Comments

7

aiwendil wrote

If that happened I would definitely contribute code also, but I think it is mostly one dev at this point. It is pretty impressive they have been able to do this much on their own. I might try to work on my php skills so I can contribute.

7

aiwendil wrote

I'm not worried about the neckbeards. I am confident that we can find a way to keep them out with each encroachment. Most of them aren't hackers, they are trolls. Their greatest resource is their time. I'd say let them waste it, because without it, they literally have nothing. It would be cool if the admins made a function here to flag accounts as trolls and when they log in, take them to a honeypot version of the site. Have it be a mirror of the site, except normal users don't have to see it at all. Then they will think we are all just really, really good at ignoring them.

6

aiwendil wrote

I have complicated beliefs about doxxing. I think it is easy to justify doxxing an adversary and easy to condemn doxxing a comrade. Yet knowing this bias, I still feel totally okay with any type of White Supremacist being doxxed and furthermore threatened, because they spend their lives doxxing and threatening other people with little consequence in regards to the law. I don't think doxxing should be the end either, it is just the beginning of information gathering and keeping tabs on groups that have shown themselves to be a threat to the peaceful existence of anybody in a group they don't like, which is more people than it isn't. If we know who they are, we can anticipate and adapt to their future moves. It is already criminal to stalk, harass and threaten people in most jurisdictions I am aware of. So doxxing for the purpose of doing those things should be illegal. So really what people do with that information is what is problematic. If you are taking that information and threatening to kill somebody who is not advocating murder themselves(I say this because Nazi's are inherently okay with the idea of putting Jews in ovens and thus need to be treated as an existential threat consistently. I would say that a person actually has no right to that opinion as holding that opinion infringes on another person's right to live peacefully. I would balance the right to live peacefully over the right to free expression of beliefs any day of the week). I think if that information is used to monitor people, to create hostile environments for them(combating their ability to spread their beliefs), gets them fired, makes their family shun them, etc, I think that is totally ethical and morally upright. I try to frame it this way to liberal people all the time who seem more concerned with supporting the rights of racist terrorists than they do the simple right to exist of marginalized people. Sometimes they get it, most of the time they don't.

9

aiwendil wrote

"Back in my day, everybody worked until they died and when they died, they went to hell and worked some more and we were happy with our lot. All you millenials get handed everything(short handed shovels, pick axes), and you have the nerve to complain that you are working your lives away." Says old baby boomer on SSI, with a pension and healthcare.

This seriously seems like it was written by somebody's raving, senile grandpa.

2

aiwendil wrote (edited )

Well, there is the whole Jacob Applebaum sex scandal thing. Also all the darknet market busts that happened. Seemed like people were careless about letting personal information slip, but really when running a project like that you don't have to be that careless. With all the attention you will get running a darknet site, where ever it happens to be that you slipped up is going to come out eventually. However, Sessions made some cryptic claims about people not being as anonymous as they think they are with tor and shortly there after Lucky green quit saying something along the lines of having to step down for ethical reasons. It seems like a lot of attacks on the credibility of tor all at once. I think it is time for some serious community auditing, because between Lucky's cryptic statements and Sessions' cryptic statements, I am starting to think the is some FISA gag order shit happening. Obviously that is just my impression, I have absolutely no proof, but it just seems like a lot of bad press lately.

In addition to what I covered in this post, I've also been running a script I wrote similar to needl from a few vm's to try to create a lot of dummy traffic through various entry and exit nodes as well as from the computer I typically browse through, so usage meta data theoretically becomes more difficult to collect, but I don't recommend others do this yet as running this code could be potentially identifying in and of itself.

I would like to see tor adopt something like i2p's system for combining multiple packets into one, so it becomes impossible to tell which, if any packet originated from your computer. Also having all computers on the network routing packets seems like another good idea... Also having separate tunnels for inbound and outbound taffic seems like a good idea. Ultimately I think I2P would be the future if there were more outproxy/exit nodes.

All that said, if tor has been infiltrated or compromised from the inside, none of this matters. So I2P's system of keeping the developers pseudonymous is probably a something tor should adopt as well. We don't need to know who the developers are in order to accurately audit the code...

