some sort of a connection to a network

an agreed upon language or protocol for passing information

between computers

synthesizing research being collected here. many images, writings, drawings and forms of organized chaos to come. in collaboration with dana elkis.

ways of being online

facebook is just one way of being online

metcalfe's law states that the value of a network is the number of it's users squared

          *    *      
      *      *
                          =  value
        * *      *
         *  *       *

                    so facebooks value is like 4 quintillion !
                          4 quintillion : zuck :: 1 : you the user
                                  but to what end? and why?


this zine is about other ways of being online (in no particular order)

                                                                        .      .                         
                                                                        |      |
                                                                *      / .... /
                                                            *         / .... /    *
                                      *    *      *    *             .------.   
                                  *                                     *             *   
                            *                                         *
                          ______                                 *                      *
                        .      .                         *
                        |      |                    *
                          ------                                                            *
                        / .... /                      *
                      / .... /    *                     *        decentralization      
                      .------.         *   *                 *                       
                          *                             *                                 *
                              *            *               *
                              *            *               *                           *
                                                *                                     *                    ______
                            *                            *       *                      *                  .      .                         
                                                                      *       *            *               |      |
                              *                           *                      *          *               ------
                                                                                      *     *   *         / .... /
                                                          *                                        *      / .... /
                              *                                                                          .------.  
                                *                           *                                         *
                                  *                     ______                                *
                                    *                   .      .                      *             
                                      *                 |      |
                                    *                    ------        *
                                    *                 / .... / *
                                          *           / .... /
                                              *     .------.        


a federation is a server that hosts applications and users

the people that belong to one federation are able tp seamlessly talk to people who belong to another federation

it is exactly how email works can talk directly to

@emma on twitter cannot talk directly to @dana on facebook

since propietary applicatons like facebook and twitter follow separate protocols for messaging there can't be direct communication beween the two

federated applications avoid this issue by serving free software to it's users and leveraging the activity pub protocol

being online means

the original architecture of the internet followed a peer to peer structure

file sharing tools like napster also followed a peer to peer structure

very few of the applications we use today follow a peer to peer structure


there is a new browser called beaker which follows a peer to peer structure

with beaker you can create, share, and browse websites hosted by people's personal computers

no remote servers necessary!


assuming i am in new york city

and using a propietary app

when i send a message to a friend

who also lives in new york city

the message travels

potentially hundreds of miles to a server

hosted by said app

before being re-routed

to my friend's computer

although this technology works well

it is certainly not the only way to share information

and is rife with problems

relating to

ownership and privacy

peer to peer networks

allow computers to talk directly to one another without any servers. in a peer to peer network your computer is the server.

            ||             ||
            ||             ||  < this laptop can be your computer 
            ||             ||
            . --------------.
            / -.-.-.-.-.-.-. \        *
           / -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. \  *  *   *         and a server
          /____________________\          * 
          \____________________/          * 
                                            *     ._______________.
                                          *       |.-------------.|
                                            *  *  ||             ||
                                                  ||             ||  
                                                  ||             ||
                          for this computer >     ||-------------||
                                                  / -.-.-.-.-.-.-. \
                                                 / -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. \          


instead of storing data on a server
owned by a large company
you can store and share data
directly from your computer

a server

is a computer

that has enough space to host files

which can be requested by other computers

or can just exist, without any computer ever knowing

data is a heavy word

but in the context of being online

it is broken up into many small pieces

also known as packets

and like a pieces of snail mail in that they have content, a return address, and a desination address

they travel from one computer to another

over a network of cables

and back into their original formation at their destination

beaker browser tutorial

1. go to this link:

2. download and install beaker for your system

3. after a sucessful installation, open up the beaker browser

4. notice how it looks really similar to other browsers like chrome and firefox !

5. it functions in the same way except that it also support DAT websites!

6. it also allows you to make, edit, and publish websites right inside the browser window!!

