By Ev Bogue - December 12th 2014
Gather around the fire. It's time for another fireside chat.
You missed the hobo-fired tacos. I know, whew knew you could make tacos on a hobo fire? but at least you're around for the bueno vino and the things we need to talk about.
What do we need to talk about...?
E-Cigarettes. Oh god. E-Cigarettes. Every time I seem someone smoking one of these things, it makes me want to go home and smoke a whole pack of cigarettes all at once to make up for the smug smile on their faces as they puff on what I can only tell is misty nicotine gas. Smoke a real god damn cigarette, and throw that damn thing away!
Not to mention people who insist on smoking them indoors and in airports, making everyone around them confused as to why someone is smoking indoors. Get yourself a real cigarette. They're only $28 pesos a pack in Mexico City. And smoke those!
That is all.
What I want to talk about today is distributed technologies. If anyone has been following the major tech news of the past few days, you'll know that The Pirate Bay is down. Now, I only used The Pirate Bay for the past 10 years or so to find and download the latest Ubuntu ISO, but I know many people used it for other things. The whole Internet is in a confused uproar because how... i mean HOW???? will they find the latest episode of whatever television shows people watch these days. Do people watch television shows anymore?
Being a person who only used The Pirate Bay to get the latest Ubuntu ISO, I wouldn't know. Cough. However, I for one am glad the damn thing is down. The Pirate Bay is/was almost as bad as centralized social networking, because it was centralized. Anything that centralizes critical systems on the Internet (such as sharing files) is bad in my book. Even Peter Sunde, the spokesperson for The Pirate Bay once upon a time, who is now finishing the last few days of his prison term for speaking on behalf of The Pirate Bay, is convinced the only way to save file sharing is by destroying The Pirate Bay.
Once The Pirate Bay is destroyed, people everywhere will have to put their wizard coder hats on and figure out how to make a distributed way to find and share torrents.
I don't know how you're going to do this. Maybe we need a torrentcoin, and every new episode of whatever-it-is-that-people-watch these days gets written to a distributed blockchain that no one can editundo. But then how will you know how many seeders/leechers are on a torrent? Well, we'll need someone to figure out how to measure that, won't we?
Anyway. Let's all hope The Pirate Bay stays dead, and gives the world a great big opportunity to figure out how to create a distributed social network that cannot be censored. Maybe we can call it Hands Up Don't Shoot or I Can't Breathe or something else not political at all.
It's very clear that running a website for people to share Ubuntu ISOs is easy to abuse, and the only way to avoid this abuse is to make sure no one is responsible for the abuse. Because people will abuse The Internet for access to television shows and music videos. There's no way the governments of the world can stop this from happening. But if we, the citizens of the free and open Internet, ever want this war against cute not-so-young-anymore Swedish boys to stop, we need to figure out how to distribute filesharing so that no one can be held responsible for the result.
I'm sure when Peter Sunde gets out of jail for being a good speaker, he will agree with me.
End of fireside rant.