The Edge of Europe

Europe is a somewhat contorted triangle at the Western extreme of Eurasia.

Like most other regions, Europe is habitually presented with north pointing up. Which is fine, that is a standard and standards help us take in geographical data without having to reorient ourselves. This the familiar, to us Europeans at least, standard representation™ of Europe (I’ve used Google Earth for all these projections).

However, going back to Europe being a triangle, more or less, to get different European perspectives we should go to the three sides of that triangle. Beginning with

Atlantic Europe

This is the dominant side, more people live to the west and they are overall richer. Viz the Blue Banana.

Also the Atlantic side is to a large extent Trans-Atlantic. What happens on the American continent, particularly North America, matters most.


Mastodon/Vivaldi as a POSSE publishing platform

This earlier dialog

Toot-sized summary:
Mastodon: cool
Integration with Vivaldi users: cooler

But you can go further (given time, desire and business case): two-way bridge between Mastodon and all your other content

Even further: POSSE-style publishing platform on

Even further: Social networking repository supported by the browser itself

Daniel Aleksandersen

What do you mean by “social networking repository”? An archive of your timeline Mastodon timeline?

Quite literally a private copy of all your included social network activities (Mastodon as a starting point).

This was not practically possible before because social networks were unstructured web sites, owned by companies that wanted to exclude outside services built on top of them. But when (more or less) built on open standards, a browser would know what it is dealing with.

So yes, ultimately Vivaldi as a Mastodon+ client, directly and/or via extension.

Thus POSSE (“Publish Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere“) concept, only taken further in a few directions.

1. can be an “Own Site” as a starting point. Publish there, replicate elsewhere (according to user-set rules, with reasonable easy defaults and UI). The (re)publishing is kept track of.

This will include unpublished entries (“entry” here refers to tweets and toots and posts and blogs and whatever else it around), what I call repository.

A scenario a local active collection and 1+ cloud-stored BLOBs for safety.

2. This can at later be moved back to the browser, either as a structured collection, like on or as an encrypted BLOB. The later mostly for privacy. Since Vivaldi doesn’t need to know if just used as a backup, can switch between the two.

3. Open protocol syncs browser/ Now the user doesn’t depend on and can “POSSE” somewhere else if wanted.

4. As mentioned “entries” need not be restricted to toots, I can come back to that.

But for now I have only talked about Vivaldi as a publishing platform, the read-write-web. This matters, but most do a whole lot more reading and connecting than they do creating.

This would be a point to take stock. You are already doing publishing on So up until now, it would be doing the same things slightly differently.

The way we mostly use social networks is to consume and to connect. A user agent could improve on both. Followers and following are types of contacts, connections.

Likes, favourites, and reactions are forms of metadata, or bookmarks. Should you e.g. be able to search for entries that have made you angry? (search is constricted in Mastodon for social reasons, but searching your past is different).

5. However, what I went on about is a different tack. I am not merely interested in what I have written on social media, but the context in which it was written.

When I reply to someone, or if a non-spammer replies to me, I am interested in those entries, that should be in the repository as well. Not my entries so deletable read-only.

Cache concept matches well, this is part of my social cache. With URLs to live, versioned or archived versions.

Have you looked at Secure Scuttlebutt? It’s another alternative to Mastodon and Twitter. (It’s not interoperable with either, though.) Every user hosts their own repositories of what they’ve said as well as the people they follow. Users exchange repositories through “pub” servers. It might be something to try if you want to explore these ideas. Although, persistency might not be what you want from a social network.

This is what you get with a self-hosted Mastodon instance. You get your own copy of everything you share and everything anyone has ever shared with you. I’m not sure there’s a lot of value in duplicating that as a client-application. But, there might be a feature in an existing Mastodon client for all I know.

That’s the perspective of a site owner. For Vivaldi it isn’t much difference between client-side, web site, or cloud-like, if that is an available option.

But if you don’t trust,, or your Mastodon instance, would you trust to stay viable long term?

If you have a repository with at least one mirror, you are no longer dependent on your chosen Social Network Provider (hereafter SNP) to maintain your stuff responsibly.

(Also note it wouldn’t be a Mastodon site, but multiple SN accounts hosted by multiple SNPs.

Unless you are a media organisation, you probably won’t have dozens of accounts to maintain, but you probably will have at least a couple, and easily a handful. Type Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to take three closed ones. Some would be Snapchat-ish fire&forget, others you’d hold on to for years or decades.)

Peace of mind, and ability to change SNP as easily as changing phone provider is nice, though hardly a killer app. But it is a good base to add new services on top.

(It might become a killer app in a manner of speaking. Competition is important. Lock-in to be avoided. If this can be shown to work, SNPs might be required by EU or equivalent to provide such an out )

A Game of Discrimination

The trigger

It began with a question in a tweet:

That is “How can people be blind to a systemic behaviour they participate in?” The question has a specific context (US white evangelicals), but I liked the question on its own, context-free.

If something is systemic, it may not be evident to any particular participant. In a psychological sense certainly (repression, cognitive dissonance and all that), but it could literally not be evident. You could discriminate or be discriminated against without knowing, or conversely you could think you are without it being the case. When something is embedded in a system, it can be hard to tell unless you know the system.

That led to another thought: What about a simulation where nodes discriminate based on pre-set properties, A Game of Discrimination?


Retelling the future, chapter 1: The end of the PC


Coming back to has led to me reconnecting to this Vivaldi blog, originally on My.Opera,com beginning 18 years ago. Two months after Facebook, a website that has turned out rather more successful so far. Like every web publication of age, it has the signs of aging like link rot and moving resources.

This series will dredge out past futures from that stream. Let’s begin with the personal computer:


Slow and Federated Media

I have long been a fan of slow news.

This is a fairly consistent rule: The lower the update frequency, the higher the information quality. You get to know what is about to happen, why, and who is involved.

The higher the frequency, the more flicker. This just happen. And now this just happened. And another thing. Unending, and devoid of context.

This traps you in a moving vehicle where all you can see is through the rear window.

Slow talking

What applies to news, also largely applies to social media. Of course often we do want and need immediacy. Brainstorming might not work as well if you had to wait a day for each participant to respond (or wouldn’t it?).


Breaking the garden walls

Europe has a social media #infosec issue. Most social media are American, some Chinese, a few Russian. No European. They were taken over by Facebook on its rise. Primary issue is their near monopoly power, but this event highlights that ownership is a risk as well.

Concentrated media ownership is nothing new. English language mass media has been dominated by the Murdoch family for decades. Media mogul Berlusconi is back in government in Italy. The US had Hearst. Would seem media are natural monopolies that can be owned and taken. But are they really?

To be clear, the solution wouldn’t be EuroBook (or for that matter Afritter or AsiaTube). Nor as such initiatives like #Mastodon.


Building beasts and bridges, a Vivaldi way

This entry builds on this Medium article: On Beasts and Bridges

While that article covers the background and philosophy of social media integration, this post and follow-ups, here or on Mastodon is intended to be more practical.

I do not know what Vivaldi plans for social media, either on or in the browser, but I know what I would want:

  1. A way for me to have full control of all my social media content,
  2. and the interactions they are a part of,
  3. handled by software I can trust, and replace.

The Vivaldi Mastodon

Vivaldi has not just a Mastodon instance, but also an as yet relatively basic integration with the other social offerings. This is ahead of other mastodon instances, but more will follow.