For the past four years, and with very limited resources, Laura and I – along 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.