A Year of Independence

Building a platform is difficult. It takes time, dedication, learning new skill-sets and a lot of sacrifice. To pay this price, and be successful, and then have some corporate goons shut you down, is a serious hazard in this strange new world we live in.

The Axis of Evil

Individual freedom has a new enemy, and it isn’t the government. This time it’s AFTGA [Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google & Amazon.] Doesn’t matter what the political persuasion, if you can’t recognise how evil these mega-corporations have become, then something could be wrong with your brain. It might be the future, where corporations replace sovereign governments, but any artist or entrepreneur wanting to build a platform today would have to be crazy to use the legacy platforms if they don’t want to fall prey to these hyper-radicalised corporations.

Amazon and Facebook Are the Most 'Evil' Tech Companies, According ...

The Alternative Challenge

The route to avoid this is harder than than using the mainstream internet, but in the end, if you seek to have your platform resistant to corporate thuggery, then try building it from scratch. Decentralisation is key, and the internet being the internet, provides ample alternative building blocks. It comes down to habits, so the best way to approach this is to try to change your normal routine with how you interact with the world wide web, by using alternatives for at least a year.

OS v OS

The first fence to jump would be the OS barrier. Using the Windows platform by Microsoft seems safe at the moment. Even though they push through updates that fuck up your user experience, they’ve never to my knowledge targeted users and tried to shut them down. Sure they steal your behavioural data, and pump out propaganda via their MSNBC outlet, but the risk of them stifling your platform is low. That’s why I haven’t included them as part of the Axis of Evil [yet]. No one really uses Edge browser. They can’t Skype you out of existence. But Bezos, Dorsey, Pichai and Cook can obliterate you out of existence if they target you. Zuckerberg seems to understand the potential for evil they are messing with, but the others don’t appear to give a fuck about the individual human being, they believe they are the sole moral authority. For any platform builder, even casual internet users for that matter, this is a bad thing.

Udemy Class Review: Ubuntu for Beginners - ExtremeTech

If you really want to start from scratch, Linux-based operating systems are available that are now just as good as Win and iOS. There are heaps of Linux-based offerings, but Ubuntu is the way to go, but not absolute.

Browser War 2

The First Browser War was long and fought by various belligerents. Netscape, Explorer and then Google entered the battle. MS leveraged the dominance they had with their OS platform to become number one, but in the end Google’s Chrome eventually won, leveraging their success in the Search Algorithm Battle.

The Second Browser War has already began. Its now all about decentralisation and personal data. Google refuses to let go of their golden goose, so they won’t pay you for the data they skin off you. The alternative I find most likely to service every day browsing, just as a way to differentiate from your mainstream operations, is the Brave Browser.

Pin by dipa barua on Stuff to Buy | Brave browser, Clear browsing ...

With Brave, you can separate the old way of interacting with the internet (Chrome, Twitter, Facebook) and the new way, using only the alternative bookmarks with the Brave Browser.

Brave also monetises your data, giving you the choice to get paid for the data they (Brave) collect. Also a great introduction to cryptocurrency and the applied power of blockchain technology.

The Search Migration

When attempting research, the best way to ween yourself off Google Search, especially since they curate what information the algorithm delivers to you (i.e. blatant censorship) is using alternatives.

Presearch is a decentralized search engine, powered by the community. | Social sites, Health ...
How to Get Traffic From Alternative Search Engines (Other ...

DuckDuckGo at least promises to protect your privacy; uses the Yahoo algorithm, and attempts to give you the best result, as opposed to what Google wants you to discover.

Presearch is blockchain-based, therefore it pays you directly for the information it gets from you and offers multiple and custom search options.

privacy@email.com

There was a time in the late 90’s- early 2000’s when I was able to register over seventy free email accounts. kandiliotis@yawmail.com kandiliotis@start.com kandiliotis@mbox.com. There existed heaps of these. Now they’ve all vanished, only hotmail.com and gmail.com have remained the dominant providers of free service. They provide it free because they snoop through your private content and throw adverts at you.

Having road-tested heaps I’ve settled on Protonmail. It has a decent free plan, it’s encrypted by default, has solid free features, and is based in Switzerland. Oh, plus they don’t snoop on you.

It’s in the Cloud.

Cloud storage is handy, holy shit, it’s more than just handy. Having access to your data anytime and anywhere is the best, it’s revolutionary. But just like email, Google and Microsoft just love snooping around your stuff, and if they don’t like you, they can cut you off from your data and will. Dropbox and Box.com are also big-tech cronies who would do same if they all decide to come for you.

