With Forums, Chat, and Social Media, Shire Society Shields Users from Big Tech
More than a decade ago, Facebook was still growing into the social media behemoth they are today. If you were around back then, you remember when it was actually useful for reaching friends across the world and keeping-in-touch.
There was a time, for instance, when you could create an event on Facebook and click an “invite all” box to invite all your friends to the event. Super handy! Every friend received an invite in their inbox and could make the choice to attend or not. The previous activist method of organizing – forums – did not have this calendar event feature, and understandably the activists migrated to Facebook as it seemed more useful for making things happen.
That was the first clue that things were not going in a good direction. At the time, you could still download a third-party browser plugin that brought the invite-all option back, but eventually Facebook changed their code so the plugin no longer worked. That was the end of easily being able to organize events on Facebook.
You’re leaving now, right?
Later, Facebook made it so you had to pay them if you wanted all your followers to see your posts. In more recent years we’ve seen anti-state events being taken down entirely and in recent days blanket bans applied to people with certain political views.
With record numbers of people leaving megacorporate state-worshiping sites like Facebook and Twitter for less-big-but-still-centralized communications platforms like Signal and Telegram, it’s finally cool to get off “Big Tech”.
Naturally, your friendly freedom-loving activists here at Free Keene have been encouraging this for more than a decade. It started when we launched the Shire Forum over a decade back. Originally the Free Keene Forum, it transitioned to become the Shire Society Forums after the Shire Society was formed in 2010. As one of the forum’s founders, I never cared for Facebook’s groups and wanted to keep forums alive as they were independents, self-hosted and open source.
Eventually the Shire Society Forums expanded to include other things like cryptocurrency discussion and non-Shire NH activism and media threads, so it was renamed simply “Shire Forum“. For the last few years it’s been running some super-modern forum software called Discourse. If you are a liberty-minded person considering a move to New Hampshire or already living here and you haven’t been on forums in many years – or ever – give the Shire Forum a try.
Join at Matrix.LRN.FM
Keene-area liberty activists have also been on the Telegram platform for chatting for most of the last decade. It’s long been the top-of-class of all centralized chat platforms on the planet. Slick, easy-to-use and great for group chats. However, while the source code for their clients is open-source, it’s not decentralized and so several years back we evaluated the Matrix – a decentralized, federated chat server system – and put its main client, then called “Riot” through the paces. It was good, but not great, and not easy-to-use like Telegram was. After about a year of trying it out, most of us gave up.
However, in 2020 we launched our own Matrix server after the centrally-hosted Discord corporation unceremoniously booted the LRN.FM chat server from its centrally managed platform. We knew it was coming and I’d heard that Matrix had a new client out called “Element” and that it was way better than its original “Riot”, so we launched our own Matrix server at Matrix.LRN.FM. It has been great, and the increase in freedom is palpable. No corporate masters are holding an axe over our heads.
Matrix is open source, self-hosted, and federated, which means that all of the Matrix servers on the planet are by default connected together, so users from one Matrix server can reach the rest of the planet’s Matrix users on other servers. Unless, a server admin disfederates, or blocks another server for whatever reason. Matrix is way more decentralized than Big Tech monsters like Discord. Technically, Matrix is polycentric – with many centers. If you don’t like one Matrix server, you can join another, or start your own. Element is indeed way better than Riot. If you want to try freer chat, join the LRN.FM Matrix server where you can join existing rooms or create and moderate your own, private or public. All freedom lovers are welcome, not just NH people.
Join the “FTL Social” Mastodon
The decentralizing liberty activist communications story doesn’t end there, however. Just this week we also launched our own federated, self-hosted social media platform called “FTL Social“. It’s running the open source Mastodon software which is also federated and polycentric, like Matrix. It’s open to voluntarists, liberty-loving anarchists, and libertarians from around the world who are looking for a place where their posts won’t be subject to the whims of statist Big Tech admins and their snitch users. Please join at social.freetalklive.com and check it out. It’s a killer replacement for Twitter and works great.
Don’t forget one of the most important decentralized change we’ve seen in our lifetimes – cryptocurrency! If you want to contribute to these projects I’ve listed here, please use the cryptocurrency addresses you can see in the right column here at Free Keene. Longtime readers here already know that crypto is the killer decentralized solution for money and can’t be shut down by greedy, evil politicians.
Last, but not least is LBRY. It’s the decentralized blockchain-based media protocol that has been hosting Free Keene’s videos since 2018. They recently launched a cool new video site called Odysee that has seen a big jump in activity in the last week. LBRY is based in Manchester and run by liberty activists.
I hope this article gave you some ideas about better options to protect your communications from the tech giants who hate freedom. See you in the decentralized, open source, polycentric fediverse!
Aria DiMezzo, on Cheshire TV’s Spotlight on the Candidates during her 2018 campaign.
Aria DiMezzo, the self-described “she-male” anarchist running for Cheshire County Sheriff as a republican has soundly defeated longtime candidate-for-sheriff Earl Nelson 10-to-1 and now moves on to face democrat incumbent Sheriff Eli Rivera in the general election on November 3rd!
