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[flagged] web0 manifesto (small-web.org)
96 points by cunidev 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 83 comments



“Blockchain” is a class of technologies. I don’t think I would even call it a specific technology. It’s more akin to “packet switching” than it is akin to “Ethernet” or “TCP/IP”.

I can understand some critics’ opposition to cryptocurrencies on public policy grounds (although I think most critics are too broad in their critique), or their opposition to NFTs based on the fact that many NFTs are bullshit don’t represent ownership of anything at all (although I think that will not always be the case).

What I don’t understand—and where these critics loose credibility with me—is their rejection of the entire class of blockchain technologies.

If you don’t want to use a blockchain to build your app, fine! Don’t do it!

But if I want to build my app with a blockchain integration, or using a blockchain to store a portion of my data, what’s your problem with that?

To me, it all sounds very similar to, “don’t build your app using Microsoft tech, only use open source” or “don’t use NoSQL for storage, use an RDBMS instead.” It’s like a new version of those ridiculous religious wars people would have over technology preferences, only now higher-stakes and even more passionate.


People dismiss blockchain mainly because it's a solution looking for a problem, something that's not true for the other examples in your last paragraph. The fact that the people who are trying to sell it almost always seem to peddle some old scams in a trenchcoat doesn't help.


It isn't a "solution looking for a problem" anymore than any technology repeatedly shoehorned into unnecessary situations. NoSQL and AI were deployed in the same overzealous fashion, with the latter producing almost as much snake oil as the blockchain scene.

If anything, it's the FOMO-ing developers of these techs that are looking for problems.


> NoSQL and AI were deployed in the same overzealous fashion, with the latter producing almost as much snake oil as the blockchain scene.

You must be kidding when you say that AI produced as much snake oil as cryptos. Sure, there were/are startups using AI as a selling point when there is not much behind, but in most cases AI actually solves real world problems and adds value. Cryptos are stricly a negative-sum game and ponzi schemes.


I wouldn't say "in most cases", but I would also point out that AI has probably not been at the center of quite so many scams.


I am not kidding. I work in the AI industry and I'd go so far as so say that less than half of deployed AI is properly tuned and not overfit. Tons of companies rushed to market half-baked "AI" solutions built by the cheapest "data scientist" they could find.

Just because it's corporate snake-oil doesn't mean it isn't snake oil.


Tell me how to solve decentralized consensus without having a blockchain, and I'll be the first to drop all my work with it.

Tell me how someone living in a country with heavy capital controls can participate in the global economy on equal footing with someone from a more developed country without blockchain, and you might be a candidate for a Nobel Prize.

Or tell me simply how someone can make a living with work that threatens the status quo without worrying about being ostracized.

If you want to have any kind of hedge against the continuous, systemic institutional failures, you can not simply try to build another system that puts another institution at the top.


> Tell me how to solve decentralized consensus without having a blockchain, and I'll be the first to drop all my work with it.

I doubt you will, but you asked, so: byzantine Paxos.

The point of the person you are responding to is that solving decentralized consensus is only an academic exercise. If your country wants to prevent your from participating in an economy, it can; the only recourse is political.


> byzantine Paxos.

Okay, I should've added "permissionless" to the list of desired properties. If you can a priori choose who gets to participate you´d have a point.

> If your country wants to prevent your from participating in an economy, it can

I think that the eternally losing "War on Drugs" should be a lesson that shows this is simply not true. Also, consider how Black Markets are a thing in authoritarian places, not free ones.

So, no, as much as a country can make it difficult for others, they can not outright stop anyone without significant cost to themselves.


No, it's a solution that solves the problem of centralization, stop with this "it's a solution looking for a problem" regurgitated rhetoric.


Standardized APIs solve centralization. The use of Merkle trees to store way too much data and make a distributed computer slower than any individual node has nothing to do with that.


No, they don't. They still don't ensure data availability, consistency and you still have to trust the API provider, a third party. Web3 does away will all that. You just use the service.