When Megaupload was shut down, like all disruptive technology, Kim Dotcom simply establish an another file sharing service, Mega.nz. Granted, it can be taken down, but only a government level attack could do it. As long as no laws are broken, I don’t see this happening. It’s encrypted, has neat features, and robust.

If you want more control; set up your own file server. Nextcloud and Owncloud are available, and with a bit of research and knowhow, are easy to install.

If you’re savvy enough, you can run these from home, but if you use a hosting service, make sure the servers are NOT reliant on Amazon’s AWS, otherwise they can and will shut you down.

Microblog: The News Revolution

Twitter is garbage. If you’re looking to have a meaningful conversation on a platform limited to 280 characters then give up. Its not going to happen. The only usefulness a micro-blogging site has is access to news. It bypasses legacy media choke-holds and gives you direct news, real-time, from the source.

Unfortunately, Jack Dorsey’s crew think its okay to appoint themselves as the morality police by curating what is and what is not news, or what is ethical and what is not. Or who is a good person and who is bad.

Fortunately, the market counterbalances this with competition.

And Freedom of Speech is the main marketing strategy, with both Parler and Gab dedicated to respecting the right for an individual to express themselves freely. As an artist or any platform builder, this is an important aspect. Getting your news out to the world should not be based around the morality and ethics of some Silicon Valley goon, but base around your own principles.

Social Freedom, or Death

Interacting with your fans or customers is a fundamental aspect to any platform. Whether the interactions are positive or negative, that is your business.

Minds Launches Virtual Currency-Powered Social Networking ...

Minds and Hive are both blockchain-base solutions to social media censorship. They are user controlled with strong established communities, and they offer payment systems for content.

Blockchain Killed the Video Star.

Stay bland, avoid using an ever-increasing list of banned words, submit to an ever-subverted political correctness, and you will do fine on YouTube. The monetisation program they provide is easy bait, but you become enslaved to their ever-shifting values.

Blockchain offers solutions to grow your platform. It may be slow and meagre but crypto-currencies aren’t going to go away. They are maturing fast and will eventually dominated the Internet’s economy.

Dr. Bill.TV is Now on BitChute! - Dr. Bill.TV | The ...LBRY in 100 Seconds - YouTube

Bitchute and LBRY are the main contenders. Decentralised, they provide a safer base of operations. Build an audience free of corporate interference.

Dtube gets an honourable mention because of… blockchain.

Patreonisation

When Patreon decided to de-platform customers, SubscribeStar said thank you very much. Russian-owned, there’s little chance they’ll bend to American corporate wokeness because, a] they actually want to make money, b] Russia is protected by nuclear weapons.

SubscribeStar

Locals is another subscription\social media platform that’s worth checking out.

Also, consider getting up to speed with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, because legacy banks and Paypal have no qualms destroying you and your enterprise.

Beyond Distribution

AFTGA, especially Amazon, have a stranglehold on publishing whether it be books, music or movies. They can crush you on a whim. Paypal, who own eBay, Gumtree and other ecommerce big tech firms have proven they will shut you down if they don’t like you so, don’t rely on them. Alternative distribution outlets are hard to come by, but they do exist., for example; OpenBazaar.

Decentralisation is key. If you’re producing content, blockchain and torrent technologies have the ability to sucker punch these corporate leviathans, but that is a quest for another future post.

Dendr Token

Dendro Token

Dendro (DEN) is an Ethereum-based token issued by the author of “The Blood Ring.” Holders of the token are entitled to trade the Dendro for any official content or content-related product offered by Bill Kandiliotis.

These tokens can be used as vouchers to access the following content released by the Author – Printed or electronic versions of books and games, and any official merchandise related to books released by the Author.

Dendro Token

Cryptonium

Halfway through 2011 I came across the phenomenon of Bitcoin, and my head went into a tail spin. This was a revolution. I felt it in my bones. But I was reluctant to buy in and profit from it. At the time, it had the aura of an elaborate, hi-tech scam.  The ultimate in electronic pyramid schemes. And the amount of hacking going on against the bitcoin exchanges (run from servers in peoples garages) didn’t help things either. I felt it was never intended as a alternative currency. Who in their right mind would trade commodities online or shop with it.

Sure, it (kind of) bypassed third parties and fees,  and it seemed easy to use. But once you send off a bitcoin to some address that is it. It’s irreversible. There is no redress. Online fraud using bitcoins leaves no paper trail to physically follow. Although there is an electronic trail, how does one place trust in such a new system?

