I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your contributions to our little “thought experiment” on the relative merits of censorship. If you have not yet explored this thread, please check it out: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=14621.0
In order to better understand where and how we should apply our efforts at consensus building, I thought it might be useful to take the unpopular position of embracing censorship and give voice to what I felt were the strongest arguments in favor. Interestingly, the counter argument I was watching for did not appear until the very bottom of the 3rd page, when fluxer555 posted the reply “...anyone can trivially record mumble sessions without using the built-in function. There is going to be no way to stop people from recording.
The simple logic of this statement stopped the OP dead in its tracks. Fortunately, it’s curious absence from the first 3 pages allowed many of us the opportunity to explore the roots of our feelings about censorship, and recognize that most of us have quite similar sentiments. We all have different ways of processing the “unknown quantities” of things that we cannot control, and I was impressed that most of you were willing to channel your frustration and discomfort into an insightful and productive debate.Censorship does not work because censorship cannot be technically enforced. The only recourse a would-be censor has is to try and control the channels that information is distributed, but this is often easily circumvented and will soon be completely impossible to maintain. The hubris of those who would control the narrative with an iron fist will soon be eclipsed by the bright light of the truth, expressed through a decentralized revolution that is tearing down the walls of perception to expose a new emergent social order.
So how can we begin to advance our purpose in a way that empowers us as individuals, and encourages a higher degree of trust and cooperation into ecosystem as a whole?
First, I think it would be a good idea to have a place where we each can share a more detailed profile of ourselves, our businesses, our interests, skills, and hobbies, and anything else that might help us to connect to each other so we can all work together for the betterment of the ecosystem. I have suggested to bitsapphire that we expand the bitsharestalk profile page to include a number of additional fields so that we have a convenient central hub to search for this information. This will also help to reduce the frequency of accidental objective misinterpretation, because the reader of a forum post will be able to make a more informed decision about whether the specific “disembodied opinion” they are observing is of an anonymous passerby, or rather.backed by someone who has actually chosen to place their reputation on the line.
By extension, the mumble server will continue to serve as a valuable space for the leaders of many BitShares related projects to hold meetings with different model structures, such as remote press conferences, meet & greets, and all varieties of participatory discussions, with the disclaimer that recording is always allowed because it can never technically, much less morally, be prevented.
Finally, the two can be combined. For every mumble session, each person who speaks aloud has also given implicit consent for their @handle to be recorded, since everyone’s handle is visible on mumble. So after each event, when the audio recordings are prepared for release, a simple (low bitrate) video file can also be created to display the @forum handle of each person while they are talking, once again giving listeners the ability to better assess the relative objective value of each “disembodied voice”, and inspire them to further explore the nature of influences that are behind the opinions which are being expressed.
Although the forum is centralized, it is run by a group of people in whom we have voted to represent BitShares as trusted delegates. Although mumble is centralized, it is also run by a group of people in whom we have placed our implicit trust. Eventually everything will be decentralized, but In the interim it is imperative that we strive to honor and leverage the web of trust we have already built. Whatever course we take, I strongly suggest that we construct some sort of reliable reputation system immediately so that confidence does not continue to waver for want of objectivity.
Someday soon, your BitShares wallet, likely in conjunction with other decentralized systems, will fully support the original “keyhotee” vision. Things like decentralized DNS, open source hardware, and mesh networks will soon enable a mass migration away from the current paradigm and out onto a new frontier of freedom and security. I find it curious and somewhat paradoxical that the trust we have for each other has become the foundation for the building of these amazing trustless systems. I will therefore continue to work hard at finding solutions to help us keep closing the gap, and I am grateful for everyone’s continued guidance and support!