer.
>> But if we *all* spend money, we get (paradoxically) richer. We create
>> a lot more economic activity which creates many more opportunities and
>> tends to inflate things like wages in the long term.
>>
>> So paying for stuff online makes you poorer, but if nobody pays for
>> anything online we get pathologies like the surveillance-driven
>> centralized silo Internet. We all get poorer. Seems at least analogous
>> to me. If we all paid for decentralized systems, we’d get richer —
>> both in terms of freedom and privacy and in terms of opportunities for
>> new technology businesses.
>>
>>> On Apr 3, 2015, at 3:21 PM, Adam Ierymenko <adam.ierymenko
>>> @zerotier.com <mailto:adam.ierymenko@zerotier.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>> I LOVE the term “grass computing!”
>>>
>>> This slide deck is from a talk I gave at a conference called
>>> border:none in Nuremberg, Germany last year:
>>>
>>> https://www.zerotier.com/misc/BorderNone2014-AdamIerymenko-DENY_ALL.pdf
>>>
>>> It goes into a bit of the history of how we got here and why
>>> everything’s become so centralized. I think economics is only part of
>>> the story.
>>>
>>> As far as funding goes, three of the projects you list are funded to
>>> some level by angel or venture capital: BitTorrent, ZeroTier, and
>>> Sandstorm. I think OwnCloud, which you didn’t mention, is funded too.
>>>
>>> Some capital is going into this stuff, but it’s a very tiny trickle
>>> compared to what gets invested in centralized systems. That’s not
>>> because of any ideological agenda. It’s because centralized systems
>>> usually get more users (due to better user experience mostly) and
>>> make more money (for multiple reasons).
>>>
>>> The only alternative would be to have government fund all this stuff.
>>> I’m not sure how folks elsewhere feel, but I don’t trust the U.S.
>>> Federal Government more than I trust VC firms.
>>>
>>> I do wonder if the tide is turning. Centralized/decentralized is
>>> basically the old mainframe/micro cycle of reincarnation. First we
>>> used dumb terms to access mainframes. Then we use d PCs. Then the
>>> Internet has made it easy to access really big mainframes in “the
>>> cloud,” which is really just marketroid rebranding of mainframe
>>> computing. (All the tech, like containers and VMs, is old mainframe
>>> tech reimagined/rebooted.) Now we’re starting to see some efforts to
>>> push things back toward personal computing again, albeit with a
>>> different more networked model from the old grey box PC.
>>>
>>> There are aspects of the cloud that aren’t going away though. At
>>> central data centers it’s possible to achieve economies of scale that
>>> can make things like storage and compute cheaper in bulk there than
>>> they are in a distributed system. They can also be more reliable. I
>>> host many things in the cloud because it almost never goes offline,
>>> while my home Internet connection is much more flaky.
>>>
>>> What we really need — and many many people including you have hit on
>>> this — is to find ways to change the technical power dynamic. The
>>> cloud should be the slave and the PC should be the master. The cloud
>>> should be encrypted “zero knowledge” backup, storage, and support
>>> infrastructure for personal computing.
>>>
>>> The way Apple uses cloud is close to what we ought to be trying to
>>> build in the more free/open software community. Apple uses cloud
>>> exactly this way— as dumb storage and support for rich endpoint
>>> devices. They just don’t do the open or encrypted / zero-knowledge
>>> part, as they have no incentive to do so.
>>>
>>> As far as economics go, I’ve started to believe increasingly that
>>> free “as in beer” is in fact the enemy of free “as in freedom.” This
>>> will be true until and unless we actually make it to some kind of
>>> post-scarcity society where production can truly be decoupled from
>>> powerful economic forces.
>>>
>>> I’m not saying we need toll booths everywhere, but we need them
>>> somewhere. There must be some mechanism for open and free “as in
>>> freedom” projects to finance themselves. Otherwise they’re at a
>>> permanent disadvantage.
>>>
>>> Free “as in beer” also encourages the development of dishonest
>>> pseudo-free business models, such as the use of surveillance to
>>> monetize free services. In the late 90s, many services and online
>>> media outlets tried a paid or freemium model. People mostly refused
>>> to pay. Meanwhile the services that opted for pseudo-free models
>>> built around stealth monetization strategies like surveillance grew
>>> exponentially and took over the market.
>>>
>>> This is nothing all that new. Media has always been a deflationary
>>> race to the bottom, giving advertisers and astroturfers/propagandists
>>> the most power over what gets made and shown. The difference now is
>>> that now the media is bidirectional: it watches you as you consume
>>> it. In the past the cost of free was ads/propaganda slipped into your
>>> news and entertainment. Now the cost of free is total surveillance.
>>>
>>>> On Apr 2, 2015, at 10:32 PM, Brian Cloutier
>>>> <briancloutier2010@gmail.com <mailto:briancloutier2010@gmail.com>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for posting! I enjoyed the link to Telekommunism, "venture
>>>> communism" is a fun phrase.
>>>>
>>>> Your post reminds me of another sent to this list, I want to
>>>> believe. <http://adamierymenko.com/decentralization-i-want-to-believe/>
>>>>
>>>> You focus on funding, it's easier to monetize centralized services
>>>> so more venture capital is poured into creating them. The other post
>>>> mentions technical difficulties, distributed systems are /hard /and
>>>> getting them to work even when you trust each piece to act in good
>>>> faith is difficult. Writing a distributed system which is also a
>>>> good product is harder than simply writing a good product;
>>>> centralization helps you outcompete.
>>>>
>>>> How might we get around these pretty substantial market forces?
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM mempko <mempko@gmail.com
>>>> <mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>>> Hi All,
>>>>
>>>> I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>>>>
>>>> 
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
>>>> I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political
>>>> issues of
>>>> decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>>>>
>>>> Cheers!
>>>> Max
>>>
>>
> 
> 