Decentralization itself is what gets you availability, not the blockchain structure. A consensus algorithm is what gets you consistency, not a blockchain structure. There's no need to store your data in the most wasteful way to store data and perform compute to get these features.

And "zero trust" is a myth. We can see that from the $7.7 BILLION in fraud that has been committed in crypto markets in just the last year. https://www.zdnet.com/article/scammers-grabbed-7-7-billion-w...


The blockchain data structure makes the data it encodes tamper-proof. It makes historical data immutable, and it makes the current state of a system and the state transitions that led to the current state fully auditable in a shared-data context. These features enable applications that might otherwise incentivize illicit data tampering (such as applications that deal with asset account balances and ownership records) to be decentralized. I am unaware of another solution to this particular problem.

"Zero trust" is meant to refer to the data layer: because the current state of a blockchain system can be re-generated deterministically from the historical data—which is immutable and fully auditable—you don't have to trust anyone's version of the current system state, even if you are not yourself currently keeping a copy of it.

These technologies do not solve all of the moral and ethical problems that humanity faces, but I don't think anyone is claiming that they do. Blockchains don't stop people from deceiving each other, and they don't make people smarter so that they entirely avoid introducing bugs into their software, and they don't stop people from trying to steal from one another.

But they do make it possible to decentralize high-value data records that would otherwise need to live in high-security environments controlled by governments or well-capitalized businesses that would also need to be trusted 100% not to tamper with those records.


How does decentralization give you availability? You need a financial incentive to make data available, that's where the tokens come in. Also stop conflating all crypto with scams, it's a moot point and borders on arguing in bad faith. People use good old money to run scams and rob people all the time. The fact that people use the tool with malicious intents doesn't detract from the value of the tool itself.


Stop ignoring the fact that scams happen in this system that you proponents say is supposed to solve the ills of the current economic system!


I personally don't care about DeFi, I only care about the technological aspect. The tokens are just a mean to use the decentralized service. And again, people misusing the tool does not detract from the merits of the tool.


It's because people saying "I'm just building my own app with blockchain, don't hate me", are either lying to us or to themselves.

Every honestly distributed blockchain is scam or soon to be scam, because to incentivize distribution a rewards are required (tokens), and that completely upends social expectations of the app, regardless of its stated purpose. Node keepers and token owners want to pump the token price by any means necessary. App users (if any) are facing an adversary and hostile environment because they are the afterthought, second class, and hodlers are a priority.

Centralized blockchain on the other hand is simply ridiculous, except for the ultra narrow market of version control systems. People are delusional if they think a centralized blockchain will ever be more useful for anything else than a normal DB.


Let's take another concept: Don't build your authentication on the idea of communication strictly through immutable cryptographic tokens (JWT). They do shine for resource sharing and caching though! So if someone completely rejected the idea of using cryptographic tokens completely, I'd say, wait a second...

So don't use blockchain to create a digital currency, or anything decentralized because it still needs a central authority to determine the truth. What is the actual use case then?! What app uses it successfully and solves problems that were hard to solve before?

I'm sincere, BTW. You sound like you have some examples in mind.


Why shouldn't one build authentication on the idea of communication strictly through immutable cryptographic tokens?


You can't log out other sessions, for example, if you don't have a central Auth point.

Anyway, this topic has been discussed to death already, you can also search in HN for detailed articles on the topic.


> If you don’t want to use a blockchain to build your app, fine! Don’t do it!

There you go.

> But if I want to build my app with a blockchain integration, or using a blockchain to store a portion of my data, what’s your problem with that?

Many people incorrectly associate 'blockchain' == 'Bitcoin' with all the issues it has. So anything blockchain is bad / scam / pyramid ponzi / planet destroyer, proof-of-waste (PoW), piece-of-sh*t (PoS) etc.

