Every year I make history book recommendations for a recipient I do not know who could not be more different from me politically or identity-wise. It's a really good exercise in bubble-popping (or at least bubble-expanding) by trying to use the sympathetic imagination instead of the critical faculties.
I know I said I was already done with holiday shopping, but I had to work off some World Cup anxiety by buying a jersey!
The analogy that several Black users have said, is "Mastodon is the digital equivalent of fleeing 'regular' racism in the deep South, just to experience 'racism doesn't happen here!' racism in Boston." 🙂🙃
Mastodon has more cultural norms around not talking about racist abuse, than around preventing it from happening. I don't know how to convince y'all that this is bad.
So yeah, this creates an opening for centralizers.
For those who might have missed it…
I learned an amazing thing from an arborist: most trees fall towards the northeast. So it's actually the trees SOUTHWEST of your home that you need to worry about. So I do NOT have to pay to remove a tall dead tree directly to the east of us -- because if it falls, it will affect someone further down the hill.
Something I find extremely funny is the fact cryptocurrency was invented in response to distrust of banks post-2008. But as a result of the financial crisis banks got heavily regulated, whereas crypto didn't because it was new. Now you have crypto exchanges doing stuff even pre-2008 banks would have struggled to get away with like straight up printing money out of thin air and using customer deposits to buy penthouses for the CEO's parents.
Leo is gone.
I don’t have a single entrepreneurial cell in my whole body. If I ran Hive Social today I’d reflexively shut it down and flee like a squid escaping through an ink cloud.
So tired of hearing white people who have no relationships where they look up unconditionally to a Black person, or person of color at all talking about racism.
So tired of cisgender people who have no relationships where they look up unconditionally to someone trans or nonbinary talking about gender.
So tired of non-immigrants who have no relationships with immigrants who they look up to unconditionally talking about immigration.
If you have not cultivated those relationships, you are completely unqualified to comment.
online communities and trust
we're at another point in the history of the fediverse where things are hard and complicated. the explosive growth that's resulted from the upheaval at twitter has brought new issues to the forefront while we're still trying to come to terms with the old, unresolved issues.
I'm talking with the "we" word again, and that's going to make writing this harder this time, rather than easier.
for a long while, some folk have spoken about the "fediverse community" or the "fediverse culture" and while it glossed over some of the finer points it was a useful framing for discussing issues that cut across the concerns of individual people in the fediverse or individual instances in the fediverse.
but we (see? hard) have known that we were intentionally limiting the scope of that conversation in order to not have to call out every exception, complication, and contradiction involved in what we were trying to say.
it got us here.
but now, as the population of this former void grows to millions of people instead of thousands, I'm pretty sure the concept of a singular "fediverse" is no longer helpful to the conversations that need to be had.
it was never truly a single fediverse. it's always been a messy venn diagram of fediverses.
the fact is that this virtual space is occupied by innumerable individual people who self-connect as part of one or more of the innumerable individual communities that make this exist.
uncomfortably, the needs and wants of these people and communities are often in opposition.
people who have the need to feel safe and protected by agents of oppressive governmental and/or institutional organizations are not going to be placated by statements about those orgs' representatives being "some of the good ones". that does nothing to address a history of violent confrontation and criminalization of those people's very existence.
there's not middle ground to be had there, folks - you cannot compromise away an existential threat, even if you think that threat is being blown out of proportion.
choices will need to be made. sometimes uncomfortable choices. and sometimes the choices one person or community group makes will seem extreme, an outsized reaction to the input provided. those same choices will be seen by some others as a strong and clear message about what is or is not acceptable to that person/community.
and ultimately it's all about trust. trust that one will be safe.
please listen to people when they have concerns about being able to trust. rarely is trust removed without there being a long history of events that eroded or destroyed the trust that may have previously held sway. it's almost impossible to rebuild trust in meaningful ways across large numbers of people once it has been violated, and the more violent the violation the less likely it is that the trust can be repaired.
at the same time, I would ask that each of us take the time to remember that communities are made up of individual whole people, each of whom brings their very own complexities to any situation. we are all at different places in our lives. some people have not learned the lessons you may have. some people have learned entirely different lessons that seem contradictory to your learnings.
take the actions you need to take to keep you and your communities safe and well. maybe also consider that communities who make choices other than yours are doing likewise and have different needs in terms of safety. the human condition is a spectrum of spectrums and it defies easy reduction into simpler terms.
maybe we all need to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable sometimes.
I don't have a lot else to say on the topic du jour. my personal feelings about the issue and any action I feel I need to take is my responsibility. I hope each of you and your communities find a stance that you feel good about in relation to your needs.
Co-founder/CTO twice. In my heart I'll always be a webdev. Almost died twice (brain aneurysm and adrenal adenoma). She/her.
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