Evolution


#1
indie

For the past four years, and with very limited resources, Laura and Ialong with the help of some wonderful people – have been trying to make the Web, the Internet, and technology in general a safer and kinder place. In this we are thankful to have wonderful allies, and the shoulders of giants to stand on, some of whom have been working on solutions for far longer than we have even been aware of the problems.

In that time, we’ve produced products, written articles, given presentations and learned tons about the problem we’re tackling as well as the goal we must work towards. The problem, of course, is surveillance capitalism. And our goal is to swing the pendulum of technology towards a decentralised Internet of People to encourage the personal networking era and foster a world with individual sovereignty and a healthy commons). My own view on how we can best tackle the problem and effect the change we want to see in the world has also evolved over this time.

I’ve always believed that we need to build a bridge from Surveillance Capitalism to a post-Capitalist future. I still do. However, where I once thought that we could build that bridge with a single seamless platform, I now feel that our best chance is to support and build democratic, non-Capitalist technological infrastructure and integrate it seamlessly into existing systems. We must also, in parallel, prototype and build decentralised, free and open, and interoperable systems that make use of this democratic infrastructure. That might sound somewhat cryptic and lacking in specific detail. That’s because I intend to spend the coming weeks and months elaborating on the details.

In the coming days, Ind.ie itself will evolve to better express and reflect the evolution of our focus and ambition. As such, we will be deprecating some projects (like Heartbeat) while putting renewed effort into others (like Better) and introducing yet others (like the successor to Heartbeat). We will complete our move away from the UK, which will lead to our name and our logo evolving also. And while we’re already rather lean, we will continue to cut our costs to enable us to focus our limited resources where they can have the most impact.

None of this will happen overnight and all of it will happen openly and iteratively.

Going forward, I hope to document and share this process and the day-to-day of our work with you via short updates. There might be some dust as we shake things up. Mistakes will be made and learned from. This is a journey and all we know for certain is the kind of world we want to live in. This road is, in the words of Robert Frost, “the one less traveled by”. Laura, Osky, and I look forward to seeing where it leads. Thanks to your friendship and support, we know we don’t have to walk it alone.

“And that has made all the difference.”–Robert Frost.


#2

Respect

I’m looking forward to your thoughts, “non-Capitalist technological infrastructure” what, why and how?

Cheers,


#3

Glad to hear the renewed focus on ind.ie. Looking forward to see what you will build up next. You have my support and if you need any help just ask.


#4

Thanks, @jelle, will do. I hope there will be many ways that people can help out in without too much time and effort. That will be one of our goals: to foster that sort of environment.

Thanks, @jcz! :smiley:

I’ve given some not-so-subtle hints in some of my articles :point_left: :wink: but look forward to releasing a much more detailed plan going forward.


#6

Laura and Aral, thank you for this message. I hope you both will keep navigating on the same compass: dignity for human beings in the digital world, also for the , you know, that ugly word with ‘org’. As a senior I hope to see a serious change from ‘surveillance capitalism’ to a privacy-respecting society, but I am not sure if this will happen before my life has ended. I associate ‘capitalism’ not only with a certain economic system, but also with a nasty human caracteristic, with greed. We have had so many ‘isms’ and none of them worked well. My hope is that the awful ‘surveillance capitalism’ together with US supremacy will be regulated and discouraged by the rest of the world. To begin with the EU., the wonderful Vestager. But there is a lot of work to do and I am sure you will keep contributing with your truthful and useful thoughts.


#7

As a ‘non-techsavvy’ I realise how we depend on technicians. Because freeing us from the big giants is also a technical problem.
Several years ago my iphone 3gs was not supported anymore by Apple. Annoyed by stubborn Apple. I heard Aral talking about alternatives, such as Jolla. So I bought a Jolla, and also one for my husband. What a struggle that was! So many times I wanted to throw that thing out of the window! I backed the tablet, because I really like the OS, but then came that disaster, as you probably know. I bought an ipad mini, because some apps are not available for Sailfish. And that is the problem: the best apps are made for Apple and Google. No banking on a Sailfish device. Now you can buy a Sony Xperia X, unlock the bootloader and in october you can flash Sailfish on it. Sounds nice. But I am not tech-savvy and my Mac refuses the Android program. Actually I need a Linux computer for this. There is problem 2: Linux is devided into many.
Another platform, things don’t work, crappy apps, etc. And I still want a third OS, an alternative. But how?


#8

Hi Aral, I have a watched a couple of your videos and read a couple articles, so I don’t fully know your thinking, but I get the gist of it—i.e., your critique of ‘surveillance capitalism’—but what I what I like about the words above is that they sketch out what seems like a realistic/constructive approach to what comes next; not a single, seamless platform (unified system), but something more like an ecosystem, with looser edges and more intricate folds.

How do cyborgs form communities, and communities of communities—and how does each yet follow its individual path?

There are multitudes of roles to play in the unfolding evolutionary drama; straight lines are few and far between. A road less traveled may be lonely, but needn’t be walked alone.

G0dspeed us all!


#9

I like that your journey brought you here.

Your teaser:
“I now feel that our best chance is to support and build democratic, non-Capitalist technological infrastructure and integrate it seamlessly into existing systems” sounds like something we want to hear much more about, and I’m looking forward to hear about the approach! - and as I read it, it doesn’t replace the need for more competition and alternatives to the existing monopolies, but maybe new ways to create it.

I hope to hear more on European Conference on Data Ethics @laura ?


#10

Yes! And we’ll both be there :slight_smile:

(Correction: I will be there. Unfortunately @aral will be travelling back from Milan that day.)


#11

Many things have changed since I first heard of Indie and it only seems natural for you to reconsider your tactics and where best to spend your resources. I’m curious to learn where you will be heading :slightly_smiling_face: : !