Author: tio

A human who's furious and curious. Working on tromsite.com, videoneat.com, tromjaro.com, trade-free.org, tiotrom.com, tromland.org, musikwave.com.
Should I moderate videos.trom.tf?

Should I moderate videos.trom.tf?

I’ve been debating in my head, and discussing with others, about moderating videos.trom.tf.

And here are the difficulties I am confronting with:

1. I hate censorship

I moved away from Youtube and Facebook, not only because they are ad-networks and data-collectors (awful platforms to grow your project ‘inside of’, or to use for personal motives), but also because they have removed/censored some of our TROM content. We are not even talking about conspiracies here, but simply nudity, copyright, or “hate speech” and the like. And if you know TROM, we do not make porn 🙂 (as if that’s so bad in the first place), nor do we instill violence. We make educational content, and at times we talk about sexuality, or touchy subjects. But we always source our claims and we do so via scientific and well know sources, nothing shady at all. Like Wikipedia level, wtf. As for the copyrighted content, yes, we have used in the past such materials to create videos, but we make no profit out of anything, it is simply for educational purposes and we source the materials we use as much as we can.

So our videos have been removed several times, and our Facebook account banned for up to 1 month. You have to understand that Facebook banned me for like posting an image with text from Wikipedia explaining what viruses are and how they infect us. 100% scientific. That’s the level of censorship we experienced. Ridiculous and wrong.

2. We have limited server disk space

So now we moved to Peertube and Friendica, alternatives to Youtube and Facebook. At first I used some instances I found and I was still not 100% comfortable with that, since these instances were also moderated and I was concerned they may ban us in the future. Like wtf is so bad about nudity that everyone bans it? I find it a lot more harmful when people post positively about cryptocurrencies since these currencies, along with any other, create a lot of harm. And is not like we post nudity a lot – it is rare and only if we talk about human behavior. But it may be enough for these instances to ban us. So I created my (our) own instances.

Now I feel 100% comfortable that no one can ban/censor our content.

I said I am going to let anyone post anything on these instances, because I do not want to become like the ones I hated when I was using their platforms. And so these instances of ours fit very well under our trade-free initiative/idea. We did it! But….

Creating a video platform requires a powerful server and a fuck ton of disk space. I didn’t want to limit the upload quota because I know from experience that this is going to make people not use it. I mean….if I make videos and your instance only allows me to upload 5GB, or even 50GB….I cannot think to seriously use it since I have a limited quota and when I reach the quota what happens? This is not at all appealing.

We have a very good server but not as much disk space. We have a 1.6TB SSD. It is already 50% full after just a few months of the release. We have a lot of services on that instance, see trom.tf. Out of the 800GB that are full, some 600GB are due to Peertube videos. So Peertube is the greatest offender.

Luckily Peertube developers are working now to make it much easier to add an external storage to your instance, and when that is released we could buy a lot more storage. From my calculations some 2TB for like 10 Euros a month. That’d be fantastic and this way we can always expand the storage space at a cost. But it will take time for them to properly implement it (months), and time for us to set it up and test, and then move all of the files there. Plus….I am broke so….

Therefore, storage space is a BIG problem.

3. We are the trashcan of Youtube and Facebook

Even if I could expand the storage space now, at 0 costs, the problem is that we have become the trashcan of these big platforms. The vast majority of people who use these alternative platforms, from what I can tell, are not people like us who got a few videos/posts censored out of thousands, and censored for very questionable reasons; No! The people who come to these alternative platforms are not using them because they had enough of this ad-driven, data-collection BS that Facebook and Google is doing; No! The vast majority of people who come to these platforms are the craziest of the craziest. The ones that post about things that are unreal and create harm. Like the ones who deny the existence of reality basically. Those who are against vaccines, say the earth is flat, accuse others of drinking the blood of children, and a vomit overall of politics, conspiracies, and trolling. At times you see people coming to Peertube who got booted out of these platforms because they were uploading a lot of copyrighted materials, such as movies and series.

Unfortunately this is the situation right now. Most of the videos posted on our Peertube are either batshit-crazy videos, or copyrighted movies/series. So, do these people “care” about a censorship-free platform, or are they simply taking advantage of such a platform to spread their BS? Also, what if someone makes a website called “freemoviesforeveryone dot something” and uploads a ton of movies on our platform, to then embed them into their website to attract views? And their website is full of ads and scams, and they make money on the backs of our instance!? Is that ok?

Therefore, if the absolutely vast majority of content on our Peertube is batshit-crazy or stupid copyrighted movies, and overall I get the impression that we are used like a cheap prostitute while we pay for that, how can I be motivated to expand the storage space and keep this instance alive? You tell me!

I spent all of my life promoting science and sanity. Everything we do is so well sourced to the point of bleeding. I have created a website that curates very well made science documentaries/courses, or investigative-journalistic ones; another website that does the same for news/videos; and overall I am trying to be a sort of Carl Sagan or James Randi, or both, of the internet content. Should I now become a vessel for idiocracy!? All of the work I’ve put into creating and curating scientific and sane content, to be counteracted by our Peertube instance!?

4. Your content, my responsibility

So, even if we had infinite storage space, and I would not care about what users upload, the truth is that in today’s world I may be held accountable for the content you upload on MY server, for which I pay with MY OWN money and using MY OWN credentials. On top of that, I make local backups so if you upload some “illegal” videos, I then end up storing them on my own hard drives….

Think about this: someone will upload bunch of videos with little children being raped. They are now stored on my server and on my local hard drive. Should I honestly allow that to happen and risk it? Risking it and fighting for a Peertube instance that is full of crazy nonsense videos? Nah…. I honestly do not see it worth it.

So your content is, unfortunately, my responsibility regardless if I want it or not. This society won’t accept me saying “The content is the responsibility of the users.”. I wish this was the case, and I still argue strongly that the content is the responsibility of the user, but please understand that I subject myself to a plethora of adverse effects if I allow absolutely anything on the platform.

5. Your content, everyone’s responsibility

Lets say we have enough disk space, I do not care about what users upload, and I accept the legal risks associated with all of that. Even in such a scenario, our Peertube instance will become an isolated island.

Peertube federates with other Peertube instances in order to find more videos. But instance admins can block the federation with any instances they prefer. When you upload videos on our instance, these videos are likely to show up on other instances (not hosted there, but accessible there). Therefore, the admins of other instances will see that and eventually block our black-hole instance that’s fully of crappy videos. So, in the best case scenario we will become an island instance, something I really do not want to. Imagine that….to risk it and pay for an island full of crazy people. WTF….


So what should I do?

In my mind it boils down to only 2 main approaches: to moderate, or not.

To not moderate.

If I will go about not moderating AT ALL, then I have to consider the above points very seriously. So:

Limit the upload quota: I will have to limit the upload quota for all users, since our storage is getting filled up pretty quickly. And by limiting I mean some 5GB per user. This will make our instance very unappealing for those who are serious about creating video content. Also, I bet that crazy people will create hundreds of accounts to be able to upload more. So 1 crazy user can create multiple accounts and upload a lot of crap.

Moderation will be forced upon us: I will have to accept the risk that “Illegal” content or harmful, will be stored on my server and my local hard drives. This will create a lot of stress for me + eventually we will get into troubles forcing me to remove some of this content. So we will end up with moderation after all. Even 4chan or 8chan, websites that are known to host a fuck ton of crazy content (not even videos, just text and images mind you…) are moderating their black-holes of vomit-like-content. They were forced to. They then got banned from many tribes, and such. It is not an easy task to have such platforms. Especially a video platform.

We will become a silo of nonsense content: and this does not sit well with me. I do not feel motivated to fight for videos.trom.tf when I know it is 90% crazy people posting nonsense content.

To moderate.

If I am to moderate, then where will I stop with this? And how much work will it put on me?

Look, I really, REALLY, REALLY do not want to moderate such platforms. For one it defeats the purpose of them in the first place and the trade-free idea cannot be tagged to such a project. Second, moderating the content means that you accept the responsibility for it, and thus I feel like it makes me even more responsible for the content that users upload. Suddenly I am not a phone-line that connects people and sends data from one part to another, I am the host of a party in my own house and responsible for everything that anyone does inside my house. And this is not the role I want!

So I am concerned that moderating means that I accept the responsibility for the content uploaded on our Peertube, and this I strongly REJECT; and second it will transform me and the platform into a Youtube/Facebook like platform from this perspective. I will be biased in what I let or not on our platform, and it will give me more power over the content, which is BAD.

Let me give you some concrete examples. Lets say that I accept to moderate and I start removing the batshit-crazy channels with their videos. What is batshit-crazy? Canon? I’ll say it is for sure! Flat earthers! Yup. Humans being abused/killed? I’d say so, although what about documentaries/videos documenting such cases with good intentions!? Now things become muddy….what about hours-long podcasts that talk about crimes? Should I listen to them all and decide if they should be removed!? This is insane! How about videos talking positively about our very harmful trade-based society (form money, economy, to cryptocurrencies)? Should I let that on the platform? Form my perspective, no! Religion? That’s surely batshit-crazy. Where do I stop? I would also have to not accept any videos in foreign languages, only English. Because I cannot vet Chinese videos or whatever other language.

IT. IS. COMPLICATED.

It is also concerning that if I start to moderate our Peertube, then I will create a precedent and maybe when we get invaded by crazy people on our Friendica, I will start moderate Friendica too….and this is quite unacceptable to me.

If you came here for an answer, I have none at the moment. We have created a poll to ask users about this dilemma. Please vote/comment there. We are also making 3-4 TROMcast episodes about this topic so that I can try and find an answer. First one we already released:

In 2 days we will have an interesting discussion with Sophia Moskalenko, an expert on radicalization and someone who is currently studying Qanon (Canon 🙂 ). I want to learn more from her about what drives these people and how can we approach this weird situation we are in. Then, in a few days we will have another discussion with some other admins of such instances and the developers behind Friendica, to ask them about this topic. What are their thoughts….

In an ideal world, it should not be me acting as the phone-line between you and you. So we should not have servers. We should broadcast our thoughts (via text, images, video, audio) directly to others from our devices. This is already happening with platforms like Scuttlebutt. It means that if I want to talk about whatever I want, and you want to listen to what I say, there should be a direct connection between us and no one in the middle. And if I think that what you say is batshit-crazy then I will simply not follow you and also block you so you can’t ever reach me. But no one has power to ban you from others. So then you don’t have a handful of people telling you what you are allowed to share or not, since everyone becomes their own personal moderators, stopping the content they do not want to see, from reaching their faces and ears.

With fast Internet connections nowadays, every computer can act as a server and even if you share a huge video, people should be able to stream it anywhere in the world. Considering that your devices are pretty much connected to the internet pipeline all the time, then your “server” is up and running all the time, available to send any request to anyone who is asking for that. And the connection between you and whoever wants to see your content should be encrypted. This way you can create your own unique place where you broadcast your thoughts and only those who want to listen, will listen. And the rest can simply choose not to listen…Simple!

These technologies are still in beta but I think this is the future, for better or for worse. But the same way that people argue that encryption is necessary despite the fact that some idiots use encryption to secretly plot terrorist attacks, I argue that directly broadcasting messages in any media form, to the ones who want to listen, should be a MUST despite the fact that many idiots like Canons would use these platforms to spread bullshit.

We have to go from:

YOU ———–> ME ——–> THEM

to

YOU ————————-> THEM


UPDATE 1:

After I finished the post I thought about a great analogy. We, the ones running these small instances, are like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and the like when it comes to waste disposal. You know that rich tribes send most of their waste to these poor tribes, right!?

The idea of banning and censoring people online, is as good as that of shipping your country’s waste to Thailand, China or other poorer countries. Sure, you’ll say: “But look how clean US or Germany are….” Of course! Because you shipped all that waste to poor countries that are full of garbage. That’s how pretty much all websites do it nowadays. They ban many people, and these people end up on “alternative” social platforms that have to deal with this garbage and they do not have the resources of doing it.

And guess what happens? Thailand, Indonesia or other countries become a source of pollution: water, air, soil. And they dispose the waste into the oceans. And then US and other rich countries realize that the air is polluted, the water is, and so forth. Same thing happens online where these marginalized (banned) humans grow in numbers in these “alternative” places where they bake all kinds of crazy conspiracies, and these crazy ideas then end up again on the same social platforms that booted them.

The circle of “life”. Because much in the same way that waste is not a US or Germany problem, but a global problem that needs a global solution, online conspiracy theories are not a Facebook or Google problem, they are global internet problems. And both cannot be solved if we move the trash from one place to another, just to keep our backyard clean. The same garbage will become worse and bite you in the ass eventually.

So keep these in mind. Humans should take the time to understand these problems and deal with them. But who has time when everyone is busy trading trading trading. That’s all they know. More stuff, more stuff, more stuff. We are doomed!

UPDATE 2:

Unfortunately we lost the recording of our TROMcast with Sophia….this is the reason why. Basically I forgot to tell Peertube to save the recording after the live ends…it was such a shame because it was a great podcast. In the followup TROMcast that just ended a few hours ago, I tried to summarize the key points of that episode. You can watch it here (we had 2 guests, the main developers of Friendica):

I think the description of this TROMcast is also relevant so I’ll drop it here:

In this episode we will discuss about moderating the fediverse. Is it different from the online moderation in general? Is it even effective? What about the technicality of it?

Our guests are Hypolite Petovan and Michael Vogel, some of the lead developers of Friendica and instance admins themselves.

NOTE: We have lost the recording of our last podcast. We had a great discussion with social psychologist Sophia Moskalenko about “Qanon, and the like”. In this episode we will try to summarize our discussion and the most important points. But we recommend that you follow her work.

About her https://ebcs.gsu.edu/profile/sophia-moskalenko/

We recommend the following interviews:

– TFTRH #54 – Mia Bloom and Sophia Moskalenko: Pastels and Pedophiles https://ytb.trom.tf/watch?v=hUhKd_cdVGE

w/Mia Bloom, Sophia Moskalenko, Kim Kelly, Hadas Thier & Kate Willett | The Nomiki Show https://ytb.trom.tf/watch?v=9N8KtxuOPLs

– Inside the Mind of QAnon Believers with Dr. Sophia Moskalenko https://ytb.trom.tf/watch?v=A2Abz1X7vxU

– Sophia Moskalenko on “Radicalization and Martyrdom” https://ytb.trom.tf/watch?v=DwRGjeGRre4

Her Twitter account: https://bird.trom.tf/sophiamoskalen1

We’ve also had some really great discussions at our TROM Chats about this topic. I highly recommend you join our Matrix Spaces. More info here. After all of this I think I have made up my mind, but I will still thinker about it till the end of this month when I’ll announce what’s my final decision.

So.

I will moderate videos.trom.tf. Sorta. Maybe. Am I?

Here’s how I am approaching it: from the beginning the website was labeled as “science/technology/activism”. I knew that this instance will be invaded by crazy people so I labeled it in a way that I would like this instance to be about. But guess what? Many users did not respect it. It is a trade-free video platform for science/technology/activism videos. So if you post pseudoscience, or politics, or movies, and such, then you do not respect our website’s thematic. I do not ban or moderate you, I simply remove the videos that do not find in those categories. It is simple. If we made a trade-free websites about cats and you start to post about dogs, then fuck off honestly….why are you such a big-dick!?