If web3 with blockchain / NFT / metaverse / etc is not the future, ignore it. Simple. I should not see anyone who hates blockchains, NFTs or metaverse in general to continue to comment on every. single. thread. tweet. or post about it. as it is excruciatingly difficult for some to do this.

So I will expect a ton of responses when another crypto scam happens, but not when an emerging regulated application of a blockchain project is used today.


> Many people incorrectly associate 'blockchain' == 'Bitcoin' with all the issues it has. So anything blockchain is bad / scam / pyramid ponzi / planet destroyer, proof-of-waste (PoW), piece-of-sh*t (PoS) etc.

The problem is that many people building blockchain projects mean "Blockchain" == "Ethereum", which is basically the same thing.


I think that the main frustration is that the way that Web3 and Decentralization are promoted in blockchain/crypto circles is as if they are the only means of decentralization, and that Web 3.0 === blockchain/cryptocurrency only. And with that shoving numerous non-blockchain tech under the carpet. Drowned out because not on the hype train where the money fountain is.


“don’t build your app using Microsoft tech, only use open source” is not a religious advice but a political and strategic one. It is about power, not technology.


What do you think religions are?


Agreed, the problem would be if we were forced to use blockchains, not if some people choose to use them. We aren’t there yet so I don’t see the problem.


I don’t mean to be stupid, but what’s the manifesto? All I get on this page is a form to sign the manifesto. The actual manifesto is…what?


>All I get on this page is a form to sign the manifesto. The actual manifesto is…what?

At the top of the page is a black box with white text that has the following pseudo-math propositions:

  web3 = decentralisation + blockchain + NFTs + metaverse
  web0 = web3 - blockchain - NFTs - metaverse
So it's playing on the arithmetic of '3' in "web3" minus '1' of blockchain minus '1' of NFT minus '1' of metaverse -- so the final math equation equals 0 -- which is the '0' in "web0".

And then the black text on white background then has: "In other words, web0 is web3 without all the corporate right-libertarian Silicon Valley bullshit."

I don't think there's really any more to it than that.


Still feels like it's missing a statement of some kind. Those are the definitions, fine. But it needs something like "We the undersigned pledge to [not buy NFTs / downvote Blockchain posts / promote alternative means of decentralization / etc]"

Currently the signature is basically just a "like" on a funny tweet.


If only there was a trust less way to sign something on behalf of a person, project, or organisation. /s

Instead of hating "web3" for all the bad actors using it, why don't we embrace web3 for what it can be? I see so much potential for it to replace all the current social logins that everyone hates, all the awkward digital (PDF) contract signatures, and ad ridden blog spam that could be funded with digital microtransactions.


The manifesto is "crypto is bad and weird and scary to me". Yeah yeah, decentralization... How, exactly? You run your own server? Is that decentralization?


I don't even get the idea of these web versions. They just seem like buzzwords to me.

Sure there are differences in the general trends with how people interact with the web and internet, but it's more complicated than that.

I understand the difference between Web1 an Web2 since web pages have become a lot more interactive over the years, but that doesn't justify making special terms for old and modern sites. Nobody goes around saying "this website is Web1 and this one is Web2." If a website looks old you just say it looks old.

There's no specific cutoff point that makes sense for web versions. Websites have slowly become more and more interactive over the years. Since pages started to become interactive, there have been so many changes to the web that are arguably just as worthy to get their own version numbers. CSS has gained so much more functionality, JavaScript has become a compilation target, and with the advent of WebAssembly, virtually any programming language to be used on the web.

All of the things that make Web3 different from Web2 seem like niche use cases for the web, not something that will replace everything like more interactive web pages have. There won't be any decentralized websites, there will just be a bunch of regular websites where you create an account to interact with technology that has been around for over a decade.

The other changes I mentioned actually pertain to the web, while the trendy stuff like the "metaverse" and "blockchain" actually have nothing to do with the web. Maybe they can interact with the web, but a lot of things can interact with the web. With the click of a button I can have virtually anything delivered to my doorstep, but for some reason owning a picture of a monkey is more impressive to some people.


