Saving Hacking From the Zaibatsus: A Memoir
4:59PM Jul 29, 2020
decentralized federated networks are the past from which the public Internet sprung forth. These models have started to become viable again as the social media silos have begun to be seen as dangerous to the daily operation of society. These new communities live somewhere between the vsh and web 2.0 modern nimble, creative, and largely free of undue outside influence
our next presentation will tell the story of how this team did it, and how you can do it to
these welcome code babe, the doctor, the Gibson, Ryan and Crips trouser with saving hacking from his iPod Sue's A Memoir
in your name gooshie like 17 computers debt.
That's a typo wells here now
he's living large we have no names man no names we are nameless. This is a marketing Holocaust 24 hours a day for the rest of our lives, the powers that be are hard at work,
dumbing us to death.
So, to defend ourselves and fight against assimilating this dullness into our thought.
To me, the cultural
belief system. We all need to
Preserve. I don't
believe that they did not want you to get this information. So here it is coming at you, low tech style.
Blue hope 2020, welcome to the talk, saving hacking from the sidebar to a memoir, where we're sitting with a panel today to discuss decentralized and federated services, and why they're so important in this day and age. Thank you for joining us and thank you to hope for giving us this opportunity to speak. So this topic, it's a very broad topic. And there's way more to discuss than we could fit into this 40, to 50 minutes. So think of this panel as a starting point and we welcome you all to join in on this, this discussion with us and we hope we hope you get stoked enough to come hang and build with us, today's panel is composed of some brave citizens from the Federer's. First up we have Mr. Gibson, the mayor of hacker Sam. And we also have tech admin of free radical dot zone. We're also joined by Cobain moderator and that is an impactor sound. And we also have someone who is neither shy, nor do to hope we have the doctor, or at least, very passable wreck replica, who is also a netizen of hackers town. We have myself Ryan. I'm professional noob and I'm also a moderator moderator, and that isn't enough hackers town.
Gibson, would you like to introduce yourself some more.
Sure. I am the Gibson. I run hackers town, amongst other things, but have been part of the hacking subculture. Our hacking subculture for. Well, since the late 80s when I was a kid. You know, I really wanted to see something new come about to restore some of that old optimism we had when the internet was new. And this was why gave it to me, and why I'm here today.
Great. Tech. Can you give us a little intro.
Sure. So, yeah, I'm the admin of free radical deadzone. I've been. Whenever I was a little kid I asked my parents for a bike, they gave me a Commodore 64 and a modem, and it was all downhill from there. So one of the things that really drew me to the fediverse is This to me is the modern feeling of the BBs era. We're not going to get that back but I think we can do something pretty cool now.
Right. Code babe. He give us a little intro.
Hi, I'm Kobe, I'm a moderator, Pakistan, I have been a web developer for 10 years and I'm hoping that working with the fediverse will help bring the lead back to the direction I was hoping it would go in and not the way it's been going.
Right. And the doctor can you tell us who you are, for those of us that don't know. Well,
I go by the handle the doctor, I'm back and for one to these days. I've been in the hacker community since the early 90s. So when I joined the BBs community. And I've generally found social networks, really difficult for their intended purpose which is making friends. And I've made friends and made colleagues in the fediverse without having to build a brand or any or any of that social network crap like that. I've met a lot of really good people. Right.
So tech, can you explain to us what the Fed versus.
Sure. And since our audience here is very technical, I'm not going to go into deep dive there. But, the, the gist of it is that the fediverse is a collection of independently owned and operated servers that all speak a common protocol, known as activity pub, and it's used to carry messages back and forth between the servers. The elevator pitch for this is that it's kind of like a cross between Twitter and email, and that everything's operated independently. It's kind of stored and forward architecture where messages get queued on one server and then pushed out to all the subscribers. So that's kind of the technical end of it is a practical point of view, it looks like Twitter, or is referred to in the fediverse bird site. So really you're getting on you're chatting with people on other servers, just like you would with email you know someone at gmail can send an email to somebody at a private server. Same thing with the fediverse, you don't have to be on a one mastodon instance to speak with people on another instance. In general, the most popular app on the fediverse is mastodon, but there are a lot of other cool things that will be can probably talk about later. And since they're all built on top of the same activitypub Federation protocol, and they can all talk together, and that's kind of cool. If you could have a chat on Twitter with someone on Facebook, you know, that would be kind of nifty. So, in a nutshell, that is the metaverse.
