01.20.22

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The Future of Techrights

Posted in Site News at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Future
Just bear with us…

Summary: Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices

The title isn’t clickbait (I could think of much more click-worthy titles), it’s just a descriptive explanation, a concise one, of the subject to be tackled here.

Lately we’ve been having internal (albeit public, fully transparent, to be found in IRC logs) discussion about the future. We’re been observing the gradually-deteriorating state of the World Wide Web (just “Web” for short) and collapse of the media (as in journalism) — a subject we tackled hours ago. On Monday we had a complete breakdown of storage (meltdown of the whole OS) in the self-hosted (from home) Gemini capsule, IPFS and other essential services, but we recovered fully within less than a day owing to a good backup regime and Git (all the bits and pieces are there, version-controlled too), leaving us with both a hardware upgrade (twice as much storage) and an OS upgrade (Bullseye). We’ll improve our disaster recovery and contingencies strategy as a result of Monday’s incident, probably using a few “hot spares” and quasi-redundancy.

“To quell or calm down concerned readers (Mogz is among them), we are not leaving the Web!”Looking ahead at our crystal ball, we envision a move away from WordPress some time over the horizon. The trajectory of the project isn’t bad for some users, but we’re not among those users. I myself played a big role in the project in its earlier days (around 2004-2008), I’m among the first dozen users in WordPress.com (I was a beta tester), and I care for WordPress deeply. In fact, I maintain nearly a dozen WordPress sites. I’m not a big fan of more recent versions of WordPress, but that’s a matter of personal preferences if not an eccentric opinion. The direction the Web has taken puts us off more and more over time; we want to seek alternatives, even if they’re just optional. To quell or calm down concerned readers (Mogz is among them), we are not leaving the Web! We’re not leaving! It’ll be fully supported probably for decades to come (if we last decades more… or even a whole decade longer; decades is a huge amount of time in the context of technology).

“Last year we moved to Gemini, we took our IRC network ‘in-house’, and during the pandemic’s first year we also added bulletins, then IPFS and a bunch of other things.”In terms of our focus, we’re trying to produce only accurate and properly fact-checked material, both in short and long form (even memes are checked carefully for accuracy). We strive for quality, not quantity, and we try to produce original material of interest to the general population. We focus on issues we know well enough and we meticulously check blog posts for typos, too (unlike IRC; IRC is super-informal and we don’t do social control media, not in our capacity as a site anyway).

Last year we moved to Gemini, we took our IRC network ‘in-house’, and during the pandemic’s first year we also added bulletins, then IPFS and a bunch of other things. The site is no longer limited to just a Web site. It’s a lot bigger than that. The code we have in Git is a testament to that (we took that repository public only months ago).

“Software freedom remains our foremost priority.”We still have a lot to say and to show regarding GitHub/Microsoft, the EPO, and the FSF, which will soon announce its new chief (not Board). We heard speculations that it’ll be Greg Farough, but it’s just hearsay and we have no way to prove it. Richard Stallman suggested that a decision had been made already.

Software freedom remains our foremost priority. The fight against software patents is closely connected to that priority and we study angles that others barely touch, e.g. the devolution of cars. One of the best way to help us is to join us in IRC; not some “like” in social control media or even money. Our operating costs are as minimal as can be, but the scarcity is human effort. We want to get more people involved because the more of us work together, the greater the output (and impact) will be.

So, in short, the future of Techrights will hopefully revolve around expansion in terms of the number of people involved.

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