:: Life Of Dave ::


In my copious spare time now that the election is over, I've been playing with technology that I really haven't had time to futz with in the past year or so. Since Twitter is in a spiral of doom, it seemed like a good time to spin up a Mastodon server (if you don't know, here's an explainer on what Mastodon is). I was reminded how insane the entire internet is, at least on the free software side.

The basics are honestly pretty basic - set up a server, install mastodon, profit. Or, you know, be social. So to set up a server, I go to a place that lets me set up servers, create an account, and *boom* I have a server. Easy!

Then it's time to install mastodon. And we are down a rabbit hole of dependencies, conflicting information, and general chaos. Scripts that half work, file ownership issues, daemons that don't start for no reason, etc. As I type this, the whole thing is down, for reasons that I can't decipher despite wading through log files and random internet posts for hours.

The idea that things are 'free and open source' often ignores the fact that the people capable of making them go are paid outrageous sums. Skills also have value, and thus things requiring a lot of skill can't really be called 'free'. The idea of a confederation of social media servers is nice, but not anywhere near ready for prime time.