CLFA welcomes SecretSquirrel, with a guest report on new internet havens for user control and free speech.
You may have heard rumblings recently of a new Wikipedia-type site. They’re not empty rumors; it’s real, and its name is InfoGalactic, the Planetary Knowledge Core.
InfoGalactic is, at present, a “fork” of the existing Wikipedia that runs on modern software and hardware. But that’s just the start. There are allied projects: “Brave“, the new browser that lets YOU control the content and ads you see while limiting tracking; and Gab, a censorship-free micro-blogging platform also designed for user control, not central control.
First question I hear you asking: Why do we need a new Wikipedia? There are several answers to that question. Wikipedia runs on old software and old servers, and it simply isn’t efficient anymore. If that were the only problem, it could be remedied by a tech refresh. Hell, the tech is the EASY part. But the real problem with Wikipedia is the bias and endless edit wars on controversial subjects.
Wikipedia suffers from Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy, that is to say, the people in charge are dedicated to expanding their own power and point of view over actually providing what I’ll call the “Sergeant Joe Friday Principle”: Just the facts.
That is the difference InfoGalactic plans to provide: in the future, information will be LAYERED, allowing you to separate facts from context and opinion. As it continues development, you’ll be able to set a viewpoint and see how an issue looks from several angles. But in the end, no matter what slant you take, facts will remain facts.
At present, InfoGalactic is just a faster Wikipedia. As development continues, you’ll start to see some major differentiation between Wikipedia and InfoGalactic. This won’t happen instantly, but any of you who’ve worked in software or systems development can already see the bones of what we’re developing.
This leads to the three metrics InfoGalactic uses:
Relativity (a measure of the relative political position of a given topic );
Notability (a measure of the relative importance of the topic ); and
Reliability (a measure of the reliability of the information on a given topic). Over time, development of the software and the data will make this feature increasingly useful.
So. . .who pays for all this? InfoGalactic, like Brave and Gab, is user-supported. Many of us “original Galaxians” invested the initial seed money for this project. Heck, **I** invested. I put my money where my mouth is. That’s how strongly I believe in this vision.
We could use your help as well, not just financially, but in editing, software, and systems development. Interested in developing ? Apply to the “Techstars” group. We’d love you to join us on this voyage. . .
SecretSquirrel is a Senior IT Engineer with 35+ years experience in a wide range of settings. Currently reading “Death by HR” and taking precautions…
Recommended additional reading: Gab, the New Social Platform, Could End Internet Censorship By Turkish Government