Alright, uh, Gibson. So why is decentralization important to you.
Um, I actually have what maybe a little bit of a. I have a religious dedication to decentralization, maybe, which I think a lot of people here at home, hope can probably identify with. But the truth of the matter is, we're at a situation where we see more and more centralization, and more and more silos being built of our data and and of service offerings and those two things combined have led to a brittle web. So, as we saw last week when CloudFlare had an short outage. Friday night. They lost somewhere around a quarter of the entire internet due to their inability to resolve. That's not okay. And then we see things like Twitter, getting hacked and all these high value, high value accounts. Blue checkmarks right. Going down and being lost and infiltrated and who knows what information leaked from that, at this point, those things are direct results of silo ization of personal data and information. There is no reason for us to have to maintain this model. As a matter of fact, it makes us more susceptible to exploit it makes everyone. Definitely more targetable by advertisers and those that would want to spy on you and puts all that data in one place for it to be abused. When you look at decentralization and Federation in particular, you get a similar experience, you get a system where you can talk to anybody on that network, which feels kind of like a Twitter right or, or Facebook or Instagram whatever platform you're running in the fediverse. You know that feeling of having a wider area you can speak with and talk to gives you that larger feel that you get from some of the silos. The other side of that is that, because each server is its own target and separate, it's very difficult to abuse, it's really hard for an advertiser to come to the fediverse and gather data and target people for advertising for example or, you know, If God forbid someone decided to spy on the federal IRS, it would be difficult so you have to target so many different servers to do this instead of one infrastructure piece right instead of just going to Twitter and buying access to the data or Facebook or Google or whoever you don't have that capability really in a decentralized and federated social network. You could, you could let me let me be clear you could, but it takes a lot more resources is much more difficult to abuse.
It also be much easier to spot.
Okay. All right. doctor, same question of why is the centralization important to you.
It's important to me because having a centralized infrastructure as a central point of failure as anyone who's ever worked in a data center or an office with a single DSL, line, and sinker far single firewall can attest to one thing dies and then everything grinds to a halt.
pivoting to distributed systems across the entire internet and deliberately avoiding these centralized systems. Just like IRC you may get the occasional net split, but because due to how instances can find one another for the purposes of synchronizing and passing messages along, it's much less of a hazard than it is on than it is on any reasonably sized IRC network. Sure servers come and go once in a while. Instances vanish for whatever reason domain names. Don't get renewed or an outage or somebody decides to just for whatever reason close their instance down the users of those instances can still download all of the stuff that they've posted their contact lists all of their tweet, all of their images and videos if uploaded, go to a different instance or stand up their own for that matter, reload everything from scratch and pick up where they left off. Sometimes in mid conversation for that matter.
Yeah health reds.
We like health reds
stress tests Postgres, why not
write a code, babe.
What do you think the centralization is important.
decentralization is important to me because
it's really tough
to use the internet these days without encountering some form of advertising, and I am a staunch opponent of tracking and targeted advertising. And being able to create your own space, and decide what's in it, and whether or not people can follow you, is a huge, a huge thing for me. So
that does come back to moderation features that are built into activity pub as well that are very critical we'll get to those in a little bit but that's that's a very key thing,
a tech. Why is essentially decentralization important to you.
All right, so we're kind of seeing this right now with the large social networks. They're having a hard time figuring out like what's the right mix of moderation from their point of view. What is the giant one size fits all recipe that is going to allow, say, you know, the president of the US to operate under the same rules as some person working out of their garage. The thing is, they're probably never can be one set of consistent rules that apply perfectly to everybody that will make sense everywhere. So, What I really love about the federal federated model is that every little group, kind of can operate is a free standing community. And each community can have its own rules, for instance, my server free radical is. I'm not gonna say we're a free speech zone, that kind of has a special meaning in the fediverse reserved for like, generally gab in groups like that. But it's generally fairly hands off, you can get away with saying, a fair amount of decent stuff as long as you're respectable respectful to everyone. But we do have her girls like don't use our server to spread like misinformation about covid virus, for instance, we're just not doing it. And because we're small, we can make rules like that that makes sense for our community, most instances that we talked to a lot, have fairly similar sets of moderation rules. I know hackers town and pre radical are pretty identical in that way, as far as like what we would allow. But there are there are instances that are like safe spaces for like people of color for LGBTQ groups that are the rules are very particular to them. And that's awesome. So they can have a social network for their community, where the rules make sense for the group of people that are there. But again, we can still talk to each other. And I can talk to people on those servers, and have a good conversation. Now, if I violate some of their rules they can say that one person is no longer welcome to talk on our server, he's kind of a jerk, we don't like him. And, you know, they have that fine grained control, to be able to do that. And I think that's kind of wonderful we don't have to come up with a one size fits all we can come up with what's right for our community. And we can branch out from there we can run a million little parallel experiments to see what works best. And, you know, hopefully come up with something decent we can all live with.