7. want to go straight to a dat website? maybe to the site for this zine? here's the url: dat://

8. want to make your own dat website? follow the steps on the next page!

making a dat website with beaker:

1. click on three line menu button in upper right hand corner of beaker browser

2. choose Library from menu

3. click new button in upper right hand corner

4. choose website from template option

5. done! to see your site click on the link in the upper right hand corner, it shoud like something like dat://49529

6. to make the website completely your own you can go into the index.html file and start to change some of the content

7. its helpful to know a little html and css to do this but a lot can be done by finding and replacing content that is already there!

for a more thorough guide go here:


stands for hyper text transfer protocol secure

which is the current standard protocol for exchanging data across the internet

it is secure, encrypted and allows for transfer of hyper text markup language documents
also known as websites :-)

there is another protocol called gopher

developed before https

and is also known as a "hyper text Eden"

gopher is what today's http web would look

if there were no markup, no design, and no advertising



is a community and open protocol

that believes in bringing control of digital information

back into the hands of the people

through decentralized software


is a set of rules that computers on a network can follow

in order to successfully transmit data between each other

being online means

always waffling between freedom and security

the fediverse

on the fediverse no one knows you're a dog. in fact, no one knows anything!

the fediverse is a universe of federations

one of the more popular federations is called Mastodon

its like Twitter except there is no central point of ownership

any person can create their own instance of Mastodon, invite whomever they want, and follow other users on other instances

each Mastodon instance is self contained

only the people who belong to a particular instance have access to the associated data

activity pub

is a protocol

that allows users on one federated application (like emma's mastodon party)

to seamlessly communicate

with users on other federated applications (like dana's pleroma community)


a federated application is different from other type of applications in that users of one type of application are able to talk to users of a completely different application. It is exactly how email works. For example can talk to without issue.

@emma on Twitter cannot talk directly to @dana on Facebook

since these apps follow different protocols and are essentially walled gardens

they don't allow for communication between the two.

federated applications avoid this issue by using the activity pub protocol

[fediverse drawing here]

gnu social

gnu social takes its name from gnu which is a recursive acronym for "GNU's Not Unix!" and the name of an operating systems and different kinds free software released under the umbrella of the free software foundation. gnu social itself is a free software project. the software can be used to set up a decentralized social network on a personal server in a standardized way.

free software

means there is no profit being made, the source code of a free software application can be changed by individuals, and it can be duplicated and shared between any number of people...freely

many of the ways of being online that are mentioned here are also aligned in politics and distribution with free software

                    *    *      *         ** *     *  
                *      *
             :-)             * *      *     :-)
                  * *      *           *   *
                  *  *          *
         *   *      *    **       :-)       *     *  
              *      *
                        *  *      *     
                   *                *      *          *   *
                *  *       * :-)

poem [tbd]


sea-slang for gossip !

scuttlebutt is an offline first decentralized peer to peer social network. it runs on the ssb protocol and works in a similar way to how gossip works in real life. because scuttlebutt is peer to peer there are no servers needed. you write to your own computer, choose to share it with the people who follow you (i.e. your friends) and if they engage with your post it is shared with the people that follow them and so on.

secure scuttlebutt protocol

the ssb protocol ensures that no one person can ever be in control and can be used to build and use all kinds of decentralized applications. there is no server required, rather, in a peer to peer kind of way, users connect directly to other users in order to exchange information.

a tool for social justice organizing

crypto key pair

is a pair of two keys

one is secret

one is public

a key is a just long set of numbers and letters

like this: RWY38dAFDJDO2d0973

that are dynamically generated and randomized

so that each user can securely exchange information with other users

do we need government regulation in order to claim ownership of our data from internet service providers?

when does making something more and more easy to use start to erase freedom of choice?

local network

what are examples of a local network?

poem [tbd]

how to be a butt

joining the scuttleverse with scuttlebutt

1. install the Patchwork app on your computer:

2. start up patchwork and create your scuttlebutt profile

3. go to the list of pub servers and get an invite code from one

4. click "+ Join Pub" in the top left corner of Patchwork and paste in the invite code

5. you can also follow me @doodybrains to get started, since the only way to expand your network is to respond to and connect with other people already there

6. explore! it's always helpful to introduce yourself in the #new-people channel

7. invite your IRL friends to join too :)

being offline

an open source, open hardware, open community dedicated to creating technology which allows you and your community to stay connected even if the internet were to go down

nyc mesh

getting online

a community owned, volunteer run, mesh network that serves as a low cost and neutral alternative to the big dog internet service providers