Links for 2017/11/29

November 29, 2017 · 3 minute read

This one is pretty dark, sorry. Turn back if you need to protect yourself, I’ll understand. The basic theme: our institutions are not capable of dealing with the threats we are faced with today, and we don’t have any other solutions waiting in the wings. Let’s get started.

Fascism’s Rising in America Because America Doesn’t Understand Fascism

The author makes a few points about why America is /choosing not to fight/ the rise of fascism in America.

And that’s that, really.

Gaius Publius: The Building Is Burning and All the World’s Babies Are In It — Using Force to Fight Climate Change

Our institutions aren’t going to do anything to save us from climate change, either, because their incentive structures strongly favor the status quo.

The most we can hope for from current mainstream leadership is for people to look like they’re doing the right thing, or to do some of the right things, but not enough of them to upset the money-laden apple cart that gets them elected, or to turn the mainstream press so against them that they get the “Sanders-Kucinich treatment.” Recall that even Al Gore got the Sanders-Kucinich treatment from the press, one of the under-mentioned factors in his loss to Bush.

The author’s main argument is that acts of sabotage are justified under the “necessity defense” — as when someone is arrested for breaking and entering after they hear a baby crying in a burning building.

The author is hopeful that we can mitigate the worst consequences of climate change this way (i.e., hold ocean level rises to 6 feet this century rather than 11). I hope so, too, but I’m not wielding my Blue Lantern ring today, either.

Inside the Revolution at Etsy

How accepting VC money to grow turned a socially-responsible B-corp into another Silicon Valley hellhole. The numbers shareholders care about are up, but internally, it’s in a tailspin.

PeerTube — Decentralized Video, Powered by ActivityPub and WebTorrent

One bit of good news. The main block to a decentralized YouTube alternative is the possibility that a given video might go viral and overwhelm the server that it’s hosted on, and impose unbearable costs on the site’s operator. Using a P2P protocol (bittorrent, in this case) in the browser to stream videos means that site operators are protected. And because of federation, no single site owner has to take responsibility for indexing or storing all of the media, either. As a side bonus, you can embed PeerTube videos directly into your Mastodon timeline.

Here’s a video on how the federation works.


That’s it for tonight. There were other things I read today, but I’ve either already discussed them on Mastodon, I’m saving them to write about at more length, or I just don’t have anything to say about them at all. Good night, and stay safe out there.


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