This way, I do not feel any guilt in removing the 80% of the videos hosted on our instance. Since they posted dogs. Worst, they posted dead raccoons.

That’s all I’m telling you at the moment since we will explain in detail in our next (and last) TROMcast about the topic. Should be in a week or so.

UPDATE 3:

Final decision: our Peertube is a thematic instance and it was so from the beginning. Science/Technology + Activism that needs to fall into those two categories. Plus, English based content only. Simple! Please respect that. Here’s my latest video update:

I want to get over this so I for now, and hopefully for the future, this is the final decision. I want to focus on TROM II and a lot of other awesome things.

And since I promised I will teach anyone how to make their own video platform, here’s how:

1. You need a VPS (server). Sounds difficult but it isn’t. Use https://contabo.com/en/ – it is the cheapest and most reliable I could find. You can go for either a fast VPS (which I recommend) for like 6 Euros a month that has 200GB storage space, or a storage VPS for like 5 Euros a month for 300GB. I recommend to buy the vast VPS. Here is the link https://contabo.com/en/vps/

When you order only select Debian as the OS and Webmin as the Panel. That’s all you need. Both are free.

2. After you buy it they will send you the Webmin URL and credentials. Visit that link and login. Now in the lower left side of Webmin you have a button to access the command line:

Click it. In the command line we have to install 2 things. First type “sudo -i” then press enter. That will make you have root access. Then paste “apt install curl” or if it doesn’t install “curl” try “sudo apt install curl”. Once that is installed let’s install the wonderful Yunohost with “curl https://install.yunohost.org | bash”. Follow the instructions there then also visit the installation guide here. Trust me it is VERY easy.

3. Once you install and setup Yunohost then all of the hard work is done! From now on is easier than managing a wordpress website. In your Yunohost admin panel you can add a domain name, many are free (the .nohost ones for example). And after that you can go to the Applications list, search for Peertube and click install. Choose the domain name you want to use and that’s it.

You see, now you have your own video platform! Enjoy!

Am I using your emotions to make you donate to me?

Am I using your emotions to make you donate to me?

In my last blog post I was writing about how bad I felt about my personal situation. How broke I am and that I haven’t been like that in years (since 2013). I also hinted about “killing myself”, although was not literally, just to emphasize that I felt like falling into a deep black hole. The post was my way of expressing my anger, and I’ve been doing this since 2006. Actually my blog was what helped me not literally kill myself in high school when I was so depressed, because I was able to let my anger out by writing about it publicly. So, my blog is my personal space where I write about whatever I want, whenever I want. And it helps me. So anyways, I published this blog and two very contradictory responses took place.

First was a massive donation from Taras, of 2.000 Euros, that helps us enormously. I can now be relaxed for the next few months and work on TROM II. He also sent this message: “Thank you for your amazing work. Don’t give up!”. I also got this kind of message from another friend:

I have collapsed psychologically reading Tio’s thoughts and all these problems. I feel you both, all this fucked situation…i have learned awesome things from you both and have helped on so many…i wish could have more shit-money to do my best but i can’t… I have spent more than 43 years of my life working for this fucked trade system and need 6 more months to retire and still can’t help you financially. Please guys…DON’T GIVE UP…stay together…the more important in such hard times is to have each other. I really feel my words are so…useless… But DON’T GIVE UP!! We need to become “friends” with the “Beast”, with the horror that it instills…to live “within it without it”… I believe there are always ways…just think about it. Thank you both for all your awesome work. i’m very glad to hear your determination and the passion to keep going that hard but so valuable “road”. Always the few but pioneers were helping this society to move forward. I wish sometime in the future your choices to guide you for a visit in Greece. Would be so nice to meet each other. Please give my best regards and my sympathy to Tio.

They power me a lot to keep on doing what I’m doing, but also make me sad that I make them sad and put a burden on them. I always struggled with that: when a few people donate money, then I am in a very shitty situation and make a blog post about it, the same people (at times new ones) donate a huge ton of money….I feel like not wanting to say I am broke because I make others sad and maybe I make them feel “obliged” to help financially.

So anyways, this is the second reaction on a Facebook post about the blog (someone told me about it since I don’t dare to go on fb anymore because it is such a shithole):

Jizuz dude! One thing is for certain it is hard to support a hypocrite. You say “i tio am good guy because i am trade free” then you say “they bad because they sell you stuff” then you say “hope sasha sells a billion books”. Hahahaha. This is painful to read. Not cuz i pity you because it is like i have to trade my comfort to gain access to trom goods. Like we have to hear you cry and cry about being broke in order to get your “tradefree” services. Bro everyone is in the same boat. Most are struggling financially emotionally mentally and we dont have mommy n daddy to help us and we dont have a following who donate. So save ur self pity tears. If you love the work and are good at it and want to help others than do it and be humble and stop using this as income. This kind of story you write (you wrote many MANY times before) is so annoying when there are actual people suffering and starving in this world. Also u say “i tio watch thousands of docos and write long childish stories about complex subjects and make some stuffs so i shouldnt have to work but you all are not as curious as i so u go to work and give your earnings to me…!!! Whah, whah, whah, yah yah yah…”

To which I replied:

Suzzie Cutter I do not use FB but someone told me about your comment so I had to reply when I saw the nonsense, because you are confused. I never sold anything TROM related and never will. Except a TROM USB card in 2012 where I didn’t put any profit on it and it was for like 1 month to make it more available for people. So keep that in mind.

Second, Sasha will provide her book (not a TROM material) for free online (trade free that is), but the hard copy will always cost money unless we print the books ourselves and pay to send to people, which is ridiculous. So she will be forced to sell the hard print anyways. Sure, she can put a 0 profit, but then us being financially fucked she won’t do that. Maybe it will end up helping us so we won’t ask for donations for TROM again. Yes, people selling stuff is “bad”, but also I fully understand some have no choice. I always talk about how this environment makes people the way they are, and never accuse people themselves. Not even the billionaires.

You can project whatever you want about me (Tio), that I “complain” and such, but I am just telling people how the situation is exactly, so they understand it. Because if I go fully broke, then I cannot even pay for TROM. My mommy and my daddy 🙂 are helping us now, is true, and that’s something I would do for my kids too, sorry you have no mommy or daddy or a “following”, but maybe if you do what I do at TROM, you can have the latter.

You take my complaint, a personal blog post, as if I came to your door and started to cry and asked you for help. People have shitty lives, and some have websites where they complain about them. And you read these stories it seems, and then you get annoyed by them. For sure there are people starving and having cancer and all that. This is not an excuse for ignoring situations like mine, or not “complaining” about my shitty situation just because there is a kid now in Africa dying of starvation. If anything, I am one of those who screams about that kid in Africa, and a lot of other problems.

As for your last paragraph…the childish part is you in this story. You got nothing from that blog post or from the work we do at TROM. If you didn’t get it, my point was that if anyone wants to be curious about this society and this world, the problems, the solutions there are, then they can’t even do that and take it seriously, because they are forced to work. It is not about me, it is about everyone including yourself. You missed that entirely.What is your motivation to moan here on a random fb post about this personal problem of mine? Nothing relevant to do to maybe, so that in the future get financial support for? Is fb too easy for everyone nowadays to comment and think that they are doing anything? At least next time comment on my blog post not on a fb automated page that no one is managing.

Then Suzzie continued:

Do you have food to eat? Yes. Do you have a bed to sleep in? Yes.Do you have ability to go to doctors? Yes.Are you disabled? No.Are you at risk of loosing any of these things? No.Do you have a safe clean environment to live in? Yes.So why so dramatic? Why play on peoples emotions to get donations? You mention starving kids in africa at times but most of your complaints are about your life and how “bad” you have it and how money “helps” you not be stressed.

People fall for this bc they know the world sucks and think by donating to you they make a difference but thats a scam. I say hypocrite bc you say “dont donate to others bc they sell materials if the publish a book” then say “but its ok if we do it” an bc you use sad pity stories to get donations. Just make the content or not. Dont make people feel sorry for you and give you money then preach about “trade free blah blah”

Is like “hey who wants dinner?” “ i will feed you without any conditions” then the people eat and its “but i cooked for you” “i washed the dishes” “i cut the ingredients” and so on. “I need money bc all of that cost me time and effort” and “now im so stressed and want to kill myself bc i gave no money for myself bc i cooked for you all” now all the people who ate the food feel guilty and “donate” to you for the “free dinner”

And my last reply to that:

Suzzie Cutter you really want to drag me into a facebook conversation aren’t you? The best of the internet…. If you want to discuss in length and are really interested in a discussion and not trolling, feel free to comment on my blog post.

To reply to your nonsense

:”Do you have food to eat?” I had only for next 3 months. Would my family let me go hungry after these 3 months? For sure, no. But it would put all of us in a very shitty situation with a lot of stress. Food + Stress is not something I want for any of us. They work in the cleaning industry here where we live, is not like they are rich at all. They stay with rent too and are underpaid and have illegal contracts basically. I do not want to become a burden for them.

“Do you have a bed to sleep in?” – Only because my family can provide one for now. But they too need to move away from here very soon, so then what do I do?”Do you have ability to go to doctors?” Fortunately yes. Here in Spain I do. As long as I can stay here in Spain .”Are you disabled?” Not as far as I know. Are you? “Are you at risk of loosing any of these things?” Yes “Do you have a safe clean environment to live in?” No.

“So why so dramatic? Why play on peoples emotions to get donations?” It is only dramatic because you make it as such. I simply explained my shitty personal situation on my personal blog and shared it here because I am the main one keeping TROM alive, so if I am broke, TROM will also have to suffer. We need to pay for server, for a very good internet connection, hardware for backups, etc.. You just decided to comment on a situation you know nothing about. I guess that’s facebook overall so I am not surprised.I never asked anyone for money in my life. How many people can say that? I only have open donations for whoever can and want to donate. But I never knock on anyone’s door to ask for money. Actually I had to do the opposite with people like Aaron and Roma who donated so much money. I had to tell them to stop and that I will refund their money if they ever donate, since they have to take care of themselves.

“People fall for this bc they know the world sucks and think by donating to you they make a difference but thats a scam. ” – What is the scam here? When anyone donates I keep doing what I promised to do: TROM. As simple as that. I don’t promise anything else. I give no perks and no special treatment.

“””I say hypocrite bc you say “dont donate to others bc they sell materials if the publish a book” then say “but its ok if we do it” an bc you use sad pity stories to get donations.””” You friend are so confused is no wonder I found about you on fb… I never said to anyone to donate or not to anyone. And we sell no books. Are you really that confused?

It’s like I make food and give it for free to anyone, publicly. Come and eat, I ask you nothing. I don’t even have a sign to donate in your face. It is up to anyone to donate. Like Wikipedia. And if I am in a very bad financial situation that doesn’t allow me to continue to make free food for everyone, I’ll say that publicly and not come to your door Suzzie and ask for donations. And if anyone helps, ok. If not, ok. I keep on doing what I can.Funny how in your mind is “too much” for me to complain about my shitty personal financial situation that affects the entire TROM project, but not too much for you to complain about my complaint, in every donation-related post. Can you see the hypocrisy there?

Suzzie also started to make all kinds of sarcastic comments on posts where we thank the people who donated. Those were trolling comments so I decided to delete them from facebook because I do not have the time to deal with people who have too much time to troll.

But it is not the first time I’ve heard someone complaining about the fact that I appeal to people’s emotions to get money from them. For the past 10 or so years I’ve heard this 3-4 times. Which is really not much at all, but still it is something I wanted to address because it bothers me to think that I may do that.

I come from an environment where “begging” is a “job”. Romanian people go to England or other tribes to beg in the streets and they make a living out of this. They appeal to people’s emotions in an aggressive way and have a lot of learned tactics to get as much money from you as possible. It is an industry revolving around this. If you see a beggar in UK, it is very likely he/she is not there by themselves, they came there via an “organization” that “hires” them. Hard to believe, right? Here’s one documentary about it.

I also come from a family who got so much in debt it almost destroyed us at one point. All I’ve heard as a kid was: debt, debt, debt. Banks calling my parents to harass them; them crying; them trying to get another loan to pay some debt; asking friends and family for money constantly, and such. Luckily they managed to go to Spain, work like slaves, and pay all of their debt.

On top of this, my friends and people I knew, were scamming the world online with lies and lies, and making tons of money. Romania, and especially the town I am from, is well known worldwide for these scams.

So I hated this environment of scamming and begging and debt and asking people for money. I HATED it! So even when I had 0 money I never asked anyone for anything. Not even my parents. I am one of those kids who never really asked for anything from my parents (except when I was very little probably, like all kids). But I never said: “Mom, can you give me 100 Euros to buy a pair of jeans?”. Never. Because I knew they do not have money. So if they gave me money or stuff, it was their decision. And they did. They always helped.

So I hate when people ask for money because of that environment I grew up in. But I understand many of these people are desperate and need help. I just don’t want to engage in that. I don’t feel like anyone owns me anything or have to take care of me. That’s why I worked on TROM documentary without telling anyone, and only after it was done I had to ask my parents for 50 Euros to buy tromsite.com + hosting. I had no other choice. And I worked on many other projects without asking anyone for anything.

Donations.

But you always ask for donations!!!!

Donations are very different. It is an open door to anyone who wants to help. Instead of knocking on your door to ask for help, I open the door to my house and let anyone come in and help. This too can be abused, I know. In two main ways:

  1. You give perks to those who donate. I’ve seen this many times. But this is not a donation. It is a trade: you give me money, I give you this. Such people are ruining the meaning of donations. So I never ever did this, despite soooo many people trying to convince me to do that. But I want to keep donations as donations. And I want to treat everyone the same.
  2. You are aggressive about it. You are loud about donations, put buttons in people’s faces, make it invasive for everyone. I’ve heard some people complain about Wikipedia that when they ask for donations they add a big banner on every page about that. You can close it, of course, but I’ve seen people hating that. Wikipedia also sends these more personal kind of messages when it comes to donations, saying that they are in a very bad financial situation and urgently need your help. I understand why people get annoyed by these, and I know there are projects out there who use these as tactics to get more money from people. However, I trust Wikipedia and what they are doing, and I trust that they really need that help. I am more put off by this society that makes a project like Wikipedia ask for donations from individuals. Why isn’t this society allowing for such amazing projects to survive and thrive?

    So, I tried to not engaged in these either. But is hard not to. When you are in a very bad financial situation and you are afraid your projects can die if you don’t get financial support, you feel like telling to those who want to listen, about the situation. Like…this is normal… What should I do? Shut’up and silently close several of these projects or not keep them updated? Is that better?

    As for the donate buttons and such, go to any of our projects’ websites and you will see there is nothing intrusive there. No popups or anything like that, despite (again) so many suggesting to us to be more “in your face” with the donation buttons to get more support. But I do not want that. I do not want to bother people. And when I post about needing financial support on social networks, that’s 1 post out of hundreds of others that have nothing to do with “donations”. Look at what we post on our social network.