Agreed. All right. Um, so Gibson. How can someone get started with the fediverse.
There's a lot of different, a lot of different platforms that you can host on the fediverse, whether it be mastodon where and I'm gonna forget some because there's so many but there's mastodon this aroma there's pixel fed which is kind of like an Instagram ish thing. There's good social which is what we run a hacker southtowne, which is a mastodon variant So, even within each platform there's variants beyond that on what your server experience is going to be like just from a features perspective. Beyond that, you know, we, I mean, and Ryan, you can speak to this to manage some of this yourself but I mean a hacker town we've got a, we've got a peer tube instance right we have video to hackers town so we have our own little YouTube that has videos that we've made or that are important to our community. Because community is what drives all this right we, you're able to tune your signal in the fediverse to be what's right for your community. And that's something we don't get anywhere else. You don't you don't have that community feeling in that small community that you can help manage. But beyond that, the easiest way to probably do this to get your feet wet, is to go to mastodon dot social, it's the big flagship instance right and and sign up there and try to figure out where you may fit if there's another instance you want to go to that you find you ask for membership or if they're open you can just join and go from there but that that that discovery phase that initial phase to find out where it's going to be the best community for you is probably best done the mastodon dot social. You know, I didn't mention friendica I didn't. Yeah I know there's a lot of platforms out there that are on activity pub and, which is the protocol behind it. I don't know if we've mentioned that yet. But the those platforms, all can talk to each other they're all capable of exchanging messages with each other, which makes it very flexible. I mean, just imagine if you had an actual protocol behind, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,
everything that could all communicate with each other. Clearly, and openly. And then you also have these, a lack of data silos you have small communities are hosting that data instead, which tends to give you a better situation as far as data management goes. Right.
Zack you got anything to add onto that, how someone can get started with the fediverse.
No, I think that that advice is right on point. I'm doing the biggest instance, and look around, see who people are talking to see what community tends to that you tend to interact with the most. One thing I'd point out is that on mastodon, it is very common to have accounts on multiple servers. So, I mean, that's fine. If you want to join there, and then like later migrate to another server. If you want to migrate completely awesome. If you want to just maybe you want to divide that between your work and your hobby accounts, that's cool too. But yeah, I think probably jumping in where there are a lot of people to interact with is, is the best advice. And again, remembering that just because you join one server, you can still talk to everybody on all the other servers to with an asterisk. But in general, that's, that's the case
right into that point moderation features. Lock certain communities down to themselves, they may lock themselves off they may be offensive to so many communities they end up kind of in their own bubble. That's not normal right that's usually reserved for situations where you've got a extreme political views or racist views or whatever. Those will tend to get pruned off into their own little bubble in the fediverse and won't really interact with much outside of their own chamber. That said, you know, the local community being the size that it is moderation features being strong allow for management of that pretty well for whatever any community tolerate
doctor you got anything to add to that, how someone gets started with the fediverse. Sure.