> I don't even get the idea of these web versions. They just seem like buzzwords to me.

They are buzzwords. There was no Web 1.0. The "Web 2.0" was coined as an umbrella term for AJAX-using sites that allowed a lot more interactivity. It's not like some product got a version bump. It became vogue to refer to older style static or HTTP form POST sites as "Web 1.0".

Now the cryptobros are trying really hard to push "web3" as a buzzword for their dystopian blockchain based nightmares. Tim Berners-Lee had already started pushing "Web 3.0" to describe the semantic web technologies he's very excited about.


How ridiculous that the main feature is to "sign" the document but it asks for name and email instead of a cryptographic signature


Exactly... You'll know it is there when it is built. I've tried this approach before. Have an idea to build something you want but haven't built yet. You end up finding that it difficult to build and expensive. You try and fail at getting the money you need and so you market it and hope that you can get other people on board to build with same idea. People won't have the same idea until you can make it clear what that is and so the more information the better.


Signed, Jeff (jeff@amazon.com)


This seems silly. Blockchain is a means of achieving decentralisation, arguable one of the better ways as it currently stands. People abuse it by doing stupid shit like NFT, but that doesn't invalidate the use-cases for blockchain. That's like saying RDBMS systems are bullshit because people make banks with them and banks manage fictional money.

Block chain solves a real problem of trust (albeit with some caveats). NFTs do no such thing.


> Blockchain is a means of achieving decentralisation

Yes, but a very very specific one. It's low throughput by design (because it's a linked list of consecutive blocks that must be appended slowly enough for the network to converge), and to work properly it must be deeply tied to economic incentives.

> arguable one of the better ways as it currently stands.

No, and that's part of why most engineers don't like blockchains: the pretention to be a wold changing solution. Unless you want to build bitcoin, blockchains are probably not a good solution to decentralization. Depending on the definition of the word that matters to you there are technologies that do achieve decentralization in a much more significant way: Torrents, CRDTs, Paxos, or activitypub for instance, or just the good old web since anyone can host their own website as they whish.

And people who really care about decentralization have long known that this isn't a technological issue (since the web is ultimately decentralized as a technology, but completely centralized in practice) but a social one that won't be solve by “revolutionnary tech”. User experience is a key factor here, and blockchains have probably the worst UX ever (and as such, they are overwhelmingly used from centralized platforms, even more so than the actual web).


Even NFTs can solve a problem. Question is, how many additional problems are created with it. There is not a single popular blockchain project that serves the people (that I know of).


NFTs are just one more tool available in the crypto toolbox. It has actual uses, but people so far only used it to sell monkey jpegs


Really? I've personally yet to see or hear of a valid use-case that isn't overpriced jpegs. I'd love to know what those valid use cases are.


In-game digital items, tickets, reservations, certificates, coupons, keys, and many more use cases that haven't even been thought of yet because the technology has been around for barely ~4 years and is just now starting to see people to actually notice the potential in it, and the infrastructure to support it is finally maturing enough to realize that potential.

Remember that you only see overpriced JPEGs and the outrage about it because that's where the money (and hype, and marketing) is, but that doesn´t mean that people aren't using them to build other stuff. You need to give time for actually useful dapps to actually pop up, as opposed to just slapping a price on an image and calling it a day.


> In-game digital items, tickets, reservations, certificates, coupons, keys, and many more use cases

Literally none of these require blockchains. And literally none of these are aided in any way, shape, or form by NFTs.

For tickets specifically I already had this conversation recently, see my two responses here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29282931

> but that doesn´t mean that people aren't using them to build other stuff.

The question still stands: do show us this "other stuff" so that it actually requires this tech.

> You need to give time for actually useful dapps to actually pop up, as opposed to just slapping a price on an image and calling it a day.