All in all, I hate asking for money or complaining about my personal financial situation. If I were to make a blog post every time I feel down and I am in a financial collapse mode, I would have made one every other week. But I resist that as much as possible. People around me know that I avoided a few times to say anything simply because I know a few friends would see that and feel “forced” in a way to send me some money, and I HATE this so much I want to eject myself out of this planet. But in the end since I know I do not do these things with any intention other than describing a bad personal situation, then why should I care? Should I be like “Poor people who see my complaint and be sad about it…or pissed off….I feel so bad about them”!? I mean that’s ridiculous. I am in a bad situation and then I should feel bad writing about it on my personal blog and share it at times on TROM’s social networks!? How dare I to upset a few with my personal problems!? :))

I can’t be like that. So if I am in a bad financial situation I’ll say that and I expect nothing from anyone. I never plan that I will write a blog post and get some donations because of by “dramatic” story. I’ve made so many honest projects so far, do you think I am like a charlatan trying to appeal to people’s emotions to donate me money!? I would not want to live around people who do such things. And even if I were to do that, then the result is still a help for TROM and a continuation of this project, so why should you care? If I say TROM needs money to keep on TROMing, and you decide to donate money and TROM keeps on TROMing, why is it important how I asked for money, or if I spent it on prostitutes or whatever!?

Anyways, I wanted to quickly rant about this a bit, since it is crazy to me how people invent their own stories about others and convince themselves of them. If Suzzie thinks that I intentionally appeal to people’s emotions to get donations for TROM, then in the worst case scenario I fight to keep TROM alive and relevant. But I’ll never do this. I am actually the exact opposite of this and if I am to be so broke that I end up on the streets, even then I don’t think I’ll go to Suzzie’s door, or anyone’s door, to ask for help. But if anyone wants to help, I’ll put a sing there somewhere that they can help if they want. 😉

My life revolves around TROM and its baby projects. I love them so much they keep me awake at night. We live in a world of charlatans and scammers, so I want these projects and myself to be a counter-example to this shithole. But for that I need a small army of people who can help TROM. And one of the help methods is to donate money since there is no other way I know right now, to keep me afloat in this ocean of trades to keep on working on these projects. If I had money I would donate to other projects too. And if I will ever have enough for me and Sasha, I would give the rest to similar projects. Mark my word.

I hate drama and emotional situations. I do not cry or scream. So whenever I’ll complain about my personal financial situation, it is more of a peer-reviewed paper of my situation than anything else. You have to take care of your emotions and not let yourself to sadden by my blog posts. And if you do, remember is not like I wanted that. And for sure, is not my intention to make you sad in order for you to donate money to me. If I had such values I wouldn’t have made all of the projects I made so far. These two attitudes are incompatible.

Broke.

Broke.

This blog post will not have any images. I like adding images, but I feel like I only need words right now ;).

I and Sasha have 900 Euros in total. That’s it. Hopefully we will get back some money from the apartment deposit, but probably it will be around 100 Euros after paying the remaining bills. Perhaps I can get 100 or so Euros from Patreon too. But yah, I can finally say I am broke. I threatened everyone about that for a few years now, haha, and now it finally happened.

I write from the same house where I made the second version of TROM documentary back in 2012. And from the same room where I built TVP Magazine, VideoNeat, and a few other projects. We made the room neat, as much as we could. I took my hand-made desk from the other place, and my galaxies. I printed 8 A4 pages with some of the most iconic space-stuff, back in 2012 when TVP donated me a printer to print a non-disclosure document…yah. Well. Retarded, but thank you for the printer. I have no clue why people still use printers… So back in 2012 (wondering about the same thing), I used all of the ink to print these amazing space-stuff-things. Some of the first exoplanets ever captured on camera, the farthest galaxy ever photographed (that was back in 2012 but still fuck-amazing): our sun, a few other galaxies and clusters, and the cosmic microwave background. I framed them into one mega frame, and hanged them on the wall behind my monitor so I can face it anytime and remind myself of my story – the one of a human being. To diffuse all of the human-invented problems that could cause me a lot of scars. Money problems mainly, and some stupid societal issues here and there, that condiment the shitty life of a citizen.

So here I am, same place, same stuff. Let me remind myself:

From 2007 or so I kept on writing on my romanian blog about all kinds of important subjects: from religion to money, abundance to technology, mysteries to science. I loved to let my brain explore the world through this digital vessel. There was no Facebook or any such centralized place online – it was a wild wild west kinda. You went there and didn’t know where there was, what was there, how to even reach somewhere. So you went about and around, searching and poking all kinds of websites. It was fun. Today it is all about 5 or so websites (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok and the like). A managed online life, by ads companies. It is the difference between my childhood and today’s childhood. Back in my days, all kids were going out. No phones, nothing like that. We interacted with each other, climbed trees, made tree houses, played football or any other game, laughed, ran, biked, it was an endless stream of adventures. Some newer than others. Today, from what I can tell, everything is organized: here is the park for children, here is a gym for adults, a cafeteria for the rest. Kids go for lessons: guitar lessons, football lessons, tennis lessons, ….. Not such thing in my childhood years. We played and had fun. The Internet today is like the childhood of today: a few places, all organized, all tasteless. No adventure, no fun.

So yah, from 2007 on I was poking around the Internet having fun, and writing a lot about the world. I was broke as fuck. Had 0 money. Dependent on my family? I was. Then made TROM documentary, still broke. And remade it; still broke. Then collaborated with TVP and created their online magazine for like 8 months – still broke. I was lucky as fuck when we made a TVP Magazine Indiegogo campaign and we raised over 20.000 Euros. That’s insane that I think about it. It was make or break for me. If we didn’t raise the entire amount, all money would have been returned. I did it this way because I was desperate. I was dragged into a very unpleasant situation living with my family for the past years, mooching on their resources. They were also putting a pressure on me to “do something” – and by that they meant, to have a job; and by that they meant to make some money. So I was like: either I raise all the money and give myself 1 year trial (1k Euros a month for a year), or idk….I’ll just go out and walk until I cannot walk anymore. That’s how I felt. Just go out, walk and walk and walk on this planet until I collapse and I can’t walk anymore. What can I do!?

Side-note: the money for TVP Magazine was for me and Ray who proofread and reviewed all issues, that’s why it was just enough for myself to live for one year with 1k Euros a month.

Ok. So.

2013, the magic year. I finally made it. Had a good ‘salary’ for at least 1 year. Go Tio! Go! And I went! From 2013 to 2016 I managed to get financial support enough to have a good life. I was paying for my own shit. No more dependence on my family. Damn it felt so good. All of that stress was out of the window. From 2014 to 2016 I even managed to live in my own apartment (rented of course), and it felt so cozy and relaxing. I was working like nuts for TVP Magazine and we released one big issue every month. I kept my promise.

Then it declined.

From 2016 on, the donations went down and down. It coincided with me and TVP splitting apart and the discontinuation of the TVP Magazine. But somehow I still had enough to pay for my own shit. In 2016 I moved back with my parents because I was making less than I could afford to live on my own. But since I could still contribute financially to the house’s spendings, I was all fine. I was getting less and less financial support to the point of making it difficult to even contribute to those spendings. But at least I had some money to do so.

Then it was better, but it still declined.

In 2019 we had that TROM meeting and a bunch of people came here to meet me, and meet with each other. We ended up moving together (Me, Sasha, and Aaron). Together we could pay for a nice apartment in the same town. It was fun, relaxing, great. Aaron left after one year, but he kept on supporting me and Sasha like crazy. Honestly the guy is too nice to exist in this society. But me and Sasha were unable to keep ourselves afloat.

Rent: 450 Euros. Electricity over 100. Water + Waste, 30. Internet 75. Servers 50. That’s some 700+ Euros on bills. Then we have to eat. We managed to eat with around 250 Euros a month, which I consider reasonable. We don’t buy much, and nothing fancy. Of course no eating out – that’s stupid, wasteful, super expensive, and stressful. We make some really great pizzas at home for like 5 times less the costs. 1k Euros for 2 people to live in Spain is super low. It’s way bellow the poverty line. But we don’t have a car or other such things – we have no debt and no consumerist values. We just need our basic needs: a comfy shelter with a basic cooking facility, toilet, bed and all that. Basic. An internet connection and hot water. And we can buy some fruits, vegetables, and some meet for myself 😀 (sorry), and that’s all. But it was a very shaky situation. We were sure we will go broke last year, but Roma, Aaron, Shas, and some other close TROM friends saved our asses with big donations.

We knew it was over.

We can’t have several Aarons or Romas or Sebs or Shass or others who helped so much, working their asses off, slaving themselves, to then donate thousands of euros to us. This is insane and unsustainable. So I told Aaron and others to fuck-off 😀 and not donate anymore. Keep the money for themselves. They need that to survive and TROM also needs them. And Aaron is insane-kind and sacrificed his life I’d say, to pull us out of misery lately. He should stop doing that and take care of himself and if possible keep on TROMing because he is so amazing at what he is doing for TROM.

US saved us for a few months. Funny enough. US sent some “stimulus” money because of this COVID situation, to its tribe members, and since Sasha is one of them, we got some 2k Euros from them. It allowed us to prolong the suffering haha.

We. Are. Busy. With. Relevant. Stuff.

You see, both I and Sasha work on some long projects that suck all of our time. Sasha is writing a book about her life that is also tied with these TROM things we talk about – from what I’ve read so far here and there, the book will be super awesome. It may have the potential to reach many new minds. She traveled around the world for the past 13+ years and her stories and what she learned from all of this, coalesce into a great and awesome pie of information. So she needs a lot of time to write it, to compile all of those years and more (she also writes about her childhood). And then is I. I work on a second part of TROM documentary. Like a 10 year celebration. At least that’s what I tried to do. I made a campaign to see if I can get enough support to work on it for the entire 2021, but I only raised some 30% and that’ mainly because of Aaron’s and Roma’s donations….

So yah, both I and Sasha were busy as fuck with these things, not to mention that I am also managing a lot of other projects and in the meantime I released a new one that requires a lot of my attention.

I never stopped working.

If you could look at the donations that TROM received since 2013 to now, they go up till 2016, then go down and down and down, sharply. Right now I may get around 100-200 Euros (maybe) overall, a month. Which is barely enough to buy some food. But if you look for the same period of time at my work and even other people’s work (involvement) for TROM, you will see a rise. A continuous rise. Podcasts, new books, new videos, new amazing tools….all that had no correlations to the support we were getting.

Anyways.

Bottom line is, I am here now, broke. Finally. My nightmare came true. I always feared this will happen and it is here. What am I gonna do now? I have no idea. I cannot see myself having a job. I simply cannot. I put so much effort into TROM and had so many plans….to make the TROM II documentary, to write several amazing and important books about the human behavior, about what science is, about technology and more. To create more trade-free tools….To…

So if I am forced to have a job to make money, it would mean to cut 90% of my work on TROM and by that I also mean to cut 90% of my brain. And I will end up either killing myself or killing someone else at my work place since I am 100% sure you’ll get enslaved in any job out there. I know how to make super detailed books about complex subjects, I know how to make podcasts, I know how to make videos and documentaries, I know how to make a plethora of projects and manage them, I know how to maintain a Linux distribution….I know how to make websites that are (I think) unique and interesting. I know a bunch of things and I do a lot. But I do not know how to make money since I was never interested in that. And that means, I do not know how to survive in this society unfortunately for my own sake. What would have happened if my family or the few people who have donated so far, didn’t exist? I perhaps would have decided to either steal money to support my work (which is ironic thinking about what TROM is), or killed myself. I know this sounds too dramatic, but I’ve always had that in my head: you can always choose not to play this stupid game anymore, by ending your own life. That’s the only escape it seems. Think about how harsh this sounds, and how true it is.

Keep this in mind:

I, a human being on this planet, am super curious how this society works, where are the problems coming from, what are the solutions to these. I am also super curious about how the world works: humans, atoms, whales, computers, and so forth. And I spent 15+ years trying to educate myself about these, and to inform others about them. But I could only do this because a few people helped me stay afloat in this society. Else, I had 0 chances. The society helps you not at all to be an informed human being. It only wants you to work work work. Mostly mindless jobs. Now I am broke so normally I will have to get a job to survive in this society. Like to work in say marketing, sell stuff, be a charlatan and the like. What “good” jobs are out there? Doctors that only “save” people who pay? Mechanics who only repair the broken stuff of those who can afford to fix them? Scientists who are poorly paid and work mostly for for-profit companies, helping them destroy lives and the environment? Honestly, think about it, if I were to say “Ok Tio, we accept a job now! Shut the fuck up and do it!” – then what jobs can I do? Probably some that are pushing this trade based society further. So making things worse in this society.

So:

I am basically forced now to not care about this society and stop be curious, and stop informing others and create educational content and tools, and stop create free services for others. STOP! Stop that, and focus on doing something mindless that in turn creates more waste and slavery.

Am I insane, or the rest of the world!?

Even I get this guilt feeling from time to time when I see myself so moneyless – as if I am not worth anything in this society. I am a lazy, not deserving to live, human being. One that does nothing! But then I look at the stuff I’ve been doing and the stuff I am doing, and the stuff I want to do. And it is a TON. There are people who “make it” in this world by doing just one of the things I am doing, like say a podcast, or write books, or provide services to others like trom.tf does…. The difference between them and myself, is that myself says “All that I do is free for everyone”, and them say “All that we do is not free, so pay you fucking cunt!”. Who is the good human being here!? manyfacepalms.

Should I still play this game?

This is a serious question. It is always going to be a struggle to keep myself afloat while trying to focus on this TROM project. In other words: to keep myself a human being who does important (in my view) projects, I would have to put up with this fucked up trade society till the day I’ll get old and die, to trade myself somehow to it, to keep myself a human. But that trade is going to destroy me. So what should I do? I don’t know. There is one hope and one comforting thought.

The hope:

Sasha. Sasha always found ways to trade herself in this society in a way that maximizes your time as a human on this planet. Trade a little, to be able to free yourself from this shithole. She may come up with a plan about how we can make it in this society. At least I am not alone now. I fight with Sasha and she fights with me. We also have a little hope in the book she will publish, to both attract new minds towards projects like TROM (and who knows, maybe new financial help), but she will also sell the hard copy of the book (the digital will be free), and what if we get lucky and it sells very well and we can support ourselves out of that? This is like the lottery, at least I can dream about that haha. The book is important as it is, and if it sells is not important. But of course, would be fantastic if that would pull us out of this misery. So lets see….with Sasha by my side I feel less concerned about making it in this society.

The thought:

In a weird way, but understandable, my fucked up situation makes me more relaxed at times since it is the perfect proof that this society is the way I have described it. I need no statistics, documentaries or documents, group of scientists or whatever to prove to me that this society is 100% fucked up. Like seriously retarded. The fact that I, Tio the human, who decides to dedicate its life to understand how this society and the world work, and how to fix them, and inform others about all of this, and publish lots of content for free and create lots of other free services, the fact that this Tio human, I, cannot even survive in this society by doing these….it is 100% proof to me that we live in the most fucked up society. And it is funny that so many scream how climate change is fucking us over, corruption destroys our ways of governing, plastic is chocking the planet, destruction, slavery, bla bla bla. Yet the same people support a system that creates mindless humans who have 0 time trying to understand these problems and -0 to do anything about them.

How the fuck can we change any fucking thing in this society if people like me get so raped by this society that it makes it impossible to give a fuck about it in the end.