-- 
I use PGP to protect our privacy, if you want to know more, you can
follow this
https://emailselfdefense.fsf.org/en/

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
You can verify my public key here: https://keybase.io/pierreozoux

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
mempko
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 13:45
<html>
  <head>
    <meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type">
  </head>
  <body text="#000000" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
    <div class="moz-cite-prefix">Yes! I have read that paper and I agree
      with Adam. Thank you for reminding me of that post.<br>
      <br>
      I built <a href="http://firestr.com/">Fire★</a> on similar
      principles. <br>
      What is the smallest amount of fixed points to get the system to
      work, but my reason for doing it is slightly different than
      Adam's.<br>
      <br>
      Yes, it is HARD to get a distributed systems to work, but only if
      we try to treat them as a single system! Lots of distributed
      systems research is based on this notion, "How can I build a
      multi-node system that appears to be one."<br>
      <br>
      If we abandon this notion where it makes sense, then it becomes
      much easier. Why are DHT hard? Because we want to distribute a
      hash table across machines and treat it like one! But then again,
      do we need one hash table? And if we do, should it be distributed?<br>
      <br>
      I propose we abandon the notion that a all distributed system
      should act like one system. Probably the only reason we think so
      is because corporations really care about this notion. But a free
      society?<br>
      <br>
      There are four modes of communication we do, public/anonymous,
      private/anonymous, public/known, private/known. Now the question
      is which modes of communication should act like many systems and
      which should act like one system. Here is my thinking:<br>
      <br>
      O = One System<br>
      D = distributed<br>
      <br>
      <br>
                       anonymous |    known<br>
      --------------------------------------------------------<br>
      public    |         O          |        O<br>
      --------------------------------------------------------<br>
      private  |         D          |        D<br>
      <br>
      <br>
      The analogy would be the difference between your house and the
      public square. And talking to many or one person. <br>
      <br>
      Corporations want everything to act like one system because they
      need control. This is obviously stupid. <br>
      <br>
      <a href="http://firestr.com/">Fire★</a> falls on the private/known
      mode of communication, and I am not attempting to make it anything
      else.  ZeroTier One can act as public or private and it makes
      sense to me why he chose some central points to handle the public
      case. Because to handle the public case, you need something that
      kind of looks like one system, and distributed systems that look
      like one system are HARD and you have to deal with CAP. <br>
      <br>
      The developers trying to make decentralized public communication
      systems have a huge hill to climb and they need resources that
      corporations are simply not interested in providing. I really feel
      for them!<br>
      <br>
      I heard ZeroTier One got some seed funding. This is great!
      However, I suspect it would not have been possible if Adam build a
      completely decentralized system. Since he has some control points,
      it appears some capitalist thinks there is an upside. I am all for
      taking money out of capitalists if it means more decentralized
      systems get investment like ZeroTier. And I hope Adam reads my
      blog post about the dangers he faces ahead. He will have an uphill
      battle in keeping it decentralized and in the communities control.<br>
      <br>
      And your question about market forces? My answer would be, what
      market forces? I don't believe the technologies are chosen because
      the market chooses them. An example for you is one you may deal
      with many times in your life. Every time you go to a super market,
      or any store, someone has chosen what is put on the shelf.
      Countless decisions are made for you before you make your choice.
      Your typical interaction with the economy is going to distribution
      systems, not markets.<br>
      <br>
      The internet was different for a while. However, you may have
      noticed the trend of people using phones and tablets and get their
      software not from markets, but distribution systems like app
      stores. I fear the ideal that markets do the right thing is a joke
      because they are impossible to have in a capitalist society. <br>
      <br>
      Max<br>
      <br>
      P.S.<br>
      <br>
      I like to write a lot, sorry for the wall of text.<br>
      <br>
      <br>
      <br>
      <br>
      Brian Cloutier wrote:<br>
    </div>
    <blockquote
cite="mid:CAA+iFE8mVQEsu-D0bB3Z2zJ-cHP4GJnuavAOdrFGcK-paoJ=uQ@mail.gmail.com"
      type="cite">
      <div dir="ltr">Thanks for posting! I enjoyed the link to
        Telekommunism, "venture communism" is a fun phrase.<br>
        <br>
        <div>Your post reminds me of another sent to this list, <a
            moz-do-not-send="true"
            href="http://adamierymenko.com/decentralization-i-want-to-believe/">I
            want to believe.</a></div>
        <div><br>
        </div>
        <div>You focus on funding, it's easier to monetize centralized
          services so more venture capital is poured into creating them.
          The other post mentions technical difficulties, distributed
          systems are <i>hard </i>and getting them to work even when
          you trust each piece to act in good faith is difficult.
          Writing a distributed system which is also a good product is
          harder than simply writing a good product; centralization
          helps you outcompete.</div>
        <div><br>
        </div>
        <div>How might we get around these pretty substantial market
          forces? </div>
        <div><br>
        </div>
        <div class="gmail_quote">On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM mempko
          <<a moz-do-not-send="true" 
href="mailto:mempko@gmail.com">mempko@gmail.com</a>>
          wrote:<br>
          <blockquo te="" class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0
            .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex">Hi All,<br>
            <br>
            I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.<br>
            <br>
            <a moz-do-not-send="true"

