[Tinkerphones] "We don't control our lives" - smartphones - tinkerphones - debian on smartphones

Jonas Smedegaard jonas at jones.dk
Fri Jul 31 10:39:35 CEST 2020

Quoting rhn (2020-07-31 09:51:16)
> Regarding both emails, I think there's a shared concept that we have, but it's never explicitly stated, making it really hard to argue for it.
> The value of having an explicit goal is that it can be talked about: different aspects are visible when spelled out, as well as tradeoffs, and people talk past each other less when they have the same idea in front of them.
> We seem to understand that "smartphone" is worrisome, and "laptop" is better. But each of those is made of a large number of technologies. What differences really matter? Let me pose a few questions that can hopefully help find the important aspects.
> 1. Would a phone without a mobile modem be free of the control issues?
> 2. Would a phone where the modem can't access RAM be free of the control issues?
> 3. Would a phone without Android?
> 4. Would a phone without binary blobs?
> 5. Would a phone with a mobile modem but one that can't be carried outside of home?
> 6. Would a phone with a mobile modem but using a SIP account?
> 7. Would a laptop with a modem have the same issues?
> 8. Would a laptop with un-emulated Android have the same issues?
> All in all, both a phone and a laptop are computers, and I don't really see much difference between them, apart from size (and how close the modem is to CPU, although that's not universal). Using the words as a catch-all can be useful, but it obscures the actual important things that people care about.
> Maybe another way to consider it is to imagine a tablet, given that they come from both camps, and saying what's good/bad about it.

My approach is think in behavioural traits of a machine:

1) Curiosity: What data does the machine gather?
2) Intelligence: How "aware" is the machine about its data?
3) Trust: With whom does the machine consider ok to exchange data?

Each of above can be both practical and scary, at the same time, 
depending on who you trust (and therefore find beneficial not scary that 
your machine trusts as well).

Some trusts noone, and wants their machines to be stealth and dumb.

Some trust Mozilla but not Google, and want their machines to boost 
intelligence by an allegience with Mozilla, but fear one with Google.

I want machines to be coherent and transparent to its user.

My machines should ideally ask me high-level questions like these, 
initially and easily revisited:

How to engage with its surroundings - shy or social?

How knowledgable - amnesiac or ever remembering any little detail?

How collaborative - reserved or bragging about its knowledge?

Which trust circles - none or specifics or any most powerful ally?

 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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