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Cake day: Jun 02, 2020

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I’m not sure that the methodology here makes any sense. Much less that it should be put into a title that some people are just going to read and scroll past and accept uncritically.

I don’t know how accurate Statcounter is as a snapshot of actual usage. It might be good, but it might be bad. The slice of websites that actually use stat counter and how representative they are of global traffic, is probably a complex question.

Then, supposing it can be taken as representative, it’s treating market share like it’s absolute numbers, and like a percentage going down from one year to the next means a loss of users.

But it doesn’t necessarily mean that. It can mean that global users are growing, and that Firefox user share is not growing as fast as global growth, meaning that is remaining stagnant. Or it might lose a small portion of its user base while the total number of global users is increasing. A year to year percentage loss in market share doesn’t necessarily mean a loss of 12% of users.



If you really don’t know how to look at this and see the lack of a compelling argument, I really don’t know what to tell you.

The level of scatterbrained disorganization in the article is something that could only exist on the internet. I’m not even sure where to start. I guess I’ll start with this: at one point, in bold, it is alleged that “some people started to report about huge amounts of data and metadata being sent to Matrix central servers.”

Some people? It’s not at all clear from the article what the source for that is. Is it one of the numbered links? Before, or after? There’s no natural reading of it where you can find what the source is. I’m not even just talking about whether the statement is true, I’m talking about the fundamental lack of concern for connecting allegations to evidence in a way that’s accessible to a reader.

Also, the game of saying X is funded by Y, easily degrades into a meaningless exercise of six degrees of Kevin Bacon if you aren’t careful. The joke at the center of six degrees of Kevin bacon, is that you can name any actor, and they’re no more than six degrees removed from Kevin Bacon. Is that because there’s a secret Kevin Bacon conspiracy at the center of the entire history of film and cinema? Or is it because the that’s how networked set of relationships in any context for anything works?

That goes even more so for finance. It’s not enough to say that one organization is connected to another because it is “funded by” it, and therefore compromised. That is intellectually lazy, and not something that by itself is sufficient to establish questionable motives or intentions. It’s not nothing, either, but it’s a circumstantial connection that needs to be supplemented by additional context, such as an agenda that carries over from one institution to the other, or particular people that move from one to the other, or some kind of smoking gun explicitly and directly showing intentions, that is to say, a totality of evidence that converges on a point, rather than mere connections that can be interpreted to suggest malevolent intentions.

I could go through the article piece by piece and explain how scatterbrained it is. The incoherence of opening the article that starts by floating a possible connection to Israeli intelligence, only to immediately set it aside and say that the rest of the article doesn’t depend on taking any of that seriously. Or how absurd it is that any of the argument at all would hinge on the fact that Riot, which isn’t even matrix, but a client for matrix, runs on Electron, which itself is also not Matrix, and that Electron being not free software somehow supports an argument specifically relating to Israeli intelligence. It’s not even clear what that argument is or isn’t supposed to support, is never elaborated upon. It’s never elaborated upon whether electron is bad just in the sense that proprietary software is bad because it seeks profit, or whether in this case it’s supposed to be specific to a malevolent connection to Israel or something else, and what the basis is for distinguishing it as one or the other, or how much of an argument that’s against electron or Riot is supposed to apply specifically to matrix.

It’s just one half baked argument after another after another after another. And I’m not even saying that it’s wrong! Regardless of what you believe, there’s just a really fundamental level at which this is not an example of coherent thinking through evidence or logical arguments to get to a well reasoned conclusion.

“Curious” connections that might be nothing, but nevertheless are being entertained because things are “linked” in ephemeral ways, and that is the stuff of Qanon conspiracies. Again not saying it’s wrong, but if you can’t see how disorganized this article is, I don’t know what to tell you.


I would love to see a truly wild and rich variety of skins that are radically different. Different uses of spacing, color, ways of organizing sections.

I feel like we lost that at some point - I remember winamp and windowblinds, and even just how custom web sites used to be. There’s so much potential available for so “cheap” that it could be a huge deal in terms of creating a flavor.


I agree with you about Diaspora*. I just don’t think it is designed well. I think mastodon, thank god, kicked off the trend of actually designing fediverse projects well.

I haven’t followed mastodon growth lately, but I’m optimistic. It saw a wave of migration from indian politics twitter people last I had checked. I hope that more and more people make it their own.

What I think is critical is to NOT expect instant, meteoric growth. I think this stuff takes time. It was frustrating in like 2016 and 2017 to see the occassional “Is Mastodon failing?” because some tech journalist heard about it 2 months ago and it didn’t immediately overtake twitter.

