TheMessage Edition 004

1 – Utopia Trivia – What may be considered the technological grandfather of Utopia?

Look for the answer to this trivia question in this week’s long-form article, entitled “A Deeper Look Inside The Rabbit Hole of Utopia – PART I”.

2 – A Deeper Look Inside The Rabbit Hole of Utopia – PART I

The memory of man is short and his attention span even more fleeting. If you wish to more fully appreciate the revolutionary potential of Utopia’s P2P Ecosystem, you must have an appreciation for how revolutionary and empowering the technologies that came before it really were. Before cryptocurrencies, before Bitcoin, before Bittorrent, before Napster and even before the modern internet we know today, there was Usenet. A name derived from “User’s Network”, Usenet was considered the first telecommunications system to utilize what can be described as peer-to-peer technology. To quote Columbia professor and co-author of “Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet”, Michael Hauben wrote, “A new communications medium is currently in its infancy. Over the past two decades the global computer telecommunications network has been developing. One element of this network is called Usenet (also known as Netnews)… In its simplest form, Usenet represents democracy.” How can a technology represent democracy? What did Hauben mean by this?

Usenet was a system of communication established publically in 1980 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University that enabled individuals to post articles or messages on their own server that then get propogated to other servers connected to the network. The technical underpinnings of the Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol this system uses are not as important as what it enabled. Users could now share ideas, make announcements and have open discussions with potentially anyone around the world. There were no gatekeepers, no power brokers, no one to obtain consent from before posting a question or challenging an established norm of society. At the heart of the democratic ideal is the power of the people to choose. Regardless of the corrupted manifestations of democracy we have around the world today, the ideal itself is about empowering people. One of the most fundamental powers of a people is the power to direct their own thoughts, form their own opinions and manifest their own ideas and then to be able to share those with others freely without fear, coercion or even permission.

The transformative and revolutionary promise of the internet itself is in its potential to enable such empowerment. If people could share their ideas, opinions and thoughts, no matter how subversive or unconventional those ideas may be to those in positions of power around the world, then the heart of the internet will have been preserved–the promise of the internet will have been fulfilled. But this promise is not assured, the transformative and empowering potential of the internet is not guaranteed.


3 – Update on TheMegaphone’s Utopia Meme Contest

January 27th, 2020 saw the kickoff of Utopia’s first Meme Contest at TheMerchant’s personal ECHO feed, TheMegaphone (Utopia Channel ID: 3277D61A3CF7BAEE951C0C6607532FB8 ) Users from around the world were invited and encouraged to submit creative, inspiring and humourous meme images about the Utopia P2P Ecosystem. This contest sought not only to engage community members in a network-wide creative effort, but also to help generate unique content that may be shared beyond the ecosystem to help inspire others and peak their curiosity about the ecosystem and its potential. As of the publication date of this 4th edition of TheMessage, there have been 68 unique submissions from 10 separate accounts in 3 different languages on Utopia. The competition is expected to heat up as we get closer to final deadline and all Utopians are invited to visit TheMegaphone on February 9th at 14:00 UTC when the finest and funniest submissions will be showcased by TheMerchant as the top prizes are awarded according to the following prize schedule:

1st Place: 50 CRP

2nd Place: 35 CRP

3rd Place: 25 CRP

4th Place: 15 CRP

5th Place: 5 CRP

Best Russian Language Submission: 15 CRP

Best Chinese Language Submission: 15 CRP

Please review article #4 in the previous edition of TheMessage for contest details and guidelines.

4 – Flashback: When is the Big Update Coming? (Appreciating the Creator’s Dilemma)

In honour of the most recent delay in the release of the much anticipated major update, TheMessage archives are being dusted off and the following article from 2 weeks ago is being republished:

Have you ever crafted a stone sculpture with your own hands? Have you ever tried to delicately place the final strokes of paint on a personal masterpiece, or compose the final few pages of a grand novel or indeed your own memoirs? When the artist, writer, or yes, even the developer is in charge of saying a personal project is ready for the public, there is an intense struggle with the self that comes about. As much as the creator wants his creation to see the world and to be seen by it, there’s always more to be done. The work is never quite refined enough for the creator who loves his creation with an intense and personal conviction. As much as Utopia P2P is created for the entire world to benefit from, as evidenced by the remarkable number of languages it has been made available in, it is also still a very personal project for the enigmatic team behind it. Recall that before the Beta was ever announced in mid-2019, the 1984 Group had been toiling away in secret for almost 6 years on the project. So when a major update is delayed by a few days or weeks, those of us who are excited to taste the fruit of the team’s toil, with TheMerchant firmly among them, are reminded of that struggle and the motivations behind it.

5 – Personal Note from The Publisher

In future editions of TheMessage, TheMerchant intends to address the important question of open-source software as it relates to security and encryption software, as well as to take a critical look at the cryptocurrency industry as the milieu into which Utopia has been birthed after years of incubation. Questions that will be tackled include: “Is Utopia just another cryptocurrency project?” (Hint: even just the classification does a disservice to the underlying technology of the platform and its potential), and “How is ‘mining’ in Utopia fundamentally different than traditional cryptocurrency mining?”.

Here’s where to find “The Rabbit Hole” that is Utopia for those who may be reading on the surveillance landscape of the clearnet:

TheMerchant Public Key: 0093DEFD354D78D4F035CF04A935DD211A9765B8779C68D30A9DA0B3EB06554F

TheMarket Channel ID: E95109799EC5047783C867F6AF6D4568

TheMessage Channel ID: BE91B84B9565C8429D214EBB10753E83

TheMegaphone Channel ID: 3277D61A3CF7BAEE951C0C6607532FB8