So, there is a. I don't want to call it a search engine it's more of a searchable directory, and I really hope I'm getting the domain name right Federation party where you can click a couple of buttons and say I'm looking for a smaller medium or a large sized instance, looking for a federated instance or an isolated instance, I am looking for this kind of moderation policy. I'm looking for, like, this kind of theme, like we have cyberduck space for cyberpunk hackers town, obviously, there's one that is dedicated to arch, I want to say it's art station but I think I'm wrong, and it'll give you a list of all the instances it knows about that you may want to join. And once you've joined one of these instances. There's, there are three really good ways to find people to follow. And this is what I usually recommend that people. The first is, look at your instances, global timeline, because every instance has a global timeline, it has a view of the timeline of every server in the fediverse, and has a personal timeline for everyone you follow. Look at your instances, local timeline for a little while. Look for people who look interesting start conversations, post stuff and just follow people and see if they follow you back. Once you've got a couple of folks there look at the global. Look at the global federated timeline. Look for stuff going on, start conversations join conversations follow people that way. And then there's also a. There's also a bootstrap directory of people who have opted in broken down into categories that you can choose to join if you want to. So there's categories for the LGBTQ community there's categories for goodness there's categories for hackers there's categories for artists for video producers for pretty much any kind of category you might have, you might want to, you might imagine, and you can click on the names of those folks see what they post, you know, see how they act, see how they respond and if you want to interact with them you can interact with them from your from your whatever instance you want if you want follow them you can follow them also occasionally we do lb FF or follow Fridays for, where people post the people post the fediverse links to really cool people. And you can again look at that post. Click on each of those profiles see what they're like, decide who to follow from there, or who to interact, or who to interact with
codebase or anything to add on to how someone gets started with the fediverse.
No, these guys nailed it. Just comment the our instance you were looking for was mastodon dot art.
What is it,
mastodon better. Thank you. That one's good. All right.
So, gets in any advice for anyone that wants to get started running their own instance. Yeah.
Be ready to know how to use Postgres SQL, you're gonna you're going to be using that quite a bit and abusing it To be honest, you know, playing out what your infrastructure is going to look like so that it's easily upgradeable and fault tolerant right so be able to have a couple VMs maybe that are replicating over so that if one has a problem you may be able to save it in the other VM slot. That's if you're hosting locally like we do we host on site in our own data center. There is. There are other, you know, cloud instances are as low cost as $5 a month to run in some of the hosts, that have this prepackaged, you can spin up a mastadon instance for the cost of a domain and $5 a month if you really want to, you know, and honestly, even if you have a few hundred users you're in the $20 a month range. If you really want to host that so you can you can do this pretty cost effectively. Most of the most of the answers on the fediverse are either run for free by some generous soul, or they have things like fundraisers like we do. Most often we we sell t shirts and hoodies in case anybody's wondering because we think it's funny that you know everyone wants to fight the hacker hoodie stereotype but we just lean into it because it's funnier that way. But we do that, but a lot of places do just monthly donations you know Patreon type style things to keep, keep the lights on. One of the things that we did in particular at hacker town when we started spinning up all these other resources. We, we ended up with our own Katia server, once again, right, that thank you that that's all your work so I can't, I can't take credit on that one but it's part of the community. Right. And the peer to server so on and so forth and we've been able to find for the most part ways to host this at very little cost for the services provided and sometimes they're in someone's home. Right. But at the same time. You're looking at having a community come together support itself and be almost anarchist collective in a way on how they're providing these services to their community. You know I very much believe that virtualized communities are just as important as real world physical communities in many ways, in any way, really and I've held that belief for a long time so seeing communities be able to come together and spin this this infrastructure up to build these things, and then do things like you know put together teams to go, you know, put Blue Team type tools into the hands of users to keep themselves, private and safe online, you know, we did that, things like that, to me, are what make this worth it we're able to extend beyond the traditional data silos, and then spin up ways to fight back on that front. You know legally and effectively, but ways that we can stop them from taking our data incidentally as well because we got the bright minds in the right place to do that kind of work, and that kind of thing, brings a lot of value, and if your community, isn't about that life, and that's great. There are plenty of other things that can be done there right but bringing that community together and having an idea for, for what that community is going to constitute really is important, because it's going to increase the value and and what you get out of that community at the other end, you get out of your what you put into it right and that's kind of kind of where this company comes from. It is a labor of love, if you do host one, but it is very rewarding. Most time
set. Do you have any advice for anyone that wants to start running their own instance.