So perhaps the fact that my life is a living proof to me that this society is indeed as fucked up as I describe it, makes me want to fight it even more. To give it the middle finger and survive despite all the shit it throws at me, and continue (despite the odds) to create awesome and important trade-free stuff: books, services, videos, podcasts, documentaries, and so forth. I also understand why projects like TROM get so little attention, because I can see what gets attention: retarded content. If TROM was popular (and thus more financial support), then I would be concerned….is TROM also retarded!? 😀

Fuck.You.Society.

Last thoughts:

My family is forced to trade in this society, like 3-4 billion other humans who are employed slaves. They are entangled with their jobs and I understand that. If I refuse to trade but stay in their house and cannot contribute to the trades (bills and stuff) it will put them in a very uncomfortable situation and it will create tensions between us. That’s for sure and I’ve experienced that before. I totally understand that. And I do not know what to do about it. So if they want to throw me into the streets, I’ll go and live there, but I will not have a job because that’s a literal death trap to me. They are very helpful and for sure they’ll never do that, but there will be tensions, and we will get stressed. In the end, is the society who fucks all of us in the ass, and we end up screaming at each other. But is little for any of us to do. What can my family do? Say “Yeah is the society’s fault for the situation!”, and then go next morning to their job, trade their time and energy, and through that support me who doesn’t trade!?

Anyways.

I do not have answers right now about what I am going to do. I have many questions tho. We have money for food for like 3 or so months. I will try to go work with my family in cleaning in weekends if they need my help, since that’s the only form of a job I perhaps could do – to do something physical, like cleaning houses, for 2 or so days a week. But even that is perhaps not available for me since there is a scarcity of jobs here.

I will try to not let this society crush me, but I am telling you it is hard. I feel very sad and angry at all of this.

I do not want to become a burden for my family.
But I did not ask to be born in a fucked up society.

UPDATE: I received a 2.000 Euros donation a day after this blog post. This saves our asses for the next few months. I cannot believe… Thank you Tara so much! I do not know you, but donating so much money is simply crazy. Thank you again!

Yellow is not a special color

Yellow is not a special color

For some reason I thought that yellow is a special color. For years now I’ve heard how yellow is made up of green and red, so it is not its own wavelength. I learned that we have 3 main special light receptors in our eyes that can pick up some specific frequencies, and we interpret one as red, one as blue, and one as green. And the other colors are a combination between these.

But I kept on seeing videos and read about how yellow is weird cause green light and some red light stimulate 2 of these receptors (cells) in our eye and it creates “yellow”. And I started to pedal this notion and be amazed by it.
 
I was like “Woah we can’t really see yellow…like we see other colors…because yellow is a combo between 2 colors and it is a trick to our mind because of our eyes.”.
Later on writing for the TROM Language book, I wanted to mention this as an example of how we put words on stuff that may not even be there. And while doing my research for the book, I learned that there is in fact a wavelength for yellow but it is also true that the combo of green and red produces the same effect in our brain. I was again amazed. I was like, then what is “yellow” if it is produced by two seemingly different events?

I was not really wrong (I think) – but I missed some very important points. So yah, I was excited how we can’t really see yellow because we don’t have a specialized receptor for that wavelength, and how mind blowing it is that our screens are made up of just 3 colors and how they simulate yellow. I am still amazed by this. When I did this interview, Alex asked me what is my favorite color, and I said “yellow because we can’t really see it”.

Well ok.
 

Last night Sasha was asking me about this…and we ended up debating for like 5 hours about light, colors, and especially “yellow”. We watched videos and took a snack break :)). Till almost 5 in the morning. Long story short, I was very very wrong, so much so I am disappointed in my brain. Deeply.

I was yellow-blind. But not to the color, to the facts and the interpretation of them. Of bloody course that yellow is not special…the monitor creates all of the colors we see out of Red, Green and Blue because they are the same as yellow. DUH! All colors have either a particular wavelength or they are formed by different wavelengths hitting our eyes and we combine these and see that particular color. In a sense, orange is the same: triggered by either a particular wavelength hitting our eyes hitting some of the 3 main receptors we have, or a few wavelengths that do the same….the output is orange.

I can’t believe I was so blind to this simple fact. Yes, light is such a complex thing to understand, but lets be honest my brain failed. I defended my position for hours, not because I am stubborn I hope, but because that’s what I thought even after Sasha was trying to explain this simple thing. It was too ingrained in myself this idea with “yellow”. I was kinda sure I saw this in the so many documentaries I’ve watched over the past 10+ years. But re-watching some of the videos about “yellow” after I realized I was in the wrong, I spotted some things I didn’t see before…how these people briefly (some less than 1s) mentioned (many in text form) that is the same story with other colors. They simply chose yellow as an example because yellow is cool…idk…

I was surprised at my stupidity to be honest. I could not even sleep much thinking how in the world I got fooled for years. Then I remember that for many many years, even in my 20s, I thought that another yellow thing is where it didn’t suppose to be. I honestly thought that urine was stored in the ballsack. Yah…Because I didn’t think much about it and when I felt the urge to pee I was feeling that urge in that area. I know this really sounds retarded, but when I was in school I also thought that there is God who created everything and I was praying to that creature.

The mind is the most powerful and sensitive organ we have. We can uncover unbelievable things and understand complex patterns, and yet we can be so easily fooled and tricked, it is astonishing. I am thinking now at the many who believe that the Earth is flat, Bill Gates wants to microcip us with vaccines, or that there is an “agenda” out there made by the most powerful people in order to keep us “in line”. Probably these people are wrong, but probably they also can’t see the “yellow” for its true value. But what if we, on the other side are wrong and don’t see what they do!? In the end it comes down to science. We need to investigate the world using the scientific method. But, at times it looks impossible. When it comes to yellow we can measure the wavelengths, we can look at the eye, we can do experiments. When it comes to some world-wide conspiracy we are left with trusting whatever others tell us. How can I truly know if there is an “agenda” out there made up of some dudes that call themselves as “illuminati”? I don’t think we can probe that the same way we probe light. We can say it is very unlikely. And I am fine with that.

We need to remain humble and understand that our brains are limited and we live in a world that is full of infocrap. Explosions of information from all parts, mostly due to our trade-based society that incentivizes people to post post post. I curate my news and videos from sources that seem to be known world wide for their seriosity; I watch so many documentaries especially about science/nature; and yet I got so fooled by this seemingly simple thing. I feel a deep betrayal of my brain. I fed it good stuff (I think) and yet it failed so badly.

I wonder what are the other “yellows” in my brain that I do not understand….

But if I keep on listening to others, to criticisms, to suggestions, then it is a good chance of me correcting my failed brain. I need to force myself to be a lot more humble and park my car in a way that I can get it out of that parking lot if needed, and move it somewhere else.

Like this! Slowly and wisely.

Never like this!

Else I will end up unable to take my car (my mind) out of that spot and will get stuck like that.

Federate the WordPress. How cool!

Federate the WordPress. How cool!

I introduced you to the Fediverse in a previous post, and how cool that is. Basically it allows different platforms (websites) to communicate with each other. Something like a Twitter user being able to follow a Facebook or Youtube users, and vice-versa. Not only that, but comment/reshare and overall interact with the other users. Imagine a Twitter user following a Facebook user, and seeing their posts on their Twitter newsfeed and being able to comment, like, or reshare it. And the Facebook user to receive all of that feedback. The Twitter user comments on the Facebook post via the Twitter newsfeed, and the Facebook user sees the comment on the Facebook platform. So they can communicate with each other. That’s  extremely important for a saner and more robust internet.

Of course, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the like won’t give a fuck about such a thing. But lots of people have built alternatives to these platforms that do just that. Ok, you get it, I explained it in the post I linked above. So let’s move on.

These Federated platforms are in many shapes and forms, built in different ways. So, you choose it. But WordPress is perhaps the most well know platform that people use to build websites. And it is so easy to set up a WordPress website and manage it. It is click and install. And then you have access to a fuck ton of plugins to make the website as you want. For example all of our projects, except tromland.org and musikwave.com, are built with WordPress. meaning, this website, tromjaro.com, videoneat.com, trade-free.org and the directory, ourminds.online, tromsite.com. They look in a diferent way and they even serve different purposes.

 

My website is more of a blog, but I also have video and photo galleries. Tromsite.com is more of content-driven website with books, videos, documentaries, curated news and such. You can’t comment there, you mainly see what we create. VideoNeat is specifically designed to be a sort of encyclopedia of hand-curated documentaries/lectures/movies that are scientific. While tromjaro.com is a website designed for an Operating System from where you can even install apps on your TROMjaro OS.

You get it, WordPress (WP) is a powerful tool to create any kind of website that you want, with 0 coding knowledge.

So then, wouldn’t it be cool if WP would become federated and communicate with all of those platforms? All of those social networks? Well, it can. And it is easy as flies.

ActivityPub is one of the “backbone” of the Fediverse. There are many such out there, but this one is new, shinny, and used by most of the well known platforms. Thanks to the plugin ActivityPub, WP transforms from a slow moving caterpillar that stays on one leaf, in one tree, into a butterfly that jumps from tree to tree. If you have a WP website, install that and I’ll give you a few tips of what to do after.

But first.

What this is doing is opening the doors for WP to talk to the other platforms. Basically, your post and pages (and more if you have custom stuff) can be sent to others on the Fediverse as posts. So imagine this: I have a Frriendica profile (sort of a Facebook profile, but sane and better). And then I follow tiotrom.com (this website) by adding the Federated ID. Whenever there is a new post on tiotrom.com I will see that in my Friendica newsfeed just like any other post from anyone that I follow there. That’s great, But what’s better is that I can even drop a comment on that post from Friendica, and the comment will go to the WP post itself. It should also work for me, the one behind tiotrom.com, to reply via my WP site to this comment and for the comment to go back to Friendica. Right now this doesn’t work but they are working on it, to make it possible. In other words, anyone from the Fediverse can follow my blog via their platforms (Friendica, Mastodon, etc.) and of they like/comment on any of my WP posts, I can see that, and in the near future even reply to them and they can see the replies, so we can communicate with each other.

Another feature of the Fediverse is to send private messages. They are also working to integrate that with WP so that anyone from the Fediverse ca send you a private message and you’ll get it in your WP dashboard or perhaps directly to your email that you have for your WP install.

And so, this is what the Federated WP is doing: allowing your WP website to be followed by anyone on the Fediverse (granted their platforms use ActivityPub), and to comment/interact with your WP posts.

HOW TO MAKE IT NOICE

1. Install ActivityPub and set it up.

Simply install and activate. The go to Settings – ActivityPub. The first settings is to set up how you want your post to be displayed in people’s feeds. I chose Custom for my website since I wanted to tweak it a bit, such as to write “NEW BLOG POST” and make that bold, to add the excerpt and encourage people to read it fully on my website (since it may not format well on some Federated platforms) and such. This is easy, see my example. If you don’t want to bother with that, simply select one of the predefined options.

And bellow it, select the type of Activity-Object. I left it Note since it seems to be the recommended one. The last settings are about what you want to broadcast on the Fediverse. I chose only the posts. But you can even broadcast when you upload images and such. Which is cool.

And lastly, for the young generation of hashes, you can enable the tags :). So your post tags transform into hashtags for the cool kids to click on them. You can block domains from following you as well. But why do you want that!?

2. Tweak your profile.

Your WP user acts as the profile of your Federated WP. So go to Users – Profile. Add your Bio and all of those goodies if you want, so that they appear in your Federated profile. I recommend installing 2 other plugins: WP User Avatar | User Profile Picture and Username Changer. So that you can change your username if you want to make it prettier, and your profile photo. Like me:

When someone will add you to their Federated network, they’ll see all that. Here’s how it looks on Friendica:

Side note: your federated ID is your profile ID basically. So you can have multiple users, and the content that is federated is, of course, based on what your user posts.

3. Share your Federated “ID”.

In the same WP Profile Settings, at the bottom, you’ll see this:

And that’s your “ID”, or Identifier. Send this to anyone who wants to follow you on the Fediverse. As easy as that.

And you’re done!

On my “follow” page I now provide 3 methods for anyone to keep in touch with whatever I do: Fediverse, RSS, and eMail. That’s super cool. And it is up to you how you want to follow my stuff.

I’ve now done the same for videoneat, tromjaro, and the trade-free directory. TROMsite.com….is used in a different way so it doesn’t make sense to integrate it with the Fediverse. What is posted there is not done via the traditional WP methods…so will see about that in the future. But if you follow the above links, you can follow our projects closely, via the Fediverse, RSS, or eMail. Fediverse is more like: I follow and I interact. RSS is like: I just follow. And eMail is for: I’m lazy so just send me an email when you do something :).

Why is this important after all?

It is true, you can follow our WP websites via RSS on Friendica for example, and all of our work via our main Friendica page, but if you simply want to follow only one of our projects and interact with, then you can do it now. It is also important for people who just want a more complex and customized personal place in the inter-webs, like a WP website, but they want to open the door to the Fediverse. I think that’s great!

It also makes the posts on teh Fediverse look better. Before I was using the RSS to pull posts from videoneat, tromjaro, or the trade-free directory to our TROM Friendica page. Now I use ActivityPub. And they look better:

Pulled from RSS – shows no thumbnail or image. Just a simple plain text.

Pulled directly from ActivityPub WP. Pulls custom text + excerpt + image + link. Much better.

yes.no.yes.no.yes.no. ? !

yes.no.yes.no.yes.no. ? !

For the past several months I have fluctuated between excitement to do this or that, and total lack of any excitement. Happy and motivated, to then being depressed and demotivated. But I like to try and understand myself, so I always use me as the rat I am experimenting on.

I’ve been through such moments all of my life, and I don’t think it is unusual considering the work I’m doing: researching the ugly face of this world, and then (at times) finding the nice face of the world here and there. So my brain is like “Jeez the world sucks balls. Really bad. And is nothing we can do about it. We are doomed”. Then at times is like “Oh look, nice people and projects. How nice. Flowers and bunnies and all of that.”. And these get mixed in my brain at times. On top of that I always had to worry about money…will I have enough for the next months!?

But lately I am a lot more “yes.no.yes.no.yes.no”. Like a bunch of waves in a storm. Why?

At times I get excited about TROM II and discuss with the people around me about it, and ideas of how to make it more interesting and such, to then, in a few days time, to be like “bleah…I don’t like any of these ideas…I don’t want to make TROM II”. And it goes on and on for months, not making much progress with it. Again, why-why? I think I know why.

 

2000-2005
2000-2005

From mind to notebook

This trade-based, zombie-full, and retarded-graded society always stressed me out. But once I started to have a notebook (journal) - pen and paper - I got more relaxed. I could express myself. Write about the idiocracy. Felt good.

2005-2009
2005-2009

From notebook to blog

Then I decided to write digitally.

Back in 2005 or so, when I was starting my romanian blog, it felt like I came across a big pile of fresh air. It was me, my computer, usually late at night, writing about the stuff I wanted to write. I felt like I was alone on a planet, beaming my thoughts to other planets. Not many listeners, not many reactions. But I liked that. Because all I wanted was to say some stuff. That's all. After a few years it became a bit busier and I didn't like it that much. People voicing their opinions to your opinion, in your own home (your website) can become annoying. But hey, there is a lot to learn at times, from this minds from other planets.

