Monday, May 12, 2014

Broadcasting via Bitmessage

Been trying out Bitmessage a little bit recently. It's a messaging/broadcasting system based on top of Bitcoin, which seems to run a temporary blockchain for storing messages in. After a few days, they get lost if no-one picks them up, I believe. Still need to read up on it a bit more though. Easy to install.
Anyway. Public address there is BM-2cWwEi8e6Q6W1M9B2XRyJfu7LzTJGhjAuf - subscribe to get any broadcasts, or drop me a message under a highly amusing pseudonym.
Here's a sample of some of the stuff being broadcast currently (OK, like, 1 post in a fortnight):


http://phys.org/news/2014-05-west-antarctic-glacier-loss-unstoppable.html

One of my big motivating factors of emerging tech is how they can help us survive and get more resilient in a changing world - one in which the rules of the last 100 years are no longer useful. Things like Pirateboxes and distributed network tech seem to really chime with a fundamentally fragmented society.

"Network" is a funny word. In a post-apocalyptic world, there are probably 2 kinds of divergent definitions of what a network is:

1. Your *trusted* network, or people you regularly communicate with, and
2. Your *opportunistic* network, or people you bump into/have weak ties with, and need to "interrogate" quickly.

Currently most services which deal with the arbitration between these two levels are pretty centralised - someone, somewhere is holding a trust list. Twitter, Facebook, Google et al. Even things like the Bitcoin WoT are pretty centralised (due to the network effect and positive network externalities).

In a world in which centralised services (both web companies *and* governments) are an "inefficient" mode of trust (ie. slow and/or too much of a single point of failure and/or potentially inaccessible to everyone you need to network with), what modes of "proving trust" can exist? And how can they be formalised into something technical, eg. protocols, projects?

OK, this post has strayed a little further from the idea of climate change than I intended. Maybe I'll tie it together a bit more some tim soon.

WAIT AND SEE.

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