Dapps have been around for 8 years now. So...


We don't need to use cars to get to places, so why do we use them? And no, dapps have been around for 8 years but essential infrastructure to allow for complex ones has been popping up only in the last year or so. (see https://thegraph.com)


> We don't need to use cars to get to places

Yup. Because all crypto and blockchains are the Internet, and cars, and all other great inventions. Even if all signs point to them being the next Juicero, Enron and AT&T ISIS Mobile Wallet.

> but

There's always a "but", isn't there?

> Except I did, and your answer was "Yeah but you don't need blockchain for that!", which further confirms that you don't want to hear answers.

Oh no. I do want to hear answers. What you don't want to hear is valid questions and criticisms.

Your "answers" for "useful applications for NFT" are literally just a list if things that don't require NFTs (or are made worse by them) and a car analogy.

As always with crypto peddlers, I might add.


There is no discussion to be had here. Again, you don't want to hear answers, and the hostile tone further confirms it. Again. Peace.


> There is no discussion to be had here.

Of course

> Again, you don't want to hear answers, and the hostile tone further confirms it.

Ah yes:

Me: provides a clear answer, links to an extended answer to one of the claims (about tickets and NFTs), asks for examples of actual useful applications of NFTs

birracerveza: starts the conversation with an ad hominem attack ("you don't want to hear answers"), repeats the same attack several more times, claims it is I who is hostile.

Yup. Crypto peddlers in all their glory


You are attacking with actual ad-hominems ("crypto peddler" is an ad-homimem, pointing out that you're refusing my answer is not), discarding everything I write based on "You don't need blockchain to do that" and then, when I point out you do not want to hear answers because your entire point is "You don't need blockchain to do that" you claim I'm the one "attacking" you, distorting the conversation to fit your agenda. Read the conversation and see who is attacking who. You're providing no useful input, you just want to scream at "crypto peddlers".

This is the last reply you're getting from me.


You will never get an answer to that


You will never get an answer if you're unwilling to hear the answers.


If only anyone would actually give satisfactory answers. And not wave hands and add "because blockchain".


Except I did, and your answer was "Yeah but you don't need blockchain for that!", which further confirms that you don't want to hear answers.


What is this current trend of being "anti" [insert your favorite hated component here], without even offering an alternative or a precise description of what is being proposed?

I would have expected at least a one-pager summing up what is the proposal about: The topic of decentralization is obviously very interesting and I wanted to read something technical about an alternative to "web3". Until then...


I agree. I don’t expect a hundred pages of text, but this “manifesto” fits into two tweets.


Resist!


I've been a fan of blockchains ever since I found bitcoin well over a decade ago. I'm a huge fan of decentralization, but the limits of blockchains have been pretty clear for a long time now.

While blockchains are cool and possibly fully decentralized, they don't scale well. So far we're no closer to finding a way to scale without making it more centralized. As usage goes up, centralization goes up too. One can no longer host a full node on basically any hardware.

I fully understand that people are sceptical. The amount of bullshit is insane, and basically no users have any idea about how any of this works. I've seen a lot of sites and services that promises you amazing things, without giving any details about how it archives it. Most people don't care if it works in a sensible way,they just don't want to miss out.


Avalanche and Tezos disagree with you. You can run a node on a raspberry pi.


If you think you can run a full node on a pi then I can't help you.

If you don't belive me, check e.g. avalanche: https://support.avax.network/en/articles/4064879-technical-r...


"Avalanche is an incredibly lightweight protocol, so the minimum computer requirements are quite modest. Hardware: 8 core CPU >= 2 GHz, RAM: 16 GB, Storage: 200 GB free space."

Is this satire? I can't tell anymore.


Thanks for correcting me, I confused it with Tezos.


Since all crypto crap uses their own terminology devoid of meaning, it's hard to figure out what something is.

However, for something called Tezos Baker the minimum requirements are: https://wiki.tezosagora.org/use/baking/setting-up-a-secure-b...