So, great advice from Gibson. And I would just kind of build on that. So going back to the idea of like the fediverse is like a collection of BBs is. Pick a theme early on. If you want your instance can be successful, figure out what's going to be special about your instance, you know, hackers town has a clear brand. I've been maybe not as diligent about that I have like a bunch of infosec stuff, also a lot of pictures of cats. Yeah. But, you know, like figure out what it is that will make your instance special why would people want to come and hang out with you. I think that's probably the biggest thing. As far as costs. Right now, I think I run almost everything off a four gig. Ram digitalocean instance. That's for the main server, the database. The media for Media Storage, like all the pictures of cats and stuff that people post. I have uploaded to s3. That's a built in feature of mastodon so that you don't have to host all the images locally storage is a little bit cheaper per byte. I want to say my monthly operating costs are about 35 $40, total for the server for all the s3 storage for the backups, that I do and everything. And for a sense of scale, that's for approximately 1600 users. So, if you want to operate an instance for like you and your friends to get started, like throw it on a spare VM, you already have stood up, that would totally work. If you really want to grow large. There are horizontal scaling options using mentioned, like having multiple servers running in a cluster, you can totally do that. You don't have to. Don't go crazy with it whenever you're first getting started, and just kind of naturally grow into that.
Isn't there an activity publication. That is small enough to run on a Raspberry Pi. I know a couple of personal instances,
the Roma Well, I know there's some others I believe it will as well. mastodons a little heavy for that. I like to make the elephant joke right it's mastodon. It's got a few times, but it's, but I know there are plenty of other platforms you can.
Oh, there's also
brutal dawn, which is it gives us simplified interface. So if you, if your browser can't handle a lot. That's a good option to
think brutal on is Lynx friendly isn't it.
Believe so nice.
All right, um, code base. 30 fediverse projects that you're excited about, maybe even your own,
you know, gone.
Um, I'm actually really looking forward to pixel fed picking up, because I know a lot of people when they interact on social media sharing images is a huge part of that, and there are large vibrant communities on Instagram that I would love to see, you know, move to the fediverse. And I think the more refined pixel fed gets the closer we'll get to achieving that.
Doctor, any fediverse projects that you're excited about.
Oh, geez. I've spent way too much time playing with the API for stuff like scrambling. Let's see they're scrambling there's automatic cross posting of links bookmarks blog posts.
I run the number station.
That's just sort of a fun side project.
There's also an instance that is dedicated to Markov bots. I think pretty much everyone here has a mini me running there at GS
I know I've got a mini me I know you have one Gibbs. I think you do good. No.
No, not yet.
haven't set it up. Ironically, my mini me's named the plague.
Let's do the plague.
Tech is there any fediverse projects you're excited about.
Period seems a fun one. Yeah.
I just started my shoulder for a while is running the video hackers town
right out of the closet over here, but once COVID COVID hit our bandwidth around here just kind of dropped a lot so it was kind of. Everybody needs the support so we'll move to the peer tube,
we migrated it didn't lose it.
Still alive and kicking.
Right, a Gibson. Any, any fediverse projects you're stoked about.
Honestly, I'm more in on decentralization Federation as a whole. I'm glad to see all these things coming along the way they have, in particular, I am very interested in what one of our. One of our netizens hackers town is doing with a Facebook equivalent of for the fediverse right, written in rust, as he has told me many times. But, you know, the thing is, and what's important about these projects is they need people that can volunteer time right these are open source projects, these aren't things that have a development budget or anybody behind them, except the communities, they're going to serve. So, you know, in his case I know he's had a really hard time finding rust developers to work on this thing and that that really slows down. Some of the progress. Some of the larger already implemented ones, or the one man show ones where it's somebody that's capable of doing it all by themselves. You know those are those are pretty, pretty exciting to see happen but there's some really exciting ideas and options out there that just need a push from the community and so it's one of my goals try to help him find some people that can can contribute to that, because I'd love to see something that can take Facebook down, I would love to see nothing more on this entire frickin Earth than something that takes Facebook down. Let me say that again. Set Facebook on fire. Allegedly. All right.
Anybody else got anything else to add that they want to want to say before we jump into questions.
I would say that hope is taking its first steps into Federation by running a matrix server, which has Federation turned on. You can set up an account on Riot dots. Hope dotnet or not a few of us have joined from our personal or my personal matrix instances, or whatever instance we hang out on.
I'm logged in on both my hope account and my hackers 10 account.
Yep. Me too.
All right, a shell ready to jump into questions from the audience.
Yeah, good. Yeah. All right, Tom, thank you and good.
It's some somebody say questions from the audience. Okay.
Thanks Ron Oh.