I know that is a lot, but the darknet world is a kind of scary place right now. I could only find one country with favorable laws regarding data retention and they block hidden services somehow, so there are a lot of problems to address.

3

aiwendil wrote

I hope both of these storms clobber the US, but unfortunately those hit hardest will be the already disenfranchised communities. I just hope it demolishes Mar-a-lago and anything else owned by the angry cheeto. Honestly the people of the Leeward Islands and Barbuda have already gotten hit bad enough. Much worse than anybody there probably deserves. However the wealthy Floridian schmucks down in Key West deserve whatever they get. I am planning to head to Houston soon to help with things there and then maybe head over to Miami if I can, but I have no interest in helping rebuild golf courses and/or McMansions. Fuck em'.

2

aiwendil wrote

It's hard to really know until we get the next Snowden level leak, which is like a twice a century thing at this point. Most government employees are totally cool with what they are being asked to do in the name of "National Security," So since the modern intelligence community was formed during WWII, there have only been two leaks on that level, including the Snowden leak, but then there was the Pentagon Papers released by Daniel Ellsberg. It would be nice if we could get this kind of information out of the government every couple of years, but since we can't, let's just assume that they are constantly expanding the scope of data collection to the best of their modern abilities. A 5-6 years ago, those abilities were startling and now they should be assumed to be even more startling.

2

aiwendil wrote

Alright, I am pretty sure I got all of those in the country codes. At the moment I have to remove StrictNodes part of the settings because it was seemingly causing issues getting to hidden services. Not sure why that would be. My confidence is really going down with tor lately, given everything going on with it.

7

aiwendil wrote (edited )

How come nobody ever considers that people are making a calculated decision not to take shitty jobs. I've fucked my back up for shitty jobs for years and I won't work warehousing and manufacturing jobs because they never give benefits and the toll on my body is too great. I end up spending my whole life in pain and I end up paying all the money I make to doctors. The trade off is 100% not worth it. I've got an idea for the robber barrons, higher pay, shorter hours and benefits, just like you gave the boomers and I bet you will see all those displaced workers suddenly appear again. The real problem is that all employers want something for nothing. They think they are better than you, so they want to screw you over at every opportunity. Opiates are a symptom of the pain caused by capitalism. Every single article on this completely misses the point.

2

aiwendil wrote

I mean, not to be too pessimistic, because I appreciate the notion here, but it is just political platitudes. ICE can still come in and haul people off and what is the city doing to make that less of a reality for the former DACA recipients. This is just one reason why our efforts to track everything everybody does in this country is extremely dangerous. As soon as the political will favors somebody like trump, he has access to all of these records. He knows where you live, where you work, etc. When it comes time to haul you off, they know exactly where and how to find you.

3

aiwendil wrote (edited )

I think it will bring about species collapse, but it will happen before I see us abandoning capitalism, so any political change will be too late to save us from extinction.

We have already hit run-away conditions for climate change, that means that melting sea ice, will release more and more methane into the atmosphere until we have warmed the climate too much to maintain habitability and it will continue that way no matter what we do at this point. If we stopped producing carbon at this point, climate change will continue largely unhindered.

China has also poisoned so much of it's arable land that they actually cannot feed their own population without imports at this point, so we are starting to see the beginning of food shortages. In California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas we have already seen the beginning of water shortages. These things have not convinced us to change our ways. I just don't see us living long enough to really benefit from any political change and I think the rich currently control enough resources that we will be capitalist irregardless of what the people want, well into apocalyptic conditions.

The political change I see is that humans will not retain their place as the dominant species on this planet for too much longer. I am personally okay with that. At that point does it really matter if we change our political system? Once we've completely ravaged the environment and trashed the planet. I personally don't think it does.