My thoughts were no only mine, hidden in an old notebook in my room, they were out there for all to see. I retired my notebook.

2009-2012
2009-2012

From blog to documentary

After a few years I felt like I can express my thoughts better in english and in a video format. I was watching too much EN stuff, but I could not write very well, so it help that I could cut segments from videos and make some content that would mirror my thoughts. Like a DJ, I was remixing stuff. So I made TROM Documentary with videos from other documentaries, lectures or other videos, plus a badly written EN script (from a grammar perspective). I remade TROM with a proofread script a year later. I was happy, but not in the mood anymore to write on my romanian blog. I was leaving that behind. Didn't consider it relevant anymore, same way I stopped writing in my notebook once I started my blog.

I tried however to still write in romanian on that blog, but I realized it is not happening. Almost like being 15 trying to jerk off on 70s playboy magazines. I needed new adventures :)). It's not working!

2013-2018
2013-2018

From documentary to books

Making a 14h documentary was a great way of expressing my thoughts. But now I had even more thoughts. I wanted to do proper research, to source what I was writing about, to move from writing articles to writing books. To do "serious" work. And so I created a lot of books, very detailed, very important. A fuck-ton of work. Writing them, designing them. I got better at writing in EN. But not that great at speaking in EN since I could not practice with anyone. I was behind the screen, typing words. That's me.

In this time I tried to go back on the Memory Lane and make some videos based on the books I wrote. That documentary-lane...I tried a lot. A lot. We recorded, and recorded, and recorded. And we released 2-3 videos, and that's it. I felt again like that 15-year-old jerky. Not working anymore. Doesn't excite me anymore to make videos...I made a huge one, and I put a lot of work into it....now I was in the book-mood.

2018-present
2018-present

From books to in-action

Since 2005 I've been broadcasting my thoughts indirectly. But in 2018'sh I started to meet people who were very aware of my work. Meet them in person. We also started TROM-Cast. Us. Live. Speaking directly to each other, and to the other planets. My spoken EN got a lot better.

Until then I felt like a runner who trains for a competition. Year by year, accumulating knowledge and skills. 2019 was the year I could run. Be out there. Touch the other planets. Broadcast my thoughts directly.

Another important thing happened: my realization of "trade" and how it is a thing that influences everything, and how focusing on that is the best we can do. Understand. Destroy. Also, trade-free. Create trade-free goods/services to both help people in an honest manner, and to also inform people about this trade-monster. And so I created tools like TROMjaro, the Trade Free Directory and the website, and I re-labeled and re-purposed all of the other websites to be trade free: videoneat, my website, other people's websites...our tools were directed towards that vision. I wanted to showcase how we can do some work in this saner direction. No more "just talking", now it was doing. More directly. Yeah, small scale. but still...a lot considering my "powers".

For the past 2 years I loved working on TROMjaro and make it better and better and make a point with it within the open source community. And I got my voice heard a couple of times. I curate hundreds of trade-free apps for it, I added stuff to the trade-free directory, I removed the trackers from most of our websites. I started to get away from online trades as much as possible, as a matter of principle and also because it feels damn good and could inform people about why trade sucks, and trade-free goods/services are a lot better. A LOT.

No more books for me, it was all about doing something. Talking to others, challenging them and their values, be out there into the wild. That started to excite me.

But then I had this idea, partially influenced by the people around me, of making another TROM documentary and explain this new thing I discovered with “trade”. I agreed we need such a material on our website and out there on the webs. TROM documentary is still relevant, but talking about abundance, and scarcity, and rbe, and tvp and the like, doesn’t make sense for me anymore. I evolved past that. I changed my mind about many of those notions. We made a TROM-Cast all about that and it is part of the TROM documentary now, as a “review” of it, at the end of the documentary. But it is not enough. I would like to replace that documentary with a new (updated) one. Although that’s the rationale, and although sometimes I feel super excited about it, it does feel a bit forced…as if I force myself to go back to making videos instead of focusing on the “in action” part of my evolving life. I feel more motivated to invite experts on TROM-Cast and talk about the human behavior or other notions, to invite people from the Open Source communities, volunteers, those who want to change the society, and talk to them. Learn from them. Challenge them.

I think I am ready-enough to go and talk/debate with others about these ideas. I want to go fight now :D. Doing things like books or documentaries is an indirect fight for me. But I still would love to write more books. I want to definitely write a few more. One about science so that I learn what it is in detail, one about human behavior in great detail, one about “shapes” (you’ll see it is a fascinating topic and it affects everything: medicine, tech, behavior, etc.); and a few more. I’d like to write them on my own phase and in the meantime do more work on TROMjaro, Trade-Free Directory and the other tools we have, and definitely TROM-Cast.

I fell like that’s my new “era”, the in-action era. And I am kinda forcing myself to go back again to the “documentary” era. But I’ll give it a shot. We are trying to do a different kind of TROM documentary, more “in-action” with filming me, Sasha and Dima. We already started that so let’s see where it goes.

Thing is, my idea was to raise around 13k Euros for a year of work (1k a month to survive), and all of the 2021 to work on TROM II. I could have done that if I had the money. But since I only have raised around 2k then I had to rethink it completely. It will be a shorter one, but maybe more interesting and personal. More “catchy”.

So yah…let’s see how it goes…

The good part is to see myself evolving and trying new approaches to understand the world and explain it to others.

When I know what I want to do, it is a lot less of “yes.no.yes.no.yes.no.”. But when I try to force myself to do things I may not enjoy doing at that period of time, then I fluctuate a lot. It happened to me when I tried to write again on my romanian blog, when I tried to make videos out of my books, when I have to do this documentary it seems.

In any regard, I also have to enjoy life and the things I am creating, else it is pointless. I’d rather have a normal job and forget about this, if I end up in a pile of stress and regard TROM II or other projects as “work that I HAVE TO DO”.

I am so so happy with the stuff I’ve created so far and I will create more of it, and evolve to new kinds of projects and approaches. The flame of “doing something” is still burning inside my essence. That’s for sure!

The Beginner’s guide to Friendica

The Beginner’s guide to Friendica

I wrote this blog recently about what the Fediverse is and why it is so awesome, together with how I created a monster to automate our Friendica TROM page and my personal account to post everywhere (Facebook, Twitter, TROM Live, my Live). Yesterday we had a really great TROMcast with the people behind Friendica and Mastodon, and Disroot.org. And I want to write a brief “beginner guide” to Friendica, because I love Friendica :). And the people behind the project are super friendly.

First of all, make an account to give it a try.

There are many “instances” so you can choose whichever. I personally recommend venera.social. It works great and the guy behind the project seems like a very nice human. Register and wait for approval. I know, it seems like a pain in the ass to wait for approval, but trust me on this. It is going to be a fast approval and they do that so that they keep these instances nice and clean. Your account will be approved 100%.

Tweak your account.

After you are approved simply go through your settings and set up stuff. It is a lot better than Facebook and easier to grasp and very clean. You can choose to block content based on language, words, you can choose who can see your posts and such. It is up to you how you set this up. Take it easy. No rush. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, and you can do any changes in time. It is your baby dear.

Start to follow people and organizations.

This is what you are there for. But how can you find them? Don’t be like a hungry bear that goes into a house and wants to eat everything it finds, and if it does not find much, it goes away. Be a nice, civilized, and sane bear and you’ll get to eat in that house very good food and not get fat. For starters you can follow us, people from TROM. Sasha, Shas, Aaron, me, Alexio and more importantly our TROM page. Then look through our contact list and add more people. Let it grow slowly and organically. In the contacts settings, you can search people based on interests (keywords). Let it grow slowly and I mean that. You may be used with Facebook and the crazy of influx of information that engulfs your entire life. This is a way for you to start as brand new and meet new people. It is like moving from New York (facebook) to a small nice village. You’ll see, life is better there ;).

The awesome part that keeps me personally there.

Friendica opens the doors to pretty much any Federated network. Say you find a Mastodon account in the wild. Copy the url to your Friendica search bar then simply follow them. Do the same for any other Federated network. Now you can interact with these people (send private messages, see their posts in your feed, comment to them, like, share, etc.).

Follow websites!

Yah! You can. Pretty much any website (since most have an RSS feed). Copy our videoneat.com url, or tromjaro.com, tiotrom.com, bigworldsmallsasha.com, trade-free.org/directory, or any other that you like, into the contacts page and just follow. You’ll get to see the posts in your feed whenever these websites post new stuff. How cool! You can also tweak the settings for each such website, individually. For example you can set up how frequently you get updates from them, if you want to get a notification when they post something new, or format how the posts should look like.

At times, if these websites support it, you can see their entire articles in you feed so no need to go to their websites. I recommend you select “fetch information and keywords” so you get to see their posts as a summary and link to the original article. And lastly, you can select to auo-reshare any of these websites’ posts on your profile if you wish. Or as your own posts.

Follow Twitter!

If you have a Twitter account, now is the time to never use twitter.com but use it through your Friendica. Go to Settings – Social Networks and click the Twitter tab. Connect to your Twitter (easy, a few seconds). Now you should choose “allow posting on twitter” and “import the remote timeline”. Why? Because now if you want to follow someone on Twitter, simply copy their twitter url, the entire thing, into the same contacts page and follow them. And you’ll see their posts in your timeline. Easy.

You can reply to these Twitter accounts from Friendica and interact with them from there. Super cool. I already follow a few Twitter accounts and works great.

 
 
Follow Facebook pages and more!
 
You cannot follow people/pages from Facebook in a “native” and interactive way, but there is a way you can do that when these are public. Go to our RSS-Bridge service here. Search for Facebook Bridge | Main Site. Now click “show more”. And add a Facebook page name that you want to follow as I showcase bellow. “username” is the page name.

Now click “Html”. You will be redirected to a new page where you can see the posts of that page as such.

Right click the Mrss and then Copy Link. That’s all. Now you have the RSS link of that Facebook page. Go to your contacts page and add it there. Then click “connect”. Same as adding any contacts or websites.

And that’s how you can follow Facebook pages or public profiles. Use that RSS-Bridge. You cannot comment/interact with these, but well…at least you can follow them. I suggested to Friendica-friendy developers to add the RSS-Bridge as an addon to Friendica, so that if you want to follow a user/page to be as easy as pasting the facebook URL into the “add new contact” form, and the rest is magic.

Follow the entire internet!

Follow Youtube, WordPress plugins updates, Wikipedia daily article or “did you know?”, VK pages, Vimeo, photos from Unsplash, you can even follow Twitter users and pages without an account or even follow hashtags….you can follow Telegram public groups, or when new stuff is added to the BitTorrent network (like say you want to know when a new episode from whatever documentary series you like, is available on torrents). Follow Sub-Reddits, or even PornHub; follow the latest releases on FDroid and sooo much more. I am telling you, this RSS-Bridge is amazing and you can use it as a proxy for connecting your Friendica to pretty much the entire internet.

So yah…slowly you can add up as much stuff to your friends/follows as you want. Create a stream of what you love from the entire Internet.

Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the like, thought people that they should be spoon fed. You wait for them to feed you, and that led to a world where what you consume is always what these platforms are feeding you. And they do that based on their own interests, not yours. And you end up being unable to control that spoon ->>

It takes a bit of time to move to a place like Friendica. But not as much as you might think. However, you have to get used to feed yourself. Grab that spoon. Choose your food. You will see that it makes a huge difference in the long term.

SEE YOU ON FRIENDICA!

The social ad-networks, the Fediverse, and my Live is back

The social ad-networks, the Fediverse, and my Live is back

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, now TikTok, the world is eaten alive by a few websites that pretend to want to “connect” people. They even call themselves “social” networks. In fact they are ad networks. We have a few such accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube (TIFY) and I am sick of them. So sick I created a TROM Live page where I started to post directly on the tromsite, forgetting about these ad-networks. But even when I was posting on TROM Live, we kept those TIFY adcounts updated through Hootsuite (a tool for which we pay) that allows us to schedule posts on all of those networks. It is like our livestock industry today. Just put more stuff out there, else the world seems to collapse.

This craze of nonstop eating nothingness has transformed the eaters and the feeders into untamed animals that seem to be unable to stop. I post, you watch. I post, you watch, I post, you watch. If I do not post, the TIFY AI will forget about me and not notify you. I cease to exist.

Thing is, if we stop posting on TIFY, then we go even deeper into the hole of silence, because TIFY wants something from you (data, attention, money), so they have created a cattle industry, where the milked cattle are people, and if you do not feed the cattle (as a “creator”) then no more cattle, and your ideas and projects will sink. Both of you are actually the cattle for TIFY, who milks you both, while you the creator milks others…endless fuckery.

I never wanted any of this, but when we released a new book for example, I liked to break it into “memes”. Images that I made with the bits of text I would grab from the new book. I saw it as an educational thingy. So I would make lots of them, and schedule them via Hootsuite on all of these networks. I NEVER duplicated any image/post. For the past year or so, we did not release any new book, so no more new memes. I kinda gave up to this posting-memes idea for educational purposes, especially since I feel it stronger and stronger that people who are on TIFY are too bombarded with shit to even make a difference if you try to post scientific and well made content. So what’s the point!?

Sasha kept these TIFY alive by reposting a lot of memes and videos for the past year or so, and she still wants to keep them alive. In the end, I agree, if is not much work and others can help with it…lets shoot in the dark and keep on posting there too. But I hate TIFY as much as I hate any company and charlatan. I don’t even want to type their url into any text field, that’s how much I hate these charlatans that are selling delusional ideas of “connectivity” and “sociability”, while the cattle are eating their vomit.

WHAT. TO. DO. !.?.

We have a bunch of projects: tromjaro.com, tromsite.com, videoneat.com, trade-free.org/directory, tromland.org. Except tromland and tromsite, the rest are very active. We post new stuff there. Plus, when we make a new video, or book, or have TROMcast….we need to let people know about these.

So. How to let people know about these things in a sane way and still keep the TIFY cancer fed, while not feeling disastrously depressed by using these tumors?

WELCOME TO THE FEDIVERSE.

Posting updates on TROMsite.com/live via an improvised chat, felt cozy, at home, but not at all interactive for anyone in case they wanted to reply, share, follow. It was mainly me going to my balcony and giving some updates to the empty town. At least that’s how I felt, which is cozy to me. But I get it…some people want to interact a bit, not in a TIFY way, but in a sane way. The answer is: THE FEEEEEEEEEEDIVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERSEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

It is difficult for me to explain what this is, and a mighty task to make you (the reader) as excited as I am. I will try to explain in the most simple way possible. So. Let’s use the Facebook example. Let’s imagine we make Facebook trade-free. That means, Facebook doesn’t ask anything in return (no trade) for the service that they provide. So, no more ads, no more data collection, no more making money from paid advertising. Nothing of that. Basically imagine a Facebook without 90% of its current content. It is like wanting to remove a tumor from a patient, but you realize that the tumor is a lot bigger than the patient. So you end up removing the patient. A tumor with a human.

Anyways. Trade-Free (TF) Facebook. Honest. No more bad incentives to make you stay on their platform. Why would they want to trap you into their world if they do not get anything back from you? So this TF Facebook allows you to create posts (text), share images, make albums, add videos, crate groups, pages, comment, share, etc.. And instead of being on Facebook.com, a copy of its software is installed on Facebook.net, Facebook.org, Facebook.free, and 50 more domains. Let’s call these “instances”. All run the same software, like imagine a barebone FB without any users, on multiple such websites. We start freshly new. GO.

