First off, I don’t trust anything on infowars, they’re criminally dishonest and ran a campaign of attacking the family members of people killed in mass shootings. They aren’t interested in a honest debate about politics or society, instead are trying to bring about authoritarianism by making it so nobody can believe anything from anybody. There plenty of right wing people and movements who are engaged in honest debate about what’s best for society, and I respect that even if I disagree with their views. I’ve been following it since it launched in 1999, Infowars is not that.
Secondly, in the case of New Zealand the changes in excess deaths are primarily due to the way in which that level dropped at the lockdowns and boarder closures in 2020 and 2021, only to rebound after the boarders opened up. Basically the public health measures taken due to covid kept elderly alive and then when things opened up again, those most vulnerable passed away.
New Zealand consistently ranks as one of the most transparent and least corrupt countries in the world. There has been so much data released and so much public information that becomes overwhelming. The country has a strong independent press and vigrous public debate. The critiques come from a tiny minority of neo-nazis (yes swastika tattoo neo-nazis), white supremacists, and Christian nationalists. New Zealand has become the target of covid conspiracies precisely because it was so effective at dealing with covid.
Most New Zealanders wanted more enforcement of vaccine rules than what the government implemented. Most Kiwis wanted the borders to stay closed. There was no legal requirement to get vaccinated, but most kiwis would happily have voted to jail vaccine skeptics. The government acted with restraint and respected the views of the small minority of critics.
I feel that New Zealand acted based on good science and public policy in ways that reflected the opinion of the overwhelming majority of the population. Anytime I saw the policies of NZ criticized from overseas, the local opinion was that the government hadn’t gone far enough.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the organization and success of #nostrasia and for making nostr.world possible. The immense effort involved in orchestrating such an event is commendable, and I'm thankful for having had the chance to participate.
A key expectation for me was to delve deeper into and connect with the Japanese Nostr community. Unfortunately, despite being in the same vicinity, a sense of connection was missing. The language barrier and cultural differences seemed to be significant obstacles. I struggled to follow the Japanese talks and couldn't engage with the Japanese attendees as I had envisioned. This highlighted the need for more inclusive and accessible communication strategies in future gatherings.
While much about the event was praiseworthy, there are aspects I wish were different. The format, dominated by numerous stage presentations and hallway interactions, was commendable, yet I believe an ideal unconference strikes a balance between these formats.
The structure of having many speakers and an audience primarily in a listening role hindered the potential for deeper, personal connections. As a speaker on the first day, I was approached for conversations about Nostr, which were enriching, but somewhat sporadic and unstructured. This dynamic, where a few are seen as heroes imparting wisdom to an audience, doesn’t quite resonate with the collaborative and egalitarian ethos of the Nostr community. We avoided the pitfalls of corporate booths and sales pitches, but there’s still potential to enhance our approach.
For future events, I propose reducing the number of talks and panels. An alternative could be pre-recording talks for online viewing, allowing us to utilize in-person time for more meaningful, facilitated networking. Open Spaces and similar models offer guidance on this, involving active facilitators and opportunities for attendees to propose discussion topics and participate in smaller, focused group conversations. This format emphasizes personal connections over mere information sharing, utilizing various room sizes for more inclusive and effective discussions.
This isn't to diminish the achievements of the Nostr.world team or the value of Nostrica and Nostrasia. Both events were extraordinary, offering immense learning opportunities and a platform for networking. Yet, there's always room for improvement, particularly in fostering more inclusive and impactful interactions.
Aspiration Tech’s guide on creating participatory events is a valuable resource in this regard: Aspiration Tech's Participatory Event Guide https://aspirationtech.org/papers/creating_participatory_events
The goal is to enhance the value of our gatherings by deepening the connections within our diverse community.
Did anybody else watch the cybertruck launch event? I’m perplexed by a bunch of things. How they could have spent so much money on amazing promo videos in Iceland, which do make the truck look cool, and then somehow fail to get the most basic things working at the actual event. It’s so dark you can’t see what’s going on most of the time. Elon himself stands to give his talk with his head in a shadow, you can only see his torso!
Then there’s Elon’s speech. It’s incoherent. He rambles on, loses his train of thought, fails to complete sentences, throws in a bunch of zingers which don’t land. If he’d presented that way at any startup / pitch competition he’d lose, despite him presenting a rather impressive vehicle.
The Engadget takedown on the cybertruck is hilarious:
Tesla's Cybertruck is a dystopian, masturbatory fantasy
In Elon's future, the rich should be allowed to dominate (and probably run over) the poor with impunity.
Bluesky has released some new trust and safety features. Nothing earth shattering, content labels, more automated system moderation labeling using AI, ability to update mislabeled content, and the ability to create / subscribe to user & moderation lists.
Honestly this feels very similar to what I talked about with what we’ve done with nos, except for there’s no nostr moderation team.
The really odd thing was syncing moderation settings between devices. How is it that wasn’t baked in, I don’t know.
Exploring Nostr as a Replacement for Old School Online Forums
This week, I had an enlightening conversation with the team at Bamboo, a digital agency in Aotearoa New Zealand, about leveraging Nostr for communities. Bamboo supports organizations in establishing and nurturing online communities, primarily using basic web forum software. While this software is straightforward and manageable, hosted on their own servers, it's not quite hitting the mark. Engagement is low; people aren't sharing much, often forgetting to revisit or open emails. They're looking for something more dynamic, akin to Nostr.
The communities Bamboo works with aren't overly concerned about censorship, but they do value a sense of privacy and effective community moderation. Currently, their forums are moderated by a few designated volunteers who can delete content and interact with contributors. Unlike Reddit-style communities, there's no need for post approval queues.
However, there's a definite interest in privacy, though not necessarily requiring robust encryption. It could be as simple as restricting community access to specific relay connections, or encoding posts with a shared key – akin to a house lock, which is secure but not impervious to a determined intruder.
I believe Nostr can meet these needs. We're close, but there are challenges to address, particularly in making it straightforward for users to connect and engage with these community spaces using existing Nostr apps. Ideally, there should be clear instructions for web, iOS, and Android platforms. For instance, if someone installs the Amethyst app, they should be able to join a community easily, perhaps through a simple link.
For web users, the process might involve installing Amethyst, then clicking a link that directly ushers them into the community. This process still seems a bit complex, and simplifying it remains a challenge. A direct web sign-up process, similar to @npub1l2v…ajft's new web login, could be effective. Users could request to join a community or relay through a Nostr link, and relay operators would manage these requests and monitor joiners.
Moderators would need tools to oversee posts and flag inappropriate content within their community. While end-to-end encryption is appealing, it's crucial that it doesn't complicate the joining and participating process. Users should easily understand if they're posting within their specific community and not to the broader Nostr network. Similarly, viewing content should be streamlined to focus on community-specific interactions.
One option is we make it clear what relays host what content, provide info on joining a relay, finding it, adding it, posting to it.
Another option is we modify / extend the communities that satellite.earth and amethyst support.
Another would be…..?
In summary, while Nostr presents a promising alternative to traditional online forums, there's work to be done. We need to refine some underlying technical aspects and, more importantly, develop a user experience and apps that facilitate easy and engaging community interaction.
This feels like a really good way to grow nostr, I hear folks with a clear need.
Phone’s today do tons of onboarding and there’s a lot of lockin too. There’s a whole set of tools to migrate your data and accounts to the new phone, find contacts, recommend apps to install. We don’t think about it because google and apple do such a good job. But ask Nokia, MSFT, Mozilla, Amazon, Samsung, and all the others that spent billions trying to make alternatives to iOS and Android…. that onboarding / experience / engagement is very important.