4

aiwendil wrote

I mean, we are already experiencing environmental collapse. I actually think that environmental collapse is imminent and accelerating, but won't lead to political change so much as extinction. The ruling class are going to cling to the resources that separate them from having to directly experience environmental collapse the way the rest of us will. The fact is that Hurricane Irma is not going to discriminate in it's destruction, but FEMA will in who they help get back on their feet and the wealthy can absorb this disaster... They can evacuate and have somewhere to go when doing so. The poor that are stuck in the affected communities will continue to be hit disproportionately. There isn't really much we can do about that, because full scale political collapse is likely at least centuries away. So in spite of everything, we can really only do one thing: educate.

5

aiwendil wrote

Which is even worse as it almost invariably gives incumbents an advantage over new comers and if all coins are generated up front, continues the issue of fungibility that I described above. I don't really like that system any more than the current one. I am not sure what a good solution is to be honest as proof of work is responsible for confirming transactions and you need to sweeten the pot so that people will dedicate hashing power to that process. I just wonder if there is a better more egalitarian way to do such things.

2

aiwendil wrote

They seem to go to no end to protect the rights of violent right wing extremists. I mean, there is nothing legally binding about the measure, so literally all they have to do is just say that they condemn Nazis, which is probably one of the most popular things in the world to do and yet, for the US that is just too limiting for the only group of people they seem willing to stand up for at all: Nazis. Fucken bullshit. I'm not surprised, just constantly disgusted and horrified.

6

aiwendil wrote

I am not sure that all the coins will fall with Bitcoin. I think Bitcoin is showing that it has weaknesses and eventually they will be exploited and that will happen with every cryptocurrency, but I don't think it will happen simultaneously. In fact many new alt-coins are constantly being created to address problems. So what I see happening is that as people recognize that another coin is better, they will migrate and Bitcoin will become irrelevant. I feel like that started to happen with Monero a little bit.

However, I do agree that the way in which they are designed to be hyper-inflationary is totally unsustainable and scammy behavior, designed to enrich early adopters. I fail to see how this serves any anarchistic ends as all it has the potential to do is re-organize class, not demolish class altogether.

Ancaps have very little in common with any true anarchist and their goal of completely unregulated, market driven, hyper-capitalism is being lived out with the cryptocurrency fantasy.

I agree that the blockchain is a good idea for a lot of things, but for anything requiring anonymity it actually creates a public ledger of events that can be traced. Even if you make it harder with coin mixing as is built in to monero, a dedicated adversary can still deduce things over time and determine with enough certainty to begin carrying out more in depth espionage, who is potentially involved in what transactions. Bitcoin was supposed to operate as digital cash, but because of the blockchain it can never really be that. Blockchains strike me as a technology better implemented for file sharing and chat protocols(as if we don't have enough of those). Anything requiring true anonymity cannot be implemented this way.

Finally I have a lot of criticism with the whole "proof-of-work," concept for mining. Proof-of-work essentially makes it so that we buy asics designed specifically for mining at the current difficulty and then maybe make back that investment if you are lucky, but a lot of people just never will. Only big mining firms will as the difficulty increases, which invariably leads to a 50% attack. It also ties bitcoin to the value of that technology in other currencies, which I believe is the reason it will never become truly fungible like a normal currency. Bitcoin is an investment/gambling toy and I am starting to think it always has been.

All of that said, I think it opened the door for the possibility of designing a more egalitarian, digital currency. Monero does a better job at controlling inflation to create a more fungible currency by not limiting the total number of possible Monero and by having a standard release schedule for coins that won't change over time. I still think we can do better as Monero is already pretty inflationary, even given these controls. I do think we are getting better and better at this though. If currency is a construct people are pretty set on maintaining in society, we can at least design better ones.

10

aiwendil wrote

Absolutely true. I know a lot of people who fantasize about a revolution, which to me seems extremely unrealistic given the adversaries you would have to take on. The super power countries are way too well armed and have standing armies of unquestioning soldiers that wouldn't hesitate to squash you if they ever even had to. More than likely they could wipe out a revolution with drones and never even take a single casualty.

So Anarchism is a waiting game. All governments eventually collapse under their own weight, but especially bureaucratic governments. So all the super powers of today will eventually collapse and then we will have to fight off all the other groups that will be jockeying to replace the previous regime, primary among them will be a number of White Supremacist groups, but also cartels and other gangs that might see an opportunity to gain more influence. That is why I think the real revolution is a slow burn and frustrating battle that primarily involves attempting to educate as many people as possible. That doesn't seem like a battle we are winning either. The future of anarchism is probably just staying out of the crosshairs as best as one can.

