This feels a lot like NNTP, in a good way
I think any similarity to NNTP is probably skin deep.
A notable difference is that with Usenet over NNTP – or really, Usenet
over any transport – you have a network of nodes that propagate traffic
by chattering amongst one another. With nostr, the relays never talk to one
Maybe it is more reminiscent of the BBS world, specifically
the class of bulletin boards that weren’t connected to fidonet
or other store-and-forward networks.
This does look quite compelling. It seems elegantly simple, and there
was a good deal of thought put into it. I look forward to experimenting with
it in the very near future.
Personally I don’t understand why people are always trying to replicate social media but make it “good” this time. Based on real life experience of how 10+ major social media platforms have influenced people’s lives, I’m starting to get the idea that maybe the entire concept is toxic. That being said I don’t have much experience with social media outside the realm of surveillance capitalism (if that’s even possible).
The original social media was email. Before that, usenet. Before that, meatspace had alternatives.
The idea is not toxic. People need to connect to people, it’s just our nature. Implementations that reward living and bragging about a lavish lifestyle can be toxic. Implementations that inspire the belief that every human who matters uses thar platform can be toxic. But the raw idea? No.
It might be that this is something like turing completness: If you replicate the whole thing, you get all the problems, but if you limit it too much, you loose its power. I think that social media, in some form or another, is useful, and most people agree (but don’t necessarily agree what they agree about). The degradation of a network seems to more often than not be non-technical. Google+ lost corprate interest, Twitter became increasingly toxic, others were just deserted. I don’t think there is any harm to experiment, and engage with these experiments. If anything, we just stand to learn more about the potential digital social networks give us, and their limitations.
The toxic parts are global broadcast (think Twitter), automated recommendations to anywhere in the network (all but esp. YT), and centralization with an ad-driven business model.
The first leads to harassment and spamming; the second feeds extremist content to vulnerable people; and the third leads to psy-ops dirty tricks to keep people’s eyeballs on the site at all costs.
This protocol, like Scuttlebutt and (mostly) Mastodon, doesn’t have those problems. I think nostr is too simple to be good (there’s no privacy, and the feed mechanism is naive and broken) but it’s kind of interesting.