- Disk: 100 GB SSD (SSD is highly recommended over HDD)

- Memory: Recommended RAM for running a Tezos Node is 8GB

- CPU: Running with at least 2 cores is recommended

So, while technically you can run it on Raspberry Pi, it's pushing it.


Blockchain is a nice technology for having distributed consensus databases. NFTs are a good tool for protocols, identity and uniqueness in a decentralised system.

So they want decentralisation and reject some key technologies and tools to enable it?

I think it's time we dissociate the the technologies from its use. Blockchain is more than a ledger of monetary transactions. NFT is more than NFT art.


How about "the web" as a moniker, without a serial number? That is how the thing started and that is how it still can be used. HTTP still works, HTML still works, links still work and with that the web still works. Add whatever whiz-bang gadgetry you want but make sure the thing still works without the makeup and you're on the web - congratulations.


Reminds me of when it seemed like a reasonable thing to do to host a website on the world wide web from my home network.

The web was always decentralised, but various motivations and reasonable tradeoffs caused it accumulate a lot of crap. Maybe the point is that Web3 isn't really different in this respect.


> web0 = decentralisation

It’s already the thing, and it’s called Web 1.0. Oh, wait a second. This manifesto is from the same guy who basically stole the idea of indie web, called it “small web”, created poorly designed JS framework for it and made a website with big “please donate” button. Yep, seems legit.


I am getting an `alert(1)` when visiting this site. This smells like cross-site scripting. Beware.


I don't see the point of this?


The page uses HTML5 and it's responsive, so it's at least web 2.0


For me, Web 2.0 means that the page communicates with the server with something like AJAX or Websockets: content changes/is updated/is fetched from the server without a page reload; 1 web page = 1 HTTP request to an HTML page is not true.

It's not related to a version of HTML or to CSS features.


Flagged because it looks like this site has been XSS'd


There is really very little content here, particularly compared to the amount of well worn argument that it’s likely to engender.


> In other words, web0 is web3 without all the corporate right-libertarian Silicon Valley bullshit.

Yikes.Since when decentralization has been something different than a right/libertarian position?If anything not having centralized power is specifically that.

I see this train of thought from figures like Tim Pool (and even much "higher" intellectually speaking,not gonna name them), who seem to think free software and/or decentralization is a social and left-leaning issue and proposition.It's not, if you want to bring politics into discussion at least be accurate about it.Owning your own data,not being censored at will and having more control is a right/libertarian position, or at least not in anti-thesis with it.However people seem to think the internet is/can be used somehow as tool of revolutionaries against the state, that's not how it works(at least right now, where you don't have access to it w/o the government knowing about it).

Maybe it's only referring to the disgusting SV corporate aspect in the economic sense from things like NFTs, but this is vastly overblown.Corporations are not the ones selling the most NFTs snake oil right now, people are.Corporations only want to facilitate this sh*t show, I don't have a problem with that as long as the network is not centralized by them.(which is not, but people kind of pretend the internet is decentralized which is rather funny)


Another movement or group defined more or less only by what it is against rather than what it is for?


A petition is irrelevant. All that matters is a race to a product.


Thanks for the XSS Jo mama !


Web0 should have meant offline-only Desktop apps that are built with web technology like Electron.


Why was this post flagged?


Why do they authors consider blockchain + NFTs + metaverse“ to be “libertarian bullshit” but not decentralisation?


What the hell is this? Not sure what this manifesto is trying to achieve.


There is nothing political about web3, it has nothing to do with right libertarian. A blockchain is simply a database with decentralized writing properties and distributed reading properties.

Since when do databases have political leaning? That website is completely nuts.


Saying that NFTs and blockchain were "right-libertarian" is just polemic. Why is HN offering a public space for /pol/?

Please take your agitation elsewhere, guys.


It's always funny to me that these people can find so much support with this romance.




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