href="https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/"
              
target="_blank">https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/</a><br>
            <br>
            Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.<br>
            I personally enjoy both the technical and the
            social/political issues of<br>
            decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.<br>
            <br>
            Cheers!<br>
            Max<br>
          </blockquo></div>
      </div>
    </blockquote>
    <br>
  </body>
</html>

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Jeremie Miller
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 14:06
Max, this is *great*, I love "grass computing" :)

Excellent blog post as well, I'm going to be re-sharing this link often,
thank you!

Jer


On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM, mempko <mempko@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi All,
>
> I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>
>
> 
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/
>
> Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
> I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political issues of
> decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>
> Cheers!
> Max
>

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
mempko
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 15:06
Jer,

Thanks! I am trying to fight the meme war and I think techno babbly 
phrases like Cloud Computing need a distributed counterpart :). I want 
people say "cloud computing? that's like soooo 2014".

Max


Jeremie Miller wrote:
> Max, this is *great*, I love "grass computing" :)
>
> Excellent blog post as well, I'm going to be re-sharing this link 
> often, thank you!
>
> Jer
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM, mempko <mempko@gmail.com 
> <mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     Hi All,
>
>     I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>
>     
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/
>
>     Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
>     I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political
>     issues of
>     decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>
>     Cheers!
>     Max
>
>

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Christian de Larrinaga
Date:
2015-04-04 @ 11:26
surely you mean 2004? or perhaps to be more accurate even 1984?
Christian

mempko wrote:
> Jer,
> 
> Thanks! I am trying to fight the meme war and I think techno babbly 
> phrases like Cloud Computing need a distributed counterpart :). I want 
> people say "cloud computing? that's like soooo 2014".
> 
> Max
> 
> 
> Jeremie Miller wrote:
>> Max, this is *great*, I love "grass computing" :)
>>
>> Excellent blog post as well, I'm going to be re-sharing this link 
>> often, thank you!
>>
>> Jer
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM, mempko <mempko@gmail.com 
>> <mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>     Hi All,
>>
>>     I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
>>
>>     
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/
>>
>>     Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
>>     I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political
>>     issues of
>>     decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
>>
>>     Cheers!
>>     Max
>>
>>
> 

-- 
Christian de Larrinaga
FBCS, CITP, MCMA
-------------------------
@ FirstHand
-------------------------
+44 7989 386778
cdel@firsthand.net
-------------------------

Re: [redecentralize] The Cloud's Shadow on Grass Computing

From:
Dominic Tarr
Date:
2015-04-03 @ 20:11
+1 to "meme warfare"
On 4 Apr 2015 04:07, "mempko" <mempko@gmail.com> wrote:

> Jer,
>
> Thanks! I am trying to fight the meme war and I think techno babbly
> phrases like Cloud Computing need a distributed counterpart :). I want
> people say "cloud computing? that's like soooo 2014".
>
> Max
>
>
> Jeremie Miller wrote:
> > Max, this is *great*, I love "grass computing" :)
> >
> > Excellent blog post as well, I'm going to be re-sharing this link
> > often, thank you!
> >
> > Jer
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Apr 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM, mempko <mempko@gmail.com
> > <mailto:mempko@gmail.com>> wrote:
> >
> >     Hi All,
> >
> >     I thought you guys/gals would like this post I made.
> >
> >
> 
https://mempko.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/the-shadow-of-the-cloud-on-grass-computing/
> >
> >     Let me know what you think and any corrections I can make.
> >     I personally enjoy both the technical and the social/political
> >     issues of
> >     decentralized software and I hope some of you do too.
> >
> >     Cheers!
> >     Max
> >
> >
>
>