22 February 2022
This website is hosted on a small RaspberryPi nestled behind my TV. It’s a mildy autonomous and moderately self-correcting setup, though susceptible to, say, being unplugged if I need to vacuum.
If my Internet Service Provider changes my IP address, it corrects the DNS record and ensures people can still find it. If I shut it down, move house, and fire it up again, it’ll vaguely sort itself out and be serving this website in relatively short order.
The site itself consists of static files, meaning it’s moderately fast and (hopefully) relatively resilient to traffic surges. It utilises a relatively small amount of power and bandwidth. It’s lazy, and only checks to see if there’s anything new to publish (such as this post) every few hours, at which point it rebuilds the relevant static files and relaunches itself.
This was the work of a few dozen hours (including calls to my ISP and some reading on German Cable contracts) and an outlay of (I would guess) a little shy of a couple hundred Euros in total (after a router upgrade, dynamic DNS service fee, and the RPi itself). It’s definitely less resilient than a full cloud or hosted setup and requires far more maintenance and technical knowledge, though it is far more in my control.
Ultimately it is very silly, deeply impractical, and somewhat still fragile, and yet somehow it is still far closer to my conception of what a truly decentralised web should look like than anything with blockchain, NFTs, or cryptocurrencies.
I cannot tell if this is just because I am old or because I am mising something.
My break from social media has been relatively easy, though its coinciding with my unemployment has made me realise how much LinkedIn positions itself now as a ‘professional’ social media space. With all those attendent horrors, and some of its own.
People gently grinding all of their idle thoughts into social media posts for internet fame is one thing - doing it in the explicit service of professional outreach is a horrifying thing be continually have to engage with (which I need to do to get a job). It’s a slideshow of self-induced commoditisation of human experiences that feels intensely dehumanising.
One example post was someone stating “this is what it means to be in content marketing” and two selfies of them crying at their desk, and a ‘Read More’ link below. Another was someone posting “I realised that founding a startup is the same as being in a relationship. So last week I proposed to my girlfriend” and photos of that life-defining moment.
To me it feels utterly abhorrent to people supplicate themselves there, and lay themselves bare for… outreach? A chance at a better job somewhere? The next Exciting Opportunity on their Incredible Journey?
I struggle with my own understanding of it - why is no-one else so against it? Why is no-one else utterly appalled at its impact?
Discussing it with people, they ultimately say something like, “Well, that’s just how it works now - you need to be visible there to get that next job”. They say this as if explaining something I just haven’t seen or understood. I have, and my point is, isn’t that terrible?