Exploring Power and Public Social Spaces; Why The Network Isn’t New

โ€œI like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

Thomas Jefferson can’t be blamed for not getting excited by historical materialism, given that he preceded its inception, but an optimism for the future doesn’t require a rejection of the past.

The past is not a static entity. The past can be re-imagined and reinterpreted much as the present can experience the same. The past can teach us new things about itself, the present, and the future. Equally, the present can help us re-understand the past. We can create a knowledge loop where each informs each other.…   [continue reading]

Decentralized Social Media and The Fragmentation of Control

The architecture of a social network doesn’t just affect a bunch of invisible server-whirrings and documentation jargon. It’s directly responsible for how the network’s users interact โ€” what they’re allowed to say, what they’re likely to see, and who controls these factors.

A good example to start my examination into centralized/decentralized social networks is Twitter.

The name โ€œTwitterโ€ and the platformโ€™s relentless bird imagery isnโ€™t an arbitrary choice โ€” it actually makes a lot of sense with regard to how the network works.

main_900

Starlings, for example, flock in groups of 10,000 or more, unified and communicating as a network. Birds learn to sing by listening and imitating, which often means that groups of co-existing birds learn the same patterns, inflections, and memes.…   [continue reading]