Despite all of this realism, I am hopeful because of a number of things that have occurred recently. There are more people than ever going out and black blocing and that is inspiring more people to see alternatives to current paradigms. I am not sure that is the best use of our efforts as all comrades are more valuable outside of a prison cell, but watching people shooting roman candles at Milo and actually get that event in Berkeley canceled was a great moment. Or watching Antifa overrun White Supremacist rallies in Berkeley, etc. I like to think that means our numbers are growing and our education is working. I support a multitude of tactics, but they need to really be strategic and opportunistic. We cannot just blindly throw ourselves at the state and hope there are enough of us to topple a regime. The consequences of this have been dire and continue to get worse.

Strategically I would like to see us be able to focus on pushing our governments further left even if it isn't as left as we want them to be. I think we are going to have to take a lot of concessions in settling for candidates like Bernie Sanders, who is likely the best we can do in the current political climate. We need to recognize that sort of thing as somewhat of a victory in that things get a little better than they were prior. If we can make Bernie the new baseline from which we operate, then over time we can slowly push further. I think too many people, want too much and they want it right now, but it takes work and time and more work. In this way though, we can make living under these despotic countries a little more bearable until they do collapse and that effort is truly something worth doing. Maybe by the time they do collapse there will be something resembling a critical mass of educated anarchists that can mount a successful revolution.

Revolutions aren't nice and tidy and sometimes they take centuries to foment into a realistic opposition. To be an anarchist is to be constantly fighting battles you can never win.

6

aiwendil wrote

I try to live this way also, but I think in the US, because it is hyper-capitalist makes it very difficult and the last 10 years here has seen a push to criminalize and enforce any behavior that would allow you to live outside the system in any way. I still spend a lot of time in the woods in shelters that I have built myself and try to live outside of the system in any way that I can, but I guess I don't feel that collectivism and individualism have to be so mutually exclusive that they become reactions to the other. I think it would certainly benefit everybody(save maybe the robber barons) if certain resources were collectivized, including individualists. I also think that anarcho-communism can allow for personal property, while collectivizing things that are currently considered private property. The distinction being that it is possible to own certain things, without denying those resources to other people. The classic argument here being the collectivized toothbrush thing that ancaps always bring up. I don't think anybody envisions a society in which we are all swapping one toothbrush because we've collectivized the toothbrush(maybe some tankies would be into this idea, but I'm certainly not). Like I think you can still have some sense of ownership of your home/shelter, provided that the way you've built it is not denying access to other people(like if you decided to build your home in the middle of a street for example, or you chopped down endangered trees to build it). I think maybe we need to make more room for things like this philosophically while allowing for collectivization of things such as the means of production.

5

aiwendil wrote

The nudes thing is actually a really important thing I hadn't considered at all and I am sure it could apply to a lot of things, like even a love letter that you just want one person to read or the parlance of some embarrassing story or event that you vulnerably share to a confidant.

I certainly think if we all truly owned all resources collectively we would have less need of secure transport for things like scientific data, proprietary information, tax returns and the like, because some things just wouldn't need to exist like tax returns and social security numbers and particularly proprietary information, and scientific data would be collectively owned, so for profit repositories and journals need not be the gate keepers of such knowledge, but vulnerable sharing is certainly something that needs to be of paramount importance in designing systems. I appreciate that perspective a lot.

6

aiwendil wrote

I want to clarify that I don't believe in the whole "nothing to hide," rhetoric. I just believe a lot of why we need to compute securely is because we have non-transparent government entities nefariously spying and criminalizing the people they spy on for simple things like sharing ideas or innovating to make their lives better or easier and also because we live in a coercive society that requires us to securely transfer funds, but in a society where money didn't exist and we freely shared resources, there may be no need of internet privacy as our private lives could go back to being lived out largely in person. To think of communism without trust as it would have to exist in out world is a huge undertaking.