Hector the Toad:“You want to give me the bitcoins, or do I kill your brother first, before I kill you?”
Tony Montana: “This focking blockchain is 1.5 focking gigabytes. So why don’t you try sticking your head up your ass? See if it fits.”
Hector the Toad: “Okay, Caracicatriz. You can die too. It makes no difference to me.”

Even drug dealers would be hesitant to use this nascent technology. Imagine Tony Montana rocking up to a meeting with the Colombians with a laptop?

Then imagine him having to wait for the transactions to be confirmed. Chain saws. Fun and games. Even gangsters rely on strong banking institutions to keep their wealth safe. And even then these same institutions are prone to nationalisation, or bankruptcy.

This technology has yet to find a proper use, yet punters poured millions of dollars into the “early adopters” pockets. Go to their forums and you’ll find rampant spruiking and fever pitch excitement each time some Gordon Gecko forks out money to buys these things. Try being negative on these forums and they ignore you, or you get labelled a troll.

This is the mindset I used not to go diving in.

  • If it feels like a scam, or ponzi racket. It probably is. Why? Because the market is a mechanism for people to store value and generate income. In theory anyway. Speculators using the market as the ultimate roulette table may in fact be a healthy thing for a market, guiding investors to where to park their capital. Bitcoins don’t have intrinsic value. They don’t earn anything, and by the time they become useful in mainstream economy as a currency the game will have changed. Traded solely for profiteering on peoples greed and fear, nothing influences the value of bitcoin except speculation (and hackers). At best, this is a form of gambling. Add early adopters to the mix, and you get the perfect pyramid scheme. So if it’s toooo good to be true, it is.
  • Bitcoin is also a technology that can be easily duplicated. It can be modified and developed, rendering the original blockchain, redundant.
  • Power rests with those who control the client software protocol. So your in fact swapping Bankers for Programmers.
  • Hackers. The digital wallets where the value is store are so easy to lose, destroy or stolen. One lapse of personal electronic security and your wallet is gone. One hard drive failure, one catastrophic digital error (i.e.  cause by an index finger on the return key) and the bitcoins are gone.

On the plus side.

  • Bitcoins are are good way for kids to learn about trading on the market.
  • The potential for investment new technology. Potential, since, apart from the exchanges popping up everywhere, there has not been significant investment in anything else. I’d rather invest in a start up that is actually building a way to make cryptonium useful, than speculate on the gambling habits of other speculators.

That was then. The case remains the same today. I see nothing has changed.

The current problems we have with fiat money is hoarding. Existing in a dual state, as a medium of exchange as well as a store of value, fiat currencies are vulnerable to hoarding, which starves the life blood out of economies. (which is another story.) Yet fiats are trusted by citizens (or forced upon them, since governments don’t give anyone much of a choice) and are at least designed to “stabilise” economies, Keynesian style. What are bitcoins designed to do? They are perfect for hoarding! They are easier to hoard than fiat cash or gold. At best, P2P crypto-currencies are designed rob governments of their ability collect taxes, so no hospitals, roads, and God forbid, no social security. Perhaps governments will find a way to get the early adopters will pay for such things? Fiat currencies are also backed by governments, by law or by force. What will back bitcoins when early adopters decide to cash in, flood the bitcoin casinos and send those Gecko’s screaming for the door. As long as Bitcoins remain deflationary they will be hoarded more zealously than gold or government bonds.

The Future of Cryptocurrency

Right now it’s all about fooling enough punters to part with their fiat cash so it can be redistributed to some other punter. In the future, the technology behind these crypto-currencies will eventually find a way to complement society. Key factor. The technology can be duplicated. e.g Litecoin, Namecoin, Ixcoin. ppcoin. All corporations have to do is start their own blockchains. e.g Google Money. Facecoin. Retailers could convert their own rewards and loyalty programs into tailor-made cryptocurrencies. Music and movie corporations could use the same peer to peer technology that nearly wiped them out, to create a system of distribution using cryptocurrencies. Sonycoin. Applecash, AmazonDollars. Hell, even governments could start their own bond market and social security blockchain. UScoin, Auscoin. Eurocoin.

In fact, their is no doubt in my mind this will happen. It may be too late to profit from Bitcoin right now, (since I missed out at buying then at 5 cents), but expecting bitcoin’s value to hit a million dollars per unit is tuliptistic. Once cryptonium currencies enter the mainstream economy in numerous manifestations this whole argument will become trivial. And even then, once quantum computing hits the scene, everything we understand today will become anecdotal. Unless cryptographic hash functions become so large and complex, they start grinding down machines running at light speed, since the speed of light is indeed finite and numbers are.. well, infinite.

But that’s also another story.