You, the user (not a cattle this time), can choose whichever “instance” suits you best, because each instance is run by different people/organizations, and they can tweak their version of FB the way they want to. Of course, they are mainly the same, but some may not accept people who post their dick photos, while some do. Now, the user (not the cattle, again!), can choose which FB they want, and register an account there. There is no competition between these instances, mind you, since there is no incentive for that. If my instance has too many users and puts a toll on my server, I can tell people to go to other instances so that we disperse the load. The other instances are my friends.

BUT TIO, that means I LOSE my friends. I register here, to show my dick picks, but my friends register there…I can’t there…they don’t want here…we NEED TO STAY IN TOUCH.

I HEAR YOU. CALM DOWN. JIZAS. ACTUALLY THIS IS WHAT FEDIVERSE IS ALL ABOUT.

Now that we have many instances, we connect them with each other by default. User A registers on FB.ORG, user B on FB.PENIS. But if user A searches for user B in their FB search, they find him. They can follow him, comment on his posts, and all that. As if user B is on FB.ORG, even tho is not. How is that possible? Don’t ask me, ask the Fediverse God.

So now we have multiple instances, each instance is a TF FB, each instance has some users (different from other instances), and all of them are connected. I, on this instance, can instantly communicate with you and others on any instances. This way, the power of FB is distributed. If I do not like one instance, I pack my bags and move to another one. Export -> Import. My contacts, messages, posts. All that. Like magic.

WELCOME TO

THE FEDIVERSE

But there is a downside to this right? I mean….it has to be. It is slow. Unreliable. UWGLY…. ???
 
Actually no. And even if it may be a few minutes behind reality, it is still hardly noticeable from my experience. And guess what? There is more to this!
 
Imagine we do the same with Youtube. De-tradiffy it. Federate it. Many Youtubes, many domains. All communicating with each other. We do the same with Twitter and Instagram. Now, we have hundreds of websites (instances) of TIFY. TF-TIFY. Best part? Since they all use the same protocol (fancy word that means nothing for normal people, and a lot for programmers), they can communicate with each other. Me on Facebook can follow a Youtube channel and see its posts in my newsfeed. Even comment on it, reshare it, like it, and all that. Twitter users can communicate with Facebook users too. And instagram is useless anyways so probably they don’t care to communicate with neither, even tho is possible. A world where we connect all of these platforms.
 

WE'VE REACHED NIRVANA!

If you think about it, this is how the Internet should work. Back in the days most, if not all websites had another “protocol” embedded underneath their skin: RSS. That was a “text” file that each website generated automatically, and it contained all of your latest posts or comments. So, if you wanted to stay up to date with what bigbunnyforgood.soemthing website was posting, you would grab its RSS feed (usually by adding the word “feed” after the url), and paste that into an RSS Reader. This program will then grab the latest posts from the bunny. You could choose any RSS Reader for the job. And add as many such websites to the mix.

Nowadays RSS is still alive, although youngsters probably think that’s a pornhub category like Rubber Sex Slaves or a subreddit, Racist Skinny Sluts. Not sure which one is which…. Anyhow, RSS is still an important protocol. Email is another such protocol. I can communicate with you via email even if your email is on gmail.com, and mine is on tromsite.com. It does not matter. Fediverse is like combining RSS with Email, and feed it magic mushrooms.

Examples of Fediverse tools: Friendica, Mastodon, Peertube, Pixelfed. Mix them up and we have PPFM, MFPP, PMFP…whatever. They are the TF and Federated versions of TIFY.

Peertube is a Federated Youtube, Piixelfed is a Federated Instagram, Mastodon is a Federated Twitter, and Friendica is a Federated Facebook. Of course, they are more than that, They are their own thing. They look different, work different. But, they are meant to be replacements for those ugly ones. I will mainly talk about Friedica since it is what we use to deal with our Social Dilemma.

Can’t help but notice that while writing for this blog, our latest post from Friendica is this documentary from VideoNeat, that’s about these big online companies taking over the world.

Friendica is so awesome I don’t even know where to start. For one the design is modern and so clean. Here’s how TROM’s pages look like on FB vs Friendica:

A very simple post composer, yet good enough to create long posts with some basic text editing. You can add multiple images, format the text, add links, location, add a post into a category, add tags or even mention friends or pages. You can create a full-blown post with this. Sure, with a simple design. What’ya’want’more?

Basic photo albums. You can comment on any photo, add tags and mentions, captions, or rotate them. Depends on the Instance, but from my tests you can’t add videos. Only from external sources in posts. Videos are images. But BIGGER. So ya’ need a BIGGER server for the job.

Events. We can use this for our TROM-Cast for sure. When we go live, and what hour. Add to the calendar. Share it. Tag, mention. Simple.

And for your page profile you can add as many fields as you want, with multiple websites, descriptions and such.

In the Settings you have great control over who to follow, how to see or not posts, how to post and where, export your data and all that. I won’t go into details, I’ll only highlight some of the features I love.

Your profile can be a page, a personal stream, an organization, a forum….different types, depending on your needs.

You can choose between several themes, or customize any of them. Colors, background image, opacity, and stuff like that. It is a minimal-based theming, but definitely a cool thing to have access to.

You can also choose between infinite scroll or pagination, you can disable the dislike buttons, or ban posts containing certain URLs or words.

You can connect to some social networks and cross post to them or from them to your Friendica, automatically or manually. For example, you can set up your WordPress website so that when you post to Friendica, it will create a post on your website.

You can even add “moderators” or “admins” to your pages, which is handy.

But all of this is not like “whoa”. It’s more like, yah….I’ve seen this before…remember MySpace? Hi5? What’s so cool about Friendica? Well, here’s where the amazing part comes, and it is because of the Federation.

CONTACTS.

These 3 contacts come from 3 different platforms. One is from Mstodon (a Twitter alternative), one from PeerTube (the good Youtube), and one from Friendica. The way I added them as friends is by copying their URLs or “handles” into the search box in my Friendica page. Friendica finds them, and I can follow them. I can send them private messages or see their posts in my newsfeed. As simply as it is on Facebook to search for contacts. Here is how posts from all of these contacts look like on my Friendica homepage (stream):

This is how a post from someone on Friendica looks like:

This is how a post from someone on Mastodon looks like:

This is how a post from someone on PeerTube looks like:

This is how a post from someone on Twitter looks like:

Aham. I said Twitter, because you can connect with Twitter if you have a Twitter account (in seconds) and you can see the posts in your feed and reply and all that from your Friendica. How to add a Twitter contact? Same as you add any, put the URL of a Twitter account in the search field and then click follow. Done.

So, you can follow and interact with people from the entire Fediverse, even from the non-federated Twitter, but there is one more neat thing about Friendica. Take any website, say videoneat.com, and paste that URL into the same search field. Guess what? If the website has an RSS feed (remember the Rare Skinny Sluts?), then you can follow that too. Here’s how an RSS post looks like:

Yah…same as any other posts…and if the website has a full RSS feed, then you can read the entire post in your news feed.

So, contacts from any Fediverse accounts, plus Twitter, plus RSS sources. All look the same. And you can interact with all just like you would do with any contact.

I will bore you for 3-4 minutes. bare with me tho, I need to vent this….

And the best feature for me, is this: in the settings of any user, you can opt in to automatically grab their posts and either reshare them, or post as your own. Why is this so cool? Because we have several websites that produce content daily, and I’ve set it up so that the RSS feed from these websites, is grabbed and posted as our page posts, automatically. This is so so cool. Federation + RSS is bliss. You can even contact people over Email through Friendica, but I won’t even mention that 😀 – it’s too much awesomness.

With all that in mind, this is how I am now managing all of these social networks, most of which are adcounts.

1. I created 2 Freindica accounts. One is my personal account and one is the TROM page. Both are managed by one single account. These are “identities” actually. One login. Two identities.

2. I setup tromjaro.com, videoneat.com, and trade-free.org/directory to mirror the RSS Feeds as our Friendica TROM’s page posts. So, whenever there is a new post on these, our Friendica TROM page will post about it.

3. Since there is no easy way to schedule posts on Friendica + we also have to keep the TIFY tumor alive (at least for now), I came up with a solution. We are still using Hootsuite to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now, with the help of the amazing trade-free piece of software called RSS-Bridge, and our own TROMland instance. I can create an RSS feed for our Facebook page, and add it as a contact to our Friendica TROM page, and as above, mirror the posts as Friendica TROM posts. Now, our Friendica TROM page automatically pulls posts from our websites + our Facebook page RSS (scheduled posts). And, of course, whenever we need to post something directly there.

So, right now, if Sasha keeps on scheduling on Hootsuite, and I keep those websites updated, we will have an active TROM Friendica page.

Last cool thing. I’ll bore you a bit more.

Using our RSS Reader from tromsite.com, that is responsible for our curated news, videos, and such https://www.tromsite.com/tools/news/, I created a news feed for the Fediverse to use it as our TROM Live. It pulls posts from my personal Friendica and TROM’s Friendica + the TROM people I’ll add there. And, whenever I tag a post with #tromlive, or anyone from TROM does that, or our TROM Friendica page does it, it will go to https://www.tromsite.com/live/. And to any tromsite.com page (click the top TROM logo).

Imagine this: I work on something for TROM and I post about my work on my personal Friendica profile. I tag it with #tromlive, and it goes to our tromsite.com/live page. Aaron uses Mastodon and when he does something for TROM and wants to share, again tags his post with #tromlive and it goes to the same place. Alexio, who is on Friendica, can do the same. And you can see on TROM Live who posts what and click our names to go to our Fediverse profiles and you can even follow us there. As cool as that. New TROM-Cast? Create a Friendica event, tag with #tromlive. Goes on Friendica + TROM Live. Schedule something on Hootsuite that you also want to go to TROM Live? Just tag it with #tromlive. Easy! And, for my own personal Live, because YES, IT IS BACK ->>>> https://www.tiotrom.com/live/, it is the same system only that all of what I post on my Friendica goes to my live. At times, I post stuff that is personal, so I would want only #tromlive posts to go to TROM Live.

Basically we “manually” post on Hootsuite (mostly scheduled posts), to our websites (normal work for us), and to our Fediverse accounts. Seems like a lot, but I for one will 95% post on my Friendica account. That’s all. It is in fact a very simple and easy to manage “mess”. I move away from TIF, and I create a mega stream of content on TROM’s Friendica page. A Trade-Free place. A Trade-Free Social Network. Plus, keep our TROM Live updated + my Live. So you can either follow the hand or the jesus jump. Or both. And that’s all. No need to go anywhere else to see updates from us.

a. I am using the Flow Flow paid plugin as our RSS Reader for tromsite.com and this website. I bought this one many years ago so I might as well use it. Download it from here for free. I set up a stream of TROM's Friendica and my personal Friendica with Flow Flow + other Fediverse sources. Say Aaron is on Mastodon, so I grab the RSS feed for Aaron's Mastodon because yes, Fediverse sources also have an RSS feed. How to find that? Ask around is easy.

 

b. I grab TROM's and my Friendica RSS. This is actually an Atom Feed, similar to RSS. Looks something like this https://instanceurl/feed/username/posts.

 

c. Because the Flow Flow plugin doesn't work with Atom Feeds, I need to convert it into an RSS feed. Unfortunately I have to use FeedBurner (by Google) to do it. Add the Atom url in FeedBurner and in the options click "convert" to RSS 2.0. Grab the new RSS url. That's what you have to use. As a side-note, the developers of the Flow Flow plugin plan to implement Atom feeds support.

 

d. Flow Flow + Fediverse RSS feeds =  great. But, in order to only grab posts that contain #tromlive, you have to add a filter in Flow Flow for each of the RSS feed you have added.

 

And that's all.

 

Now, for TROM Live I had to add a HTML code to the page to refresh the page automatically every 10 minutes so that users don't have to do it manually.

 

The downside for TROM Live is that it takes around 15-20 minutes for a post to go live. Say I make a post on my Friendica. It takes Friendica a few minutes to update the Atom Feed. Then the Atom Feed needs to be read by FeedBurner - FeedBurner checks it every couple of minutes. Once it grabs the update, Flow Flow must check it too. It checks every 5 minutes (you need to change the plugin code a bit to allow for 5 min - ask me in the comments if you need to). Once Flow Flow grabs the update, the Live Page must refresh (every couple of minutes).

 

I post on Friendica -> Atom Feed gets created -> FeedBurner reads it -> Flow Flow reads the FeedBurner RSS and filters by #tromlive -> TROM Live gets refreshed with the new update. All automated so no sweat.

What you have to understand from all this, is that the Internet should work this way. The Fediverse way. If TIFY wouldn’t make a business out of the human cattle, keeping them trapped into their own garden, then they would for sure implement such tools. Why can’t I follow a Facebook page or profile, or Youtube account, without registering with these companies? Because that will hurt their business. TIFY is trade-based, so its sole purpose is to engage in trades with the users. Users are its clients. I give you a “social” platform, you give me your data. They are like any other store out there. If I sell tomatoes, but they are not as good as the ones in the shop next door, or I don’t have enough of them, I will never send you to the other shop. I’ll lose!
 

The reason Friendica and the like are so great, is because they are trade-free. They ask nothing in return from the users. They give you this platform, and grab nothing from you. Yes, at times you trade your freedom since you may not be allowed to post this or that (violence, gore, nudity, etc..), but these are smallish trades and you may find instances where they do not inject such rules. Also, we live in a fucked up world of mindless zombies and charlatans, so they can abuse such platforms. These rules are in place for that. When TIFY puts up such rules, they are usually to make their advertisers happy that their platforms are as clean as the inside of a disinfectant bottle, so they can advertise there in abundance.

Facebook

Friendica

I feel relaxed by using Friendica and knowing about the Fediverse. I need to keep my online life as clean as possible, in order to focus on the stuff I create and what I digest online.

It also goes to show how, with billions under their mattresses, TIFY created platforms that are technically inferior to what a handful of good humans created, with not even a fraction of a percent of the resources these TIFY giants have.

The moral of the story is this: if you create trade-free goods/services, it is very likely that you will create good quality and honest goods/services. Because there is no incentive for you to do “bad”. Imagine if these platforms would label themselves as “trade-free” so we can also educate humans about the problem that they are trying to address. Because in the end, these people created these platforms because they wanted to solve some problems: that of data collection, of proprietary software, of privacy, etc.. Problems that are in fact symptoms of our trade-based society. And I explained that in great detail in this book.

I understand that the vast majority of people will not use these platforms. The sad truth is that humans got so enculturated that they will hardly ever change. If you can’t change your online social network, how can you change anything in your life? Really. Is there anything easier than this? If humans can’t use a different Facebook, that is honest and so much better, when it exists, then there is no hope we will ever change anything in this world: how we distribute resources, organize our society, etc.. We will cling onto old notions and platforms. We will die on facebook, screaming about democracy, in a trade-based society that makes both of these, irrelevant, useless, illusionary, and at times harmful.

So don’t be one of the morons. If you really want to use a social platform, use Friendica or other Fediverse alternative. If you still have to use TIFY use it as a disposal machine. Just to put your “ads” there about your work. A necessary evil, but put gloves when you use it, like we do with Hootsuite. I am sure, one day, in the near future, I’ll close all of the TIFY. We ONLY use them to automatically share our work.

