Magic words

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

1973, Arthur C. Clarke

Peculiar to magic, we don’t understand how it works. The uninitiated must rely on true professionnals (sorcerers, magicians, informaticians and other jobs ending in “cians”). His hope in their expertise and honesty is a true act of faith. And as for all religions, there are jackals and swindlers [3].

First illustration at Le Pariens where Inès Chaïeb asked Aryliin her opinion on the last report of the commission écrans (translatable as “screen committee”) [1] and more precisely about Mastodon and Bluesky since they were both included in the “ethic networks”.

About Mastodon, the free social network software decentralised through the whole fediverse; anyone can host its own server (Mastodon or one of the many other compatible with Activity Pub, the protocol normalised by W3C). But if this network is so good, why it is such a niche? Two answers. Firstly, Mastodon (and the whole fediverse) requires more investments than competitors because you must first understand this federation stuff, then the instance stuff, then chose one of the many availables ones (or better, but even more costly, host your own). Secondly, as for night clubs and bars, clients go for the atmosphere and the less users on Mastodon, the less users on Mastodon.

About Bluesky (the twitter’s offspring), this is only marketing buzz. For the opensource side, without going into subteltise about free vs open, we notes that only the client’s code is open and the server remains closed source (while it’s doing all the job). For the decentralization, even if the protocol (AT) is described, it is unclear, unfiniched (i.e. parts are still work in progress). And let’s say you managed to implement a compatible server despite it all, it won’t federate with Bluesky’s servers. The whole Bluesky is under the solely authority of Bluesky, managed by former twitter executive.

To summarize, Bluesky takes this decentralisation at a technical level but keep its whole authority on its network, whereas Mastodon decentralize everything up to its governance, anyone is the master of its own cyberspace corner. We regret the screen committee did not saw the difference.


Second illustration, and without wanting to transform everything into competitions: Selenith defeat us by far about repairs at home. We make around 150€ by fixing our printer (improvising with stuff that looks good) [2] while he managed to makes 15000€ with his heat pump (reading the fucking manual and buying the official replacement part) [3].


We often summarize our legal expertises with this statement :

Being incompetence or malice, the result is the same, we can loose lots of money.

2024, Selenith [3] (translated by the arsouyes)