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By TheophileEscargot (Sun Oct 22, 2017 at 11:38:31 PM EST) Reading, MLP, Watching, Me (all tags)
Reading: "The Day Democracy Died","The Little Book of Prison". Me. Online. Links.


What I'm Reading
The Day Democracy Died by Anselm Audley. Short book (74 page Kindle Single) going into detail about an incident in the history of Ancient Athens. Eight commanders inflicted a major but incomplete naval victory against Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, failing to rescue their own drowning men and pursue the Spartan fleet. In one of its rages the Athenian Assembly had them tried and executed, leaving Athens short of commanders in the rest of the war.

It's a gripping account and well told. Historically it seems accurate as far as I can tell. (Though it implies Athens was unusual and that later Mediterranean civilisations used slaves to row war galleys; I read somewhere else this was never done as the rowers needed to be armed to fight ship to ship).

However I'm a bit skeptical that this incident was as critical as was claimed in depriving the democracy of the great men it needed. It was far from the only time the Athenian democracy turned on its own. The Peloponnesian War was a 27-year war of attrition. In long wars of attrition manpower and economic power tend to be the determining factors, you can look for "decisive battles" or "turning points" but it's the side with more money and men that forces things to the turning point; and running out of men or money the thing that makes one battle the decisive one.

Overall though an interesting read.

What I'm Reading 2
The Little Book of Prison by Frankie Owens. Short book that's half an account of life in prison, and half a guide on how to survive it. Reasonably funny and reasonably informative, but the author only had a few months of prison time in one prison so I'm not sure how

Me
My father's funeral is on Wednesday. Work gives me 4 days compassionate leave so I'm going down on Tuesday and returning Saturday. My mother's one of those people who likes to be busy, so I think after the funeral when there's no more arranging to do is when it's going to be worst.

Online
I've been trying out decentralised Twitter-ish network Mastodon as @TheoEsc@mastodon.social and like it so far. I'm posting more to there than Twitter at the moment, though I'm keeping my Twitter account open in case it dries up. Socially and technologically it just feels far friendlier. People are nicer, and the UI actually has you in control: you see the content from people you chose in chronological order. Join Mastodon. Find Twitter contacts.

Links
Socioeconomics. Nationalised pubs in Carslisle in WW1. Did Female homicide rate dropped after Craigslist launched its erotic services platform? (Paper).

Politics. Russia puts British Putin critic on Interpol wanted list . Right wing group Rise Above Movement. Dworkin and Weinstein.

Random. Abandoned cucumbers in Tunbridge Wells

Articles. Cricket is rotting away? Femme's Guide to Riot Fashion.

< Happy Death Day | Family... >
Little tent of blue | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
@pre@mastodon.rocks by priestess (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Oct 23, 2017 at 04:51:49 AM EST
Feels less like it's a cage than Twitter ever did. I'm too verbose for the bird.

Hoping it'll do well, we could do with a properly decentralized one.

Adam...........
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Chat to the virtual me...

Holy grail by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Oct 23, 2017 at 06:24:20 AM EST
Decentralised infra with fully powerful user defense tools to max freedom to and freedom from.

Twitter fails at both. Obscurity so far looks to be this platform’s freedom from mechanism?

[ Parent ]
Distributed moderation by priestess (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Oct 23, 2017 at 07:10:49 AM EST
Each instance runs it's own moderation, and connections between instances are managed by the maintainer of the instances (and some blocking/muting by the users).

If the instances all stay small, so they can effectively self-moderate, and the spammers and hater's all have to use their own instances which can be easily blocked, then the Mastodon/osocial moderation plan may work.
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Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
One man’s free speech is another’s hate by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #4 Mon Oct 23, 2017 at 12:10:53 PM EST
You therefore need to find a modded place that supports you. And that means hoping some modded spaces are also about freedom from and don’t get DDoSed or the mods doxxed coz integrity in computer game journalism or similar bollocks.

[ Parent ]
Harassment by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Oct 23, 2017 at 02:46:49 PM EST

Mastodon has several features designed to limit harassment. It's only searchable by hashtag, not word, so it's harder to find someone to harass. The federated model always meant an instance admin can filter accounts or entire instances; in the latest version a user can block whole instances too. If you want tighter blocking, you can join an instance that has a tougher policy. You can import/export block lists so you can share with other users, you don't have to click every problem account yourself.

If someone wants to create a thousand abuse bots, they have to create them on instances. If they do it on a well-managed instance, the admin will notice and delete them. If they do it on a bad instance, the other admins can share the information that this particular instance has a vast number of abusive accounts and take it out of the federation.

Whether that will be enough is hard to say, because it's not about either technology or culture alone, but the interaction between them. But I think that because the maintainers take harassment seriously, and because it's open source and doesn't need to serve up its users to advertisers, it has a much better chance than Twitter.

My guess is that if it fails it will either be because it doesn't have enough money for it to grow big, or because the users will drift away. The admins and coders take harassment too seriously for it to follow the paths of K5 or Reddit where concerns about free speech let an abuse problem spiral out of control.
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Depends on how you define failure by priestess (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Oct 24, 2017 at 01:57:19 PM EST
It'll probably just remain niche.

Though not as niche as Husi.
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Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
Bit more detail by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Oct 23, 2017 at 02:48:34 PM EST
https://nolanlawson.com/2017/10/23/what-is-mastodon-and-why-is-it-better-than-twitter/
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It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Mastadon by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Oct 24, 2017 at 06:45:24 PM EST
I've nearly joined like 3 times now, but keep worrying over details that shouldn't matter. Like which instance to join? The free-er ones reportedly court controversy. But I have a hard time compromising, and am particularly terrified of filter-bubbles.

I've had to give up trying to make Twitter work. But without a certain critical mass of popular personalities: scientists, engineers, authors, entertainers and the like, I am not sure I'd be satisfied. But your post is encouraging, last time I took the temperature people were pessimistic, now it's a bit different.

Chill out, snowflake.

Swapping instances by priestess (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Oct 25, 2017 at 04:48:55 AM EST
The tools to move an account to a different instance aren't really great yet, but they are on the roadmap I believe. I'm assuming that should it take of to any significant account I'll end up setting up an instance of my own, or for friends, maybe there'll be a Husi instance one day.

Didn't spend a lot of time picking an instance myself coz I just figured I'd move eventually. It's only my first account ;)

Pre.........
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Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
A HuSi instance sounds neat by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Oct 25, 2017 at 09:16:11 PM EST
I'd be down with that.

Chill out, snowflake.

[ Parent ]
Looks like Hulver has done exactly that by priestess (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Nov 08, 2017 at 11:46:14 AM EST
hulvr.com

https://hulvr.com/about

Pre.........
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Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
consider joining by gmd (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Oct 25, 2017 at 07:08:39 PM EST
 gab.ai and/or wrongthink.net while you still can...

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
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