Nelson has been the challenger against Rivera for the last several election cycles, but has never been able to defeat him. This year during the filing window for candidates, Nelson hadn’t filed as of two days prior to the deadline, so Aria decided to run for Cheshire County Sheriff– again.
She previously ran for Cheshire Sheriff as a Libertarian candidate in 2018, back when the Libertarians had major party ballot access status in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the transsexual anarchist founder of the Reformed Satanic Church only received just over 2.3% of the vote in the three-way race. However, at that point she had not yet legally changed her name, which she now has. Since the two major parties make it so hard for Libertarians and other parties to run for office, we might as well run in the two parties.
This time around DiMezzo’s campaign attracted some attention from some haters in Rindge who mounted a sizable write-in campaign on behalf of Nelson. It is not known whether they got Nelson’s approval for this and the official republican primary results from the state show their campaign had near-zero effect outside of Rindge. However the attacks against her had a reverse effect and actually brought her new supporters who excitedly put dozens of yard signs out around Cheshire County’s roads.
Yard Signs Available via Aria4Sheriff.com
When I asked her to comment for this story, she said, “It is with great joy that I receive this nomination from the Republicans of Cheshire County, who, in an era of Donald Trump, showed their tolerance and dedication to the principles of small-government by nominating the trans anarchic High Priestess of the Reformed Satanic Church to be sheriff.”
With the ongoing nationwide protests demanding police accountability for attacking peaceful people of all colors, there’s no better time for DiMezzo’s candidacy. Given Rivera’s violent past, DiMezzo may actually have a chance to unseat him. As a trans person originally from the South, Aria can definitely relate to the problems plaguing government’s monopoly police. She addressed the issue in her introduction piece on her campaign website, saying she’s seen, “first-hand the dangers of bigotry, overt and subtle. These biases inform the actions of police in terrifying ways, since they are allowed to “exercise discretion” in which “crimes” to pursue and which to ignore. This leads to a disproportionate targeting of black people and LGBTQ+ people by police, who, like all predators, seek out the weakest prey they can find.”
A key campaign issue, according to her website, is making Cheshire County a sanctuary for all peaceful acts now prohibited by the state – a total end to enforcement of “victimless crimes”.
When not running for Sheriff, DiMezzo is a nationally syndicated talk show host on “Free Talk Live“, which is heard on over 190 radio stations across the United States. She also teaches people how to sell Bitcoin and has extensive experience in helping connect people with cryptocurrency.
It’s going to be a very interesting election. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest on DiMezzo’s epic campaign.
Karen Testerman and Nobody, the Republican challengers to New Hampshire incumbent tyrant-king Chris Sununu debate various issues from COVID response to the War on Drugs, Government Schools, Riots, Secession and more!
Whether you’re registered Undeclared or Republican, please vote in the Republican primary on September 8th in New Hampshire and choose one of these two candidates over the incumbent! You can register to vote at the polls in NH.
We figure you were about sixteen-and-a-half when you passed away on Monday. I don’t need to tell you about the immense number of people whose lives you touched over those years. You were there and you had that experience, conscious for every moment, until your final day. What you may not know, is the impact you had on the world – because you were good. I wanted to tell you why you were so special.
Did you know we may never have met if it weren’t for the sad death of a puppy? My partner Jackie and I adopted a very young Pit Bull mix puppy from the Humane Society in Florida, where you’re from as well. She was only a couple of weeks old and surely she’d have been as sweet as you, as being a Pit Bull doesn’t mean she’d have been a bad dog. But tragically she died within a couple of weeks. Turns out her whole litter was missing organs, purportedly due to inbreeding, and she was the last of them to die. It was sad, but that door closing quickly led to you being brought into my life.
I’m not a dog expert. Maybe some dogs are really born bad, but I’d be willing to be that a bad dog is usually thanks to a bad owner. Not necessarily that the owner is purposefully abusive, but perhaps just ignorant, not realizing the consequences their actions or inaction might have on their dog. Perhaps they also underestimate animal intelligence. I always presumed you understood me and that you were smart. You never disappointed me.
Photo from September 2004 – you were about six months old.
When I got you in 2004 I did some research into dog training methods. I came across the “no free lunch” method and it felt right. Dogs need to be in a hierarchy – they are a pack animal. The “no free lunch” method is all about establishing the dog’s position as beneath the humans and rewarding it with love for its good behavior. Unlike independent-minded humans, a dog needs to be able to find its place and be comfortable there. In your case, you were directly beneath humans and on top of the pack of dogs, ever the alpha.
“No Free Lunch” is simple and effective. Anytime you wanted something, you had to give me something first. When you sat, I said “good sit”, and praised you. I gave you love and attention – not food, as some do when attempting to train their dog. So, any opportunity I had, I’d employ “no free lunch”. If you wanted to go outside, I’d ask you to sit first. Same thing when we’d come back inside the house