We are on TROMSITE.COM/LIVE. We are on FRIENDICA. We are on our personal websites. That’s all. The rest, we are not.

In a saner world, we would create stuff and not care how many people we reach. Who likes what we do. We just do it. And that’s what I’ve been doing all of my life. I care about my work and what I do and I enjoy that. The rest can fuck off. This is why I have the “courage” to go use another social network and won’t care much or at all if I will close all of the TIFY accounts. Our stuff is hosted on our servers or archive.org anyways. Our work and chats are done via NextCloud. I am using the tools I think are best and trade-free. We have lost lots of “followers” because of that. And I don’t care.

In the end, you have to enjoy what you do. Else you are a prostitute of a trade system, trading your stuff for currency, likes, reactions. Don’t be a sad cattle.

Make a Friendica account. I recommend you https://venera.social/. Takes a minute. Get familiar with it. Add me as your contact. Add others. You’ll be surprised how friendly the community is. Then add more contacts from the Fediverse, add RSS sources like our website, and all that. Ask me here if you need any help. And use https://fediverse.party/ to find other such Federated places in the digital universe.

UPDATE 1

Shortly after writing this blog post I realized that it is super uncomfortable for me to pat 12 Euros a month for Hootsuite to what? To post on those trade-based social networks? To then have those posts mirrored on Friendica? What for!? So I changed the plan. Friendica (TROM and Tio), both pages, are the ONLY ones I will touch. Instead of posting on Hootsuite that will send posts to Facebook, Insta, and Twitter, and then FB RSS to push to Friendica, I will do the opposite way. All posts from Friendica go to Facebook and Twitter automatically. Like so:

The biggest advantage is that the way I make the posts on Friendica is simply beautiful and clean and smart. The way I compose them. You can make full posts there, like a blog post. Also, the fact that I only manage 1 single place for updates: Friendica. The biggest downside is that I am using a 3rd party service (IFTTT) and when it tries to push updates from Friendica’s RSS to Facebook or Twitter, it does not send the images….so….posts without images…which sucks. Bad. Cause many times we relied on images to tell a message. But…I will try and try to see if that can be fixed….at least the setup is done. Also, we lose the ability to schedule “memes”. However I will look for a trade-free solution for that. I imagine a fediverse or other tools for say WordPress that allow us to upload our memes and schedule them and then grab an RSS feed and push it to Friendica.

Trust me I tried so much…I made accounts….I even made a new website to try to push proper updates to Facebook through WordPress…nothing really works….Facebook is the most awful company….Anyways. Maybe I’ll update the post again…I feel so drained of energy.

UPDATE 2

There we go, one more update hahah. Maybe this is the last? Will see. I made it even better. Improving. Mind you, I want stuff to be as automated as possible. I also don’t want to completely shut down FB and Twitter since there are people following us there…

So, the bellow image explains it very well. 5 RSS sources. 3 bubbles in the picture. They auto feed TROM Friendica and FB. For FB I had to do an IFTTT hook-thing…it is free for 3 or so hooks. These are automated. The social.tromsite.com is a new thing that I made….JEEZ. Basically it is a new website that uses 3 main plugins to automate all of our memes. We have around 6k memes. Only 1k or so are converted for tromsite.com from tvpmagazine. I used the plugins: “Auto Post After Image Upload” to make a new post whenever we upload an image. Thus, we can uplaod 1k photos to this website, and it creates 1k posts. Amazing. “Revive Old Posts” is a plugin that takes 2 random posts and posts them on FB. The free version only post them as links, so doesn’t look 100% ok on FB but is the best I can do. Is fine. And lastly “WP Auto Republish” to republish these posts in random fashion on the website – this is necessary for the RSS. It makes sure that we always have at least 2 new posts a day out of those random ones made out of the 1k images we uploaded. This is so that when Friendica checks for new posts from social.tromsite.com, it finds new ones daily.

So the automated RSS feeds Friendica and FB. Plus I also manually post on Friendica. And whenever i tag my posts with #tromlive, the Friendica TROM page ones go to FB, and TROM Live, and my personal Friendica (tagged with #tromlive) go only to TROM Live.
 
And, of course, the last ones: Posts from Friendica are mirrored to Twitter, from my Friendica profile to my Live.
 
Trust me. It makes a lot of sense :D. This way we don’t replicate posts anywhere. And keep TROM Friendica updated (that’s the best source for what TROM releases or the most important news) + TROM Live with our work + FB and Twitter (yaks) + my personal website.
 
Brilliant! 🙂
 
And all works. Tested. I am so so so so so happy with social.tromsite.com because we basically have to upload photos there and that’s it. They are randomly posted 2 a day. And these memes are super interesting.
 
Let’s see if this is my last update.

UPDATE 3

Oh yeah, update numero tres. Ha-Ha. I kinda perfected the system. I really want to make it very well. I looks like this is the last update, but don’t quote me on that for now. Here’s the thing, although TIFY sucks balls, and I hate it, I understand that there are some people who find it super difficult to move to some Fediverse alternative because maybe their friends and families are on TIFY. So my goal is to keep TIFY updated in a proper way, while not giving a shit about it ;).
 
The update numero doz, above, had a few critical flaws. The images I scheduled on FB were not posted as images, but as links that could use the image as a “preview”. So the image was cut. Not good! Same on Twitter. Thus, all of the work on social.tromsite.com was only great for Friendica and partially good for these two. I FIXED THAT through IFTTT hooks. Now those 2 images that we post daily in a random and automated fashion are indeed posted as images on FB and Twitter. Great!
 
Another issue is when I posted on FB from Friendica via the hashtag thing, it only posted a sentence. FIXED IT! Now it posts the entire posts.
 
Here’s the beauty:
The RSS feeds from videoneat, tromjaro, and trade-free.org/directory feed via IFTTT to FB and Twitter, and directly to Freindica. The 2 images-a-day from social.tromsite.com are going through the same exact process. And when I post on TROM’s Friendica page it goes nowhere unless I tag it with #tromlive and that makes the post go fully on FB and TROM Live + I can also “tick” (check) a simple box when I post it, and goes to Twitter too. So Friendica feeds the rest when it comes to direct messages. GREAT!

I’ve also bulk edited all of the 1.140 posts on social.tromsite.com and added as the title “Read our books at https://www.tromsite.com/books”, so now all of these images that are posted on the 3 social networks (Friendica, FB, Twitter) are posted with that message.

Lastly, I had to remove some plugins that didn’t work very well (from social.tromsite.com) and add new ones. Actually I only use “Auto Post Scheduler” that basically I setup to choose 2 random posts a day and change their publishing date to the most recent date possible. Thus, we have 2 new random “posts” on that website, a day, at different hours. The RSS is then read by our octopus above, and feeds the social networks.

Oh, and to make it perfect, Georgi (my sister), will manually repost as many images from FB to our Instagram account. it is easy.

Thus, we treat all of these social networks like first class citizens. Frendica, FB, Twitter, will post the same exact content (most of the time). And most of it is automated (but good and new content). I may have found BLISS with this…finally…. I did all of this because I wanted to focus on creating stuff and the “sharing”  of it to not stay in my way + I wanted to not use TIFY anymore. Like directly use it.

We will close Hootsuite the following days. We will save 11 Euros a month. This can help pay for all of our domains. Entirely. So it is a good saving of money kind of thing ;).

There is one single downside: when I share from Friendica to FB, I can only share plain text….and links. But images won’t display on FB…maybe I’ll find a way to fix this last thing, but is not really that important. Usually I do not share images directly from Friendica to FB.

UPDATE 4

Another update haha. I fixed a few issues and such. So, the main issue was that whenever I would post on Friendica with the hashtag #tromlive, it would only go on Facebook. For Twitter I had to manually select to post it (from the Friendica’s message composer). I always forgot to do that. Now, when I tag a post with #tromlive on TROM’s Friendica page, it goes on both. Great! However if I were to add an image to such a post, on Friendica, it would not upload the image on either. It would only post the message. I fixed that. If I make a post and tag it with #tromimg instead of #tromlive, then the post goes on Facebook and Twitter and also uploads the Friendica’s image. So a proper post with an image on those networks. That’s very useful since at times I make posts and add images to these posts on Friendica, and I want the images to also go on the ad-networks.
 
Another thing I did: we have released our TROM II Documentary campaign, and the documentary will take at least a year to finish. And I want to post updates about the work since it is a very important project for TROM. So on the campaign page tromsite.com/trom2, I have added the same RSS feed like I did for TROM Live, only that this time it only posts items that are tagged #trom2 from Friendica’s TROM page and my personal Friendica account.
 
It sounds complicated but it is NOT. I still only posts on 2 accounts on Friendica, mine and TROM’s. On mine I post all the time, on TROM’s only when there is an important update that I want to stream to all social networks. And I have to keep in mind 3 tags:
 
#tromlive – the posts go to TROM Live + Facebook + Twitter, if they come from TROM’s Friendica. And they go only to TROm Live if they come from my personal account since that one is used for the work I do.

#tromimg – it is exactly as above, the only difference is to use this tag when I also post an image together with the message. And this is only relevant for TROM’s Friendica page.
 
#trom2 – when I post updates about the documentary
 
So imagine I want to make a post telling people about the next TROM-Cast. Since it is an important message for TROM, I will post on TROM’s Friendica page and tag it with #tromlive. That’s all. And it goes on TROM Live, Twitter, and Facebook. If I post something important about TROM II and I also include an image, I do that from TROM’s Friendica account again, and tag with #tromimg and #trom2, and it will go to TROM Live, Facebook, Twitter, and our TROM 2 campaign page.
 
#tromlive pushes posts to all of our places (TROM Live, Facebook, Twitter). #tromimg does the same only that it also uploads an image to those. And #trom to posts on TROM II campaign page. Combine them and it is great. Easy. Not difficult at all :).
My experience with the Manjaro Forums

My experience with the Manjaro Forums

This is about my past 2 years experience with these people, but to be honest it is an experience with some of them, not the majority of them. The article won’t be as long as it should since I linked to a bunch of discussions to highlight my points. In all, the Manjaro Forums are littered here and there with very mean schoolgirls that I felt like they conspired against me and TROMjaro :)). And TROMjaro became, from a Manjaro “spin” that was appreciated by a bunch on their forum, to this black sheep that admins got allergic to. And I wonder why since I’ve been very friendly there….let’s see. We debated about the trade-free idea, morality and ethics, about Manjaro and TROMjaro, and more.

I added some videos of me scrolling through the threads I linked to just in case Manjaro removes them. You can easily pause the videos to read through them. It is almost like I scroll for ya’ :). If the videos cannot be played in the browser, right click and “save link as” and watch them on your computer.

I like computers. They are a great tool that let you express your thoughts and do stuff. You can write articles, make videos, podcasts, websites, software, and so forth. My relationship with them started in the late 90s when we had a very old computer – so old you won’t recognize that as a computer. Black and white, using floppy disks. I was playing around through the MSDos system back then. It even had 2-3 old and weird games installed.

In the early 2000 a french lady came to Romania (via a school program or whatever) and stayed at our place. Eventually she bought us a Pentium computer. Now in color. Now even bigger floppy disks. I was playing Aladin and other such games, while poking around Windows 95. I quickly learned a thing or two about Windows and evolved with a few Pentium computers and pirated versions of Win98, later on XP, Vista or Windows 7.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LVjLA5HrQYM/TJzCjCGtDDI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/CEPOCg21dFA/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/all-widows-driver-logo.jpg

For more than 10 years I was playing with Windows. I was the guy you would call to install Windows on your computer or repair your Windows installation. I tweaked Windows to its limits so much so that I remember one day the “internet” guy came to set up my connection and windows looked so different that he was unable to navigate my computer. Like you would click a tree and the file manager will open haha. I spent so much time in front of the computer back then, learning how to make websites, edit videos or photos, and much more.

I never knew of another operating system. Until around 2012 when I started to hear more and more about Ubuntu and Linux. Back then Windows was pushing an awful update called “windows-ads-8”. They started to push ads inside the operating system and made it collect as much data as possible, and overall I felt like I don’t have control over this monster.

I tried Ubuntu and I was super impressed about this new world of Open Source. No drivers needed (everything worked out of the box), a Software Center (so bye bye using Google to install weird .exe files), and so easy to customize. I liked it so much that I migrated to it for several years, learning more and more about what Linux and Open Source are.

Although there were so many Linux distributions out there (Ubuntu being one of them), and me testing many of them, one stood up. Manjaro. Manjaro brought what Ubuntu lacked: super easy installation of software and access to a lot more software than Ubuntu by default. Their “software center” was full of every app, driver, and package you can imagine. I loved it. I didn’t have to use the terminal ever again to install some specific packages like I did in Ubuntu. Manjaro was also pushing updates faster so you got to taste the bleeding edge of the Open Source. After 4 years of using Ubuntu I switched to Manjaro.

Manjaro also had a great forum full of knowledge and from my experience back then, full of very nice people.

I am doing a lot of online work. I write books, make documentaries, videos, curate videos, news, software, documentaries, courses, I have a music website, a personal blog, and more. I am super busy so I need a computer that works. Although Manjaro didn’t work very well out of the box, in time I made it work thanks to the updates pushed by the Open Source community and some help from the Manjaro forums. I wanted to help Manjaro by suggesting some (maybe) knowledgeable improvements from my past experience with Windows and Ubuntu.

I started by making this post on their forum in 2018 “What I would add/change to Manjaro” (video). I just wanted to suggest some improvements.

The feedback was overall nice and at times useful, but then you’d see comments like this out of nowhere:

we seem to have this topic every couple of months and almost always posted by a newcomer hell-bent on changing Manjaro to their vision of what they want it to be without paying the dues necessary to even really now what that is. Not in truth.

Maybe you could read their posts and you little gossip-whores can get your ■■■■ together on this topic?

My best advice is to get some more (a lot more) time under your belt truly using Manjaro as-designed. Really learn Manjaro, rather than your very limited, mostly cursory examination before you go anywhere else with this topic.

Your post is specious at best.

You can read the entire thing for yourself to see that all I wanted was to suggest some improvements. A month later, this guy Jonathon closed the thread out of the blue with the message “I need to read through this thread. Call me tomorrow.”. Tomorrow never came for Jonathon or no one called him because that thread remained closed.

I said ok….you know, their forum, their rules. Interestingly after months, they did implement one of my suggestions from that post: to sort installed applications by date. So apparently it was a useful suggestion in the end.

Next I thought to suggest to them to add more types of packages in their Software Center, like appimages, snaps or flatpaks. “Appimages, snaps, and flatpaks in Manjaro’s Package Manager” (video). That post got a lot of attention and the responses were mixed. The discussion seemed a bit more fruitful, but guys like this Jonathon either started to have a crush on me or hated me for some reason. 🙂

He’s sarcasm is palpable :).

In the end I understood that it can be a bit complicated to add these other packages to the same software center. I said ok, I got their points. Now, 2 years later and they did just that. Flatpaks and Snaps are integrated into their Software Center….and it is great. But seeing so many no-sayers being bothered by a mere suggesting such an idea, was depressing.

