Writing about topics I’d rather not write about

I just published a longread on my Dutch site. It’s the result of processing and reordering my thoughts on propaganda, indoctrination and cognitive dissonance. Topics I normally don’t talk or write about, but several war conversations I had these past weeks made me realize not everyone is as familiar with destructive communication techniques, psychology and the long-term consequences for human behaviour. As that’s all part of my acquired knowledge (I have a Master’s in communication science) I figured it’s good to structure my knowledge and thoughts, so I can explain it better to others in the next conversation I have (or point them to my site to read).

It took me many hours to write the essay. As it’s a precarious topic I felt very hesitant to publish it. Nevertheless it’s online now. Time to move on.

Door |2022-04-06T15:58:28+02:006 april 2022|flow|0 Reacties

Einde van een tijdperk

Ik lees net dat Kasper Kardolus is overleden. Wie schermde kende de naam Kardolus.

De befaamde schermtrainer kwam altijd fel op voor zijn sport en zijn vereniging. Dat zorgde af en toe voor conflicten met onder meer de schermbond. “Vooral in een kleine sport moet je van je afbijten. Ik laat niet met me sollen en ik ben voor niets en niemand bang”, zei hij in zijn laatste interview, dat vorige maand in het blad NLcoach verscheen.


Door |2022-04-04T13:08:58+02:004 april 2022|flow|0 Reacties

Do I need to dive into Web3?

As an early adopter of Web 2.0 I felt obligated to see what the buzz is around Web 3.0. Oops, Web3 of course. All of a sudden all the internet and web nerds were buzzing the word, but I felt a bit clueless what they actually see as Web3. I searched online and read some articles (e.g. this one, this one and this one). Basically, Web3 is about blockchaining everything. That will decentralise the web and therefore we the people take back ownership. Hmmm, when have I heard that before? In the discussions about the web being dominated by corporate websites roughly twenty-five years ago?

In the description the above mentioned articles, web 2.0 is described as the social web where a few organisations are in full control. Well, that surely is the end result of web 2.0, but that’s not how it started. First only companies were allowed to register for a web domain, hence the corporate domination, but then individuals were allowed to claim their domain. Tools were being built for individuals to publish written words online without the need to write HTML. Like Blogger did. And Movable Type. And WordPress. And Drupal. And RSS made it easy to follow updates on websites in your own RSS-reader on your computer. That’s how you could keep track of hundreds of websites in one tool. And then some guys (yes, always guys) cooked up something like Twitter, where you could type 150 characters in a box and publish it to a network of peers where you could follow each others brain farts. And then sharing your digital photo became easier with Flickr and later on Instagram. And then sharing videos became easy through uploading it to Youtube and Vimeo.

All of these businesses launched to solve a problem: how to easily share online. Either through words, pictures or videos. Today’s big brands started as (very) small teams. They built tools first and made money later. The big question in the early 00’s was about making money of all the valuable content that was being produced. Some of today’s big brands came up with an answer to that question and that’s why they attracted VC and advertisers and created wealth to push their tools towards many people and absorb potential competitors. And now they’ve become so big and wealthy that for the average user their tools became the equivalent for ‘being on the internet’.

So human online interaction is now stuck in a few silos and the people owning those silos are absorbing too much data and too much money for public health. And Web3 is supposed to solve all that. Through decentralizing and blockchaining digital ownership.

Well, decentralisation can be done without the blockchain. See Diaspora. See IndyWeb. See Mastodon. We can still run our own website. In fact WordPress practically hosts half the online world. Hello, reader, that’s why you read this. I can block nasty comments all by myself (not that trolls have found me in this quiet corner of the web). I could create sponsored content if I wanted. Or how about the classic banner? Give me some money and I’ll put your banner in a sidebar for a month. But I decide whether it’s appropriate for my website. Oh, and by the way, I own my own data by writing here, instead of inside a silo. I can even wipe the database if I want to. Though that might be pointless when The Internet Archive visited my place. Fair enough. I’ll play nice here.

I understand the search for the next big step outside the silos. I don’t think blockchaining everything will achieve that. It doesn’t really scale that well (l’d rather have windmills to provide clean energy for family homes than for yet another data centre). As much as I adore the collective cleverness of the IT-crowd, my bet is on legislators this time. The legal ground work that’s currently being done within the EU has much more realism and potential to break bad habits of existing silo’s.

As for the web, that will surely evolve. There will be things developed that use blockchain. There will be things that stay the same. There will be new inventions that could turn the web upside down. There will be laws passed that put real world constraints and consequences on virtual actions. Call it Web3, call it Web 3.0 or simply call it the Web. But I don’t really have to jump on board of something right now in fear of missing out. If you’re an artist, though…

NFT’s, you know that ‘exciting’ example of Web3? I think it’s mainly a hyped sigh of relieve for all those involved in the art world for finally being able to participate in the digital world. They’ve been sitting on the side line for twenty years now. Let them have their party. And if you’re one of the happy few that monetized on other people’s web 2.0 content, join that party and invest in artists’ NFT’s, really generously.

Door |2022-03-24T14:48:38+02:0025 maart 2022|flow|0 Reacties
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