I think as long as the baseline community is organic, and earned, as long as that is sustained, there will be waves of new users at particular moments. Whatever reasons cause influxes of users, it won’t be something the fediverse directly controls. It will just be something that it’s ready for.


welcome @k_o_t!

🥳


@abbenmtoPrivacy*Permananently Deleted*
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a lot of healthy unpopular opinions will be banned.

Are there people in the mod log you view as examples of that?

It’s just hard to wrap my head around this for a number of reasons. One, in practical terms, I just don’t see it happening. Two, it’s very slippery slopey. Three, the whole model of the fediverse is that you can go and find servers that have that if you want, so I would think you’re all set, but your post appears strangely unresponsive to that. It seems like you want the entire underlying structure of the fediverse changed. If we want to talk about “healthy” exchanges of opinions, to me a huge criteria is responsiveness.

For number four, I just find the analogy to big corporations to be strained. There’s a real sense in which Facebook, Google, and the like have had effects on the fabric of democracy, they’re some of the most valuable publicly traded companies in the world, they hold entire industries like print media in their hand. If a nascent link posting service with no money and a small user base is the same because it’s trying to stop harassment, to me that’s confused in so many ways I don’t even know where to start with unpacking it.

And fifth and perhaps most importantly, I find this just to be the wrong starting point for this kind of discussion. It’s been talked about a million times in a million different ways with a lot more nuance than here, and people have put a lot of effort into designing a fediverse system that takes issues of coordinated online harassment seriously. I think vague, meandering posts with open ended implications that are hard to pin down, aren’t putting in the necessary effort to engage with the reasoning that went into creating the system. So the whole thing is going to be a tedious slog.

I really think the best thing that can be done in threads like these going forward (they seem to be churned out near-daily basis now) is a one sentence response, basically saying “yeah, we’re not doing that here.” And a link maybe to the code of conduct.


Posts and comments are no longer live-sorted (meaning most content should stay in place).

Glad for this one. I got confused sometimes when I upvoted stuff and it seemingly disappeared.


I worry that the phrase “censorship” gets used as a thought-stopping cliche, especially given it’s repetition here.

You could ask the same question but with different words, e.g. “harassment, racism, and incitement to violence should be welcomed here.” And then ask people to vote up if they agree.

And you could post the polling options as different variants of that question: “There’s a right amount of harassment.” “There’s too much harassment” “there’s too little harassment.”

I mean… you could do it that way. And it would be equally as neutral as the questions you did ask. If you find that framing objectionable because only uses language that focuses on one side of an issue, well… yeah.


Well the best conversations on mastodon were when I connected with some individual people who were really passionate and well informed about something really obscure that they could talk about at length.

It seemed like it was a bit easier to discover those people and have those convos back in the earlier days of mastodon though.

I suppose, more than anything, I just want to say I think you’ve asked a good question and I hope there’s some good answers here.


For the bigots, its not just the enforcement of those rules, but the mere existence of them that turns them into whiny babies.

I’ve said this several times before, but one of the reasons I joined lemmy, and want to keep it active, is because I appreciate the values being brought to the project. It’s not just activitypub, but the kinds of people who are involved in the best projects, that are the among the reasons why I want to be on platforms like this.


I think it’s probably important to emphasize at this point that what’s being discussed is essentially a decision about whether or not to put something in a config file. Which is a very different conversation than the grandiose free speech debates some want to have.

If anything, my main issue here is that people can point to this issue and use it as a jumping off point to make “free speech” arguments. It would be good to nip that in the bud.


We don’t need another reddit full of “centrist” free speech warriors.

Exactly this. One problem I’ve noticed - there have been several times where people started threads like these, wanting to have long, fisky, point-by-point debates about everything.

I think it would be extremely helpful to say something to the effect of “this is not a place for The Free Speech Argument.” Even if it’s only applicable to this instance of Lemmy.

As @realcaseyrollins@lemmy.ml said in this thread: “I’m not active here, but I would be if there wasn’t hard-coded censorship on the software”. To me that shows that it’s working.

I agree, and this is well said. I haven’t found a need to slurs, and I feel that meaningful conversations that play out across paragraphs have more going on than just using slurs, so in practical terms (setting aside slippery slope arguments for a moment), I wonder what sense of values a person is coming from where they feel like that kind of filter is preventing them from expressing their values.


People who complain about “censorship” and “authoritarianism” while espouting the benefits of “freedom of speech” are exactly the type of people you don’t want around.

Completely agree. Too often you see pledges to celebrate free speech from right wing spaces that are interested misconstruing valid criticism as suppression of speech. One of the most insane things I remember seeing were threads across reddit related to Charlottesville, where tons of commenters defending violence in Charlottesville by talking about free speech.

And then these same people pull back and act like they are talking about these ideas in the abstract, sanitized of any need to engage with the practical problems that motivate efforts to protect online spaces from violent incitement. I have never, never never never ever, seen people making these free speech arguments engage with this problem in a serious way at all. I have never seem someone stop and say “hey, I really care about free speech BUT I also realize that right wing mobs that spread violence use that argument as a cover, and I want to make sure I’m not inadvertently supporting their growth!”

I have never seen these people talk about how the modern internet, starting with gamergate in 2014-2015 and then spiraling out from there, created new, unprecedented problems related to swarming, massive bad faith engagement, etc. that poisoned and took over online spaces if left unchecked. I’ve never seen them look at that and say “I agree that those are problems, and I don’t want to gloss over them when I talk about free speech so my solution is _____” and they fill in the blank with something that isn’t completely crazy.

They never talk about laws passed to prevent BDS, a major free speech issue. They never talk about how to raise funds for the ACLU. Or supporting local media either through online or offline platforms. They never talk about legal funds supporting reporters who are caught up in court for their reporting.

Generally, all they ever talk about is online message boards. If you ask them to engage with any of this, either the mask falls completely off, or you realize they have never thought about any of it at all, and the responses you get are them reacting in real time to information that’s completely brand new to them.

There’s a saying I’ve recently encountered, that I’ve found helpful. It’s the notion of being in the wrong room with the wrong person. If you are talking to someone about free speech, who wants to frame it in a way that erases every problem that moderation has been fighting, that’s not a person prepared to have the conversation they are trying to have, and, in short, you’re in the wrong room with the wrong person.


it’s extremely hard to do a full visual redesign like Microsoft did with their Office suite

I wouldn’t vouch for anything like an “extreme” redesign. I think there are inventive ways to reskin an interface on the cheap in terms of developer resources.

I agree the cost is not nothing, it doesn’t have to be treated like the biggest priority, we should be glad with what we have, etc etc.

But that all just feels really defensive. I think it’s fair to acknowledge that everything you are saying is true, and to say how fantastic Libreoffice is as a full-fledged alternative to major office suites, and acknowledge that libreoffice resembles software design from the 1990s.


Honestly, a huge issue for LibreOffice IMO is that it doesn’t look modern.

As much as I don’t want to just be reacting to a title of a post, this is where my mind immediately went when seeing the title.

I understand that the post is about a campaign to engage with a new generation of contributors, but just the same, the title got me to realize how much I felt LibreOffice would benefit from some sort of refresh.

A lot of caveats here, of course. One, it’s not a LibreOffice Good vs. LibreOffice bad thing. I use it, I always will as long as it can open office docs. So I don’t want to just dismiss the possibility of graphical improvements out of an impulse to defend LibreOffice. Secondly, one should of course be mindful of how much risk there is in attempts to do graphical refreshes of interfaces. That road may lead to disaster, given certain historical examples. So, obviously, you’d want the “good” kind of refresh, not the bad kind.

Anyway, long way of saying I agree with your basic point here.


Thanks for elaborating! I think your suspicions are very right. There’s an amount of infuriating and inexplicable poweruser stuff happening that I think many are oblivious to. Whether it’s just the way that reposts have been like industrialized factory production lines. I thought I was a curmudgeon when I complained about reposts after the exodus from Digg to reddit, but what happens now makes that look like nothing in comparison.

I agree with your observation about the parallels between thedonald and WSB. Also reminiscent of 4chan - there’s something about shitposty shittiness that I think is a standard baseline for inorganic content and behavior that amasses the capability to mobilize people.

The reddit admins openly said they generated content in the early days to create the illusion of user activity. Smoke and mirrors is the unspoken characteristic of reddit. The platform always had an aire of fakeness since inception.

I remember that!!! Reddit founders apparently posted under multiple user names to get the site started. Unfortunately I can’t find articles now that talk about this but I wish I knew the original sources for this stuff.


Probably a tie between the first Deus Ex and the first Life is Strange.


I have had my suspicions that this was true and would love to know more if you have additional thoughts here.

I think I chalked it up to the fact that money was at stake, so there were interests at play, so the culture there sustained itself in a way that that behavior normally doesn’t organically sustain itself on reddit.




I guarantee you’ve never heard anything like this. Incredibly original and inspired track from Sleepytime Gorilla Museum…



This is an issue for me now on Firefox for Windows 10 as well as the Chrome browser for ChromeOS. Despite hanging, it does save my edits…




Information Attacks on Democracies

Intro to the article from Brad DeLong: …


What are your favorite obscure gems from the itch.io game bundle?

I like discovering new things. So I went through the entire list of games in the Bundle For Racial Justice and Equality. I found some I liked, and wanted to share. …