In time I wanted to suggest some applications that were not found in their Software Center so maybe they can add them. I didn’t know how that works so I thought to suggest stuff. This (video) post is an example how the discussion escalates very quickly into a very mean tone. Jonathon seems to be my nemesis haha. At the end of this thread he posted a comment then closed the thread so I can’t reply. Later on we at TROM ended up making an app for AUR for that image converter that I was suggesting…And also, like Jonathon suggested, to make a post and ask if anyone can add these apps to their repositories, I did so here (video). No one did them. We made them eventually…

After some more discussions on their forum I decided to build my own version of Manjaro since that could be easier than requesting this or that. I said it could be a great way to also showcase this idea of trade-free in action, applied to software. I did so, after weeks of learning how. I got some help here and there on their forums. And I did it.

https://www.tromjaro.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/simple-desktop.png

I even asked (video) how to not duplicate the work and be part of their team to add new applications to their repositories, but that led to nowhere….I wanted to help directly, I asked how, but I wasn’t able to.

A few months later everyone started to get pissed off when Manjaro made a deal with a company called FreeOffice and started to promote their Office Suite instead of LibreOffice, which was trade-free. Basically Manjaro wanted to ship with FreeOffice by default and get rid of LibreOffice. FreeOffice is a freeware, meaning that they use the word “free” but it is almost as relevant as using the word “meat” as in MeatOffice, since they are so much about Free as they are about Meat. They are selling pro subscriptions if users want to really use their software. We know this tactic very well. All companies engage in it. So I, like others, wrote about it on their forum. My comment started here. What followed was a heated debate of the influence of trades on such projects. And, again, in the end, after such discussions, Manjaro agreed not to ship with MeatOffice installed by default. Maybe my noise added to the decision, yet while making the noise, people on the forum jumped at me like wild dogs.

I finished TROMjaro and I wanted to showcase it on their forum since they have a section where people post their versions of Manjaro. And so I did here (video).

This post is now locked and hidden from Manjaro’s forum or any search engine, so no one can see it unless they have the link. What was so awful about this thread that they made it like that? I recommend you to read it for yourself to judge. Basically all I wanted is to showcase what we did with TROMjaro. But shortly after, I was accused that all I wanted was to promote our “ideology” and such….

This Jonathon even moved the discussion about the “ideology” to a different thread, so that we “keep on point” in the first one. Here (video) he moved it. Guess what? He closed it in a few days or hours, I don’t remember….There is a interesting discussion in this thread and I recommend you read it ;). We basically debated over this trade-free idea. What is trade and so forth. It is an interesting discussion overall. I tried my best to keep calm and reply to their points. In the end their questions were very silly but well….

I tried to communicate with these people over private messages as seen here:

One of the private messages is in romanian since the guy was apparently from romania – he contacted me to “threaten” me haha

And this one when I contacted Jonathon about him editing my comments:

Aaron also posted about TROMjaro in their German section of the website, to then have its post removed entirely by the same Jonathon. Aaron contacted the guy in charge of Manjaro (since the guy is from Germany) but not much was done….

It is interesting that when I first made TROMjaro and showcased it to some people on some threads on their forum, some of them recommended me to brand it as TROMjaro to be better like that (more unique). We were using the Manjaro logos and such, because I didn’t care. Yes it was and still is Manjaro with some tweaks and unique features. Actually the guy in charge of Manjaro’s Gnome version (what we use) thought me how to brand TROMjaro so that I can remove the Manjaro branding. And so we did. To later on be “accused” that all we did is to remove Manjaro’s branding and added our own….

I really started to feel like on the Manjaro’s forum there are a bunch of mean schoolgirls that want to poke at you, and from that moment on, after the post about TROMjaro that got the attention of thousands of people, I was doomed on that forum :). I simply could not mention TROMjaro without someone being “mean” to me about it. Like take this recent post where someone asked what others think about TROMjaro and the first reply is from my crush, Jonathon, who says:

It is not the first time he deflects people from TROMjaro to other Linux Distributions. Funny part is that he recommended one that is already dead, Cleanjaro. Better dead than sorry, right!? :))

Over the past 2 years I think I mentioned TROMjaro a few more times, and others did it too, for sure, but I do not know if all of these posts are still available or not on their forum. They are keen to close threads and/or make them invisible. At one point this Jonathon started to edit my comments to remove links to our TROM books when they were questioning me about our trade-free idea. They were saying that linking to our stuff is promotion….I mean these are the sources I have about the idea. Jeez…

Seeing their childish attitude I decided to forget about their forums completely, despite me using them in the past to help others too, so not only to fix my own computer problems. Until today….

You see, Manjaro pushes a lot of updates almost weekly. That’s great since it means a lot of new features. But that also means users are bothered with constant update notifications. On top of that, it makes it mathematically more likely for the system to break here and there if you push so many updates. Overall we keep TROMjaro super simple and updates go smoothly most of the time. At times they break stuff and I have to deal with the aftermath for TROMjaro users that contact us, and the same is true for manjaro that has to deal with the same aftermath but in larger quantities. From my experience Manjaro could make it easier for people to deal with the updates and also to install and remove software. Just a few minor improvements can make the experience better in my view. And so, like in the past, I thought to make a post on their forum to tell them about my ideas. And guess what happened? 🙂 They closed the thread in a few hours after I posted. Am I that evil? Please read the thread if you have the time and decide if this thread should have been closed… “A few ideas about handling the installation and updates of software in Manjaro after 1 year of experience” (video).

I was about to add this comment when they closed again the thread:

As the story goes, maybe in a few months time they will take these suggestions into account….

It is sad to see this attitude from an Open Source project. Maybe some of these creatures got too bothered by all kinds of users posting crap on their forum and their patience is as thin and robust as a fart in a storm. 🙂

I wanted to make this blog post to let people know about all this. I will definitely stop posting on their forums. It is beyond ridiculous how they handled my threads and comments. Maybe you have the time to go through these pages of content, maybe you don’t, but it is the proof that some of Manjaro Forum admins are like little kids that get protective with their toys and if they get pissed off by you then you can fuck off cause they will forever hate you! “meanfaceemoji”.

The good part is that, Manjaro being open source, I can continue the work on TROMjaro uninterrupted and undisturbed. Despite our differences we can use each other’s work. I can suggest features to Manjaro directly to their project’s Gitlab pages and forget about their forum. There at least it seems like they are more “pro” and these mean little girls from the forum do not travel to such places that often.

In the end, I made some of them think a bit about this trade-free idea and I’m sure TROMjaro made them curious a bit in like “what the fuck is this”. At least that, if not more ;).

OurMinds.Online, a new project

OurMinds.Online, a new project

I created a new project: OurMinds.Online. Before I explain what it is, I want to explain why it is.

Many years ago I bought the tromblog.com domain thinking that I will start a blog-like-website where I can quickly and easily write about interesting topics. I started a blog around 2006 in the romanian language and I used it as my mind-collector for many years already. It is damn comfortable to have access to such a place where you can cook your thoughts at low flame. No distractions. No competition. No disposable content. It is you and your mind.

But in today’s world humans choose to rent their thoughts to these “social ad networks”. Sure, it is a comfy way of transcoding your ideas into these “posts”, through your “mandatory” account. Billions are on faceplant, instapoop, twerkter, and the like, so for them having a “blog” is too old fashioned. Too difficult. Too expensive. Too unknown. Humans got trained by today’s trade-based society to want 100kg of content now! And in powder format so that they can easily mix it with water and drink it in-between taking a shit. Thoughts are brief and meaningless. They must be shocking, extreme, or in image format in order to suck-in some likes or reactions. Else they disappear. It is the dementia of today’s Internet. Thoughts come and go. Disposable content. A post-posted 5 hours ago seems long forgotten into the abyss of other disposable thoughts.

It is true that making your own website seems like cooking again. We are used to fast-foods, or meals that come pre-cooked, and all we have to do is either order them or put them into the microwave. It is fast, we say. It is easy, we think. But despite those being true, eating junk food may have some impacts on your health such as obesity or other disturbances of your insides. Having a blog seems like starting to cook for yourself. And, in a way, it is. But the advantages are palpable.

I will explain.

Faceplant banned me a few times because I posted some titties or ass-chicks, or some “violent” message on their platform. Despite these posts being about educational content, they got evaporated by their system faster than most men ejaculate at their first sexual encounter with a female. Under a minute. These posts never saw the light of the inter-web. These “gestures” are a reminder that you are not allowed to post your thoughts on such networks, you are only allowed to post certain thoughts. You know, similar to what China does overall. It is the same. Look, if it taste like poop, it smells like poop, and it looks like poop, then stop eating that chocolate! Faceplant and China are the same kind of ‘chocolates’.

So, despite being easier to eat fast-food meals, in the long run all you do is rent your thoughts to these platforms that will become your Pavlov, training you like Pavlov trained his dog. In small but consistent steps, your behavior will reflect their rules. Today they ban your dick, tomorrow they ban you protest. On top of this, they collect your data and inject ads into your face, so these platforms are anything but free. And they are ugly and cluttered.

You are their customer, but they did a hell of a job to make you feel like their “user”, their friend. You know….they just want to connect the world…. A few weeks ago I saw this documentary and I almost puked when one of faceplant’s high rank bosses said that their mission is not to make money. That’s secondary. Their mission is to connect people. Sure…and the US military’s mission is to say “hi” to people from all over the world. Greet them. Meet them. Visit their places and remember their faces.

Ok. An account. Constant trading of data and attention. Plus, limited choices in terms of what you think and share on these high flame ovens where everything evaporates really fast. So, how else can one share their thoughts online? Well, this is either much harder than you think or much easier. If you are already a wixfanboi, then for a merely 9 euros a month you get access to an easy tool to create your website. Yes, you only get 3GB storage, or like my inner photographer would say “enough to host a few high quality photos and one video”. Yes you get 2GB of bandwidth, so hopefully you are one of those that no one knows about, because if Eva, Mily and Bono go through your photo gallery twice a month, they will completely destroy your monthly plan. And yes, going for a 13 euros a month plan will give you enough to satisfy your tits. Their website builder is “easy-and-fun” to use and all that.

There are a plethora of such services out there nowadays, and they seem to be one step away from social-ad-networks in terms of “your-place”. Although I understand that it is easy to pay these centralized places to host your thoughts, my thoughts are too important for me to surrender them to any company. So, how do I cook then?

WordPress for now.

I will make some articles on tromjaro.com about how one can create an entire website, in an very easy manner, on their computer and broadcast it online without the need of any company. This is a new thing, but a super exciting one. For now, we still need some companies to create and host websites, else how can others access them?

If faceplant is like fast-food (someone else cooking high fat and high sugar food for you), and wixy is like that Blue Apron thing, that sends you home the raw ingredients and easy-to-follow steps to cook one meal at the price of three, then WordPress is mostly like you having access to a supermarket and buying what you need and cooking what you want. Doesn’t seem so daunting, right?

If you use Dreamhost (where we host our websites for now), it costs you around 4 euros a month to have a Wodrpess website with unlimited bandwith and storage. Of course these are “unlimited” as in “limited but you probably won’t exceed our quota”. In any case, for almost 3 times less the price, you could have a WordPress website. But then, it is hard to build a website in Wordpres you say? Those days when WordPress was only managed by Bobby who finished IT, are gone. Wodpress, the default installation (done by your hosting automatically most likely), is what we use for OurMinds.Online and it is as easy as wixy, if not easier. You can choose any of the thousands of templates out there, then customize it (easy-peasy, drag and drop, click and edit). Then any page you create, post you write, is as simple to do as any Word document.

Add text, images, buttons, galleries, super easy. I won’t go into details, but if anyone is scared of WordPress, then this “anyone” never got to taste the default WordPress installation in 2020. It is almost like never going out to buy food for yourself, thinking that’s too complicated.

So, cooking in WordPress is super easy and if you want to get cocky, and cook that Italian dish, you can do it in WordPress, granted that you learn the simple notion of themes+plugins. In WordPress you have blocks of elements, drag-and-drop style, and you have to install and enable them and tweak. After all, if you want to cook some exotic dishes you should at least read some recipes or watch some video tutorials, else you should stick to that fast-food. Despite WordPress, the default installation, being super simplistic yet complex enough for the vast majority of needs, it also allows a great expansion of creativity and complexity, something the other alternatives do not allow. You can also easily export all of your WordPress data and move your stuff to another server if Dreamhost or others start touching you inappropriately. Not to mention that you can even install WordPress on your own computer and run it from there. But that’s for the chefs.

So, now that I made my arguments of why it is important to have your own online space, and how to do it, let’s talk shortly about OurMinds.Online.

TROM is now comprised of a bunch of heads that, over the past 2 or so years, got more and more close to each other. More vocal, More themselves. They want a voice. Some have one through their websites, videos or other means, but some do not. For some setting up WordPress may still be challenging and it is understandable if you never had to deal with such cooking before. On top of that, I can cook pretty well in WordPress, so I can help out very easily.

TromBlog was more than my place, I wanted it to be a place for other TROM-like-minds, but then I thought it will be difficult to fact-check everything people may post in TROM’s name. So I gave up to the idea.

A few weeks ago, my neighbor Dima (the pirate who’s sober), told me about this idea of his to create a website where TROM-like-minded people would post. He said, it could be interesting for the ones who “follow” us to have a central hub where we post, rather than us posting on our own websites, spread across the ocean of the internet, like lonely migratory birds. I argued against that since, again, I was thinking it is a pain in the ass to keep an eye on the possible BS that some may post and such. Plus, I won’t give up my tiotrom.com anytime soon. He said he can copy-paste the articles that we write on our own websites, to this central hub. But….you know, some of such articles have custom made layouts and such….I argued against. On top of that I was busy with other stuff so I said if he wants to do it, he should try and see what’s the result. But I said I won’t be able or willing to help :D. I was a mean-machine.

A few weeks have gone and then Jen, this other TROM creature, sends us a “rant” (article) about this COVID-19 spectacle. Very good “rant”. But it was in a Google Docs…she writes very well and in a very interesting way. But Boogle Gocs?! I also talked to Yoann who wanted to build his own website…he’s another TROM-mind :). So then I said, fuck it, let’s build a super simple WordPress website and host it on TROM’s servers and give trade-free access to these creatures. One thing was different from my TromBlog idea: this time it’s not a TROM project, it is an independent one so anyone can post whatever they want. So, I won’t stress myself over what anyone posts. It is a trade-free service that I create for them. Period. 🙂

And so, OurMinds.Online was born. Now anyone close to TROM has a voice. It is their trade-free supermarket of goodies. They will find here the most basic ingredients to create any food they wish. Sure, we are limited in terms of storage space for example, but that’s a real limitation not an artificial one that these other companies create. There are no trades. No data collection, no ads, no one to censor the content. The website is divided into Thoughts and Minds, and they are self-explanatory. A mind is a person. A thought are the person’s ideas. So, you can see an accumulation of our thoughts on this website, or our individual minds. I made sure to keep this website super simple and to the point. I hope you all like it and we will start posting more and more stuff there ;).

In time, I want to give access to more and more people to post there. But we need to know them a bit, else we end up with conspiracy theories and all kinds of crap, and we don’t want to pollute this space. OurMinds.Online is a trade-free “service” for a few TROM people. Let’s see how it will evolve!