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"In short, federation distributes governance and cost, and can allow us to tackle challenges that we couldn’t overcome without it. The free software community needs to rally behind federation, because no one else will. For all of the reasons which make it worth doing, it is not rewarding for corporations. They would much rather build walled gardens and centralize, centralize, centralize — it’s more profitable!"

drewdevault.com/2020/09/20/The

@alcinnz before FOSS people turn something else into a buzzword they should learn the difference between a federation and a confederacy.

(hint: most people think they mean the latter when they say the former, but then implement the former anyway!)

@emsenn My understanding is that federation refers to the technology side whereas federacy refers to the governance side.

It's so typical of technologists to over-focus on the technology, just like lawyers over-focus on licensing.

@alcinnz haha, a good point but not the one I intended! I meant to draw attention to the difference between FEDeration and CONFEDeration:

in the latter, you maintain your ability to withdraw at any point. The former, you give up your consent.

Sound familiar?

(federation you "own your data" until you share it then it's other folks, whereas like, captp v much is closer to real confederation)

(I am only a proponent of confederation and care zero about federation)

@emsenn @alcinnz To be clear on my own understanding, this would suggest that what we think of as "the Fediverse" is really a confederation of information services, and not a true federation?

@vertigo It really depends on your perspective.

Since folk connect to other instances kinda automatically, I view it more as a federation, even though you could choose to "maintain sovereignty" from the Fediverse if you really wanted (sandbox the instance) @alcinnz

@emsenn @alcinnz That the Fediverse is kind of a grey area here further undermines my confidence of understanding. :)

Is there any example, hypothetical or otherwise, of a confederated communications infrastructure?

@vertigo I'm sorry I don't really have the energy to properly explain this right now. :(

There isn't, because it's in many ways impossible, since so much of our participation in digital communications is transmitted data, which we can't guarantee can be revoked. (and that's an important part of consent, which is an important part of confederation.)

I think the object-capabilities stuff folk are working on will bring us, in many ways, a lot closer, and may help encourage us to do other things that help bring us closer, but the answer will always be no, it's just an ideal to strive for. @alcinnz

@emsenn @alcinnz Thanks for taking the time that you have; it's giving much food for thought on the architecture of information systems in general.

@vertigo You're welcome, I just feel bad saying "people should learn X" and then saying "i can't teach X right now." @alcinnz

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