Our pleasure, so as as your MCs I will, I will mention that you're watching saving hacking from this I bought Sue's. Thank you very much, all of you here today, for joining us. And there has been such a, such a great amount of chat and questioning and everything in our livestream channel I encourage all of you attending hope 2020 to post your questions for the panel in our livestream q&a channel. On our matrix server. Um, I'd like to go right into the questions here, a member of the audience asks, Can you talk about your security protocols.
Well yeah so when you get into security you've got a couple different questions here right so
one of the things we do, we have dedicated.
We have dedicated IPS IDs on hacker town and we also have some dedicated detection capabilities for any kind of attempted intrusion. Beyond that, security protocols are pretty standard for any web app, you're looking at SSL TLS across the board. The one weakness. I don't want to call it a weakness, it's not fully developed yet, but there is a space where not truly security, privacy. We're in the end encryption is not fully enabled it's really not there yet your, your point to point encrypted between instances, and between the instance and the web browser, but the messages themselves inside those instances are not necessarily encrypted and admins can see them right so that feature is coming. I talked to the developer mastadon in the past, actually, yesterday I believe I remember correctly, just to confirm before we had this talk, that he's working on that feature the actual infrastructure behind it is in place and ready to go and they just got to get a UI on it to make it work correctly so that that I'm going to make a bet that the fediverse has end to end. encryption on private messages before Twitter does.
I would like to add to that quickly. Yeah, as it stands today. Do not use the fediverse for something that's going to land you in jail or fired, it gets found out the security is not there today, it's been worked on there. A lot of people are asking for a lot of people are actively developing these things. But, you know, as it stands today. Don't. probably don't go in like you plan a protest. Maybe. It depends on what country you live in. Assume that stuff that you're posting could be viewed by people that you don't expect it to.
But again, this is short term.
Okay, next question for the audience, can you give any background on how the fediverse specifically mastodon has handled the intrusion of gab into the network.
They are off on their own little island and hardly anybody actually communicates what they showed up, everybody was pretty well prepared to close them as soon as they did. There was some hopping of domain names because your, your moderation of Federation, that rhymed. Your moderation of Federation actually depends on using domain name not IP. You can block the IP at firewall for whatever you're doing for that but as far as the actual built in moderation goes depends on DNS almost every server on the fediverse implemented moderation feature so lock dab off, there's a really neat map out there that shows Federation between all the servers in the fediverse and who's talking to who, and there this point way off in the distance with like three or four lines going to them and that's it so they they kind of due to the nature of their content, largely. They wild themselves off by showing up, which may be actually what they wanted if they if they wanted their own silo well okay I can't tell them that they're bad for that but I get the feeling that they expected to have a bullhorn, and they didn't get that, for example, though, the gesture. Famous on Twitter and such has its own fork of it. That was kind of controversial where he broke Federation with everyone. He doesn't federate with anybody anymore. So that's, that is definitely a silo he built called counter, social, it exists out there it's the same platform underneath his mastodon. But, but, all Federation is turned off.
Do you have any thoughts about other approaches to decentralization such as the indie web code babe I know you had some feelings about it.
Yeah, um, indie web is definitely something that needs to make a comeback. It's how the web started. And there's a lot we can do for discovering each other's content without Google we can, one of the things we can do is bring back web brings. I actually recently made a web bring I implemented it for hackers town is called the hackers town loop, you go and you can skim through several community members websites, as well as services available from our directory page. And I think the more we bring back tools like that to help people do indie web, the, it'll be, it'll be better for the future.
You've made a great case to how the fediverse gets away from the advertising driven algorithmic content, and from centralization and corporate control. The one thing I don't think has been addressed, is how to address the feeling of drinking from the firehose social media gives us, as opposed to more private chat. What do you see as solutions for making the sheer volume of fediverse content more manageable.
One of the things about the fediverse is, I don't think anybody really feels obligated to keep up with everything. It is very common for people to just not for a couple of days a couple of weeks. A couple of denizens Packers town, decided to go on hiatus, in January and February, and that's fine. We're still here when they come back, you know, it'll be like they never left, or just pick up where they will pick up where we left off, be in a conversation or. Hey, how's it capital.
These are community friendships, in many cases, right, and the doctors exactly right these are these are people that are like old friends and they show up at least as far as I'm concerned. so the pressure isn't there to perform the same way it is say on Twitter or Facebook and it takes a while when you leave them this this will. This will speak to the power of, of current social media agreeing with the question here. When you leave them and go spend time on the fediverse solely for a while. There is a detox period. Very much so where you are learning to not be driven by the notifications, and you're learning, not to just say the first thing that comes out of your brain. When you're on the fediverse and think it through and think about other perspectives, it's actually, in my opinion, a far healthier, far, far healthier network and what we have today everywhere else.
Yeah, just throwing in from my own experience as a as a denizen of hackers town, my shirt like the fight a little bit, appreciate all your work, but also like as someone who's been a part of what we know is social media since the start and I was on BBs and I was on Usenet and all these other things. Hackers town and the fediverse in general, really feel the most to me like the internet did back then when you would, you know, leave the house go about your day do whatever, then come home and catch up on okay what happened on the internet today. Communication is going on there because it's like a nice little plumbing, as opposed to the all encompassing, you know, 24 seven fire hose that that mainstream social media has become.
I also like that. So mastodon in particular has several different lists that you might look at if I'm if I've got like two minutes free at work. I'll pop on and see my personal list of like you know people who have mentioned me direct messages reply to that stuff. I have a few more minutes, I'll check out the list of all of the people on my server to see what they're chatting about at this moment. If you know it's like two in the morning and I finished reading all over the internet, and now I want more internet you can jump on to the Federated timeline. And what that is. That's like the hovering set of everybody that everyone on my server talks to. So, you know, there are thousands and thousands of people in here, it's never boring, but that's not my go to, that's where I jump in, after I've like read everything else and, you know, hey, ADHD is in full drive I got to see everything, but that's optional, you don't have to start there.
It seems resting that a couple of forks of mastodon, I don't know, I don't know if this has made it to Maine into mainline but mastodon. If you feel like you need to pay attention to how many followers you have, and you want to break that habit, you can just turn it off. You're perpetually seen negative one. There's also an instance, I think it was witches town, everyone's follower count was hard coded the 666, so nobody knew how many followers they had.
That's the beauty of it right we've got this uniqueness that we can configure at each instance level that fits the community. Now, if you want to do something silly like that. I mean, our character count of hackers, time is 10,000. I can tell you no one has ever actually used that 10,000 count that I know of. And, you know, you can do things like that you can customize this thing and you can own it, you can make it the community center that you want it to be. And then all the other. All the other platforms rise up around it. You know that that just adds flavor I mean we have demo Sunday, a demo scene Sunday event every Sunday. We're remote nemesis, one of our other our other mod, the one that isn't here today. He, he kind of starts posting interesting demos seeing tracks he's found on, on our pier too. Right. And there's one of the fediverse. It's got a pretty big following we've got a. The guy that made the video for our intro mnemonic mnemonic has. He runs, we are nameless which is a video watching party movie watching party every week, right. So, it's, it's pretty good. I mean this is interesting to see that communities spring up and happen, you know, and organically.
Absolutely. We've only got about a minute left. So, really quickly I will. I'll ask one more question from the audience member asks, pardon my unfamiliarity with with specific terms but how does the newbie go about joining new instances towns, etc. For some, for example, something like hackers town.
Hacker town we have a registration closed. I will tell you that the entry fee for hackers town is very low, you have to agree to our code of conduct and we'll send you an invite. That's generally how that works. We aren't trying to be exclusive we're just trying to keep people from people in bots that shouldn't be there that could just passively come by and jump in and cause problems from coming right, you have to ask. But we are very open about who we bring in. But beyond that, you know, I would tell you, like you said earlier, go to mastodon dot social sign up there. See if you can find a community around there that you talk to a lot you feel like you're a part of and then go explore that you see people all the time that come and go from communities in the fediverse and that's okay, because they're trying to find the right one for them they're trying to find the right signal, and that's to be expected, and should be accepted and loaded. People should be should be okay with that. And that's one of the things you'll have to break coming from normal social media to the fediverse that awareness that you know you you may have may have some dedication or tainted feelings from social media that you have to drop in to get there.
So like, and we'll have to leave it there because we're just about out of time, but thank you very much code babe doctor gets in, Ryan and tech, for joining us today. And thank you for joining.
Thank you. Oh, 1500. Eastern Time. Radio staedtler.
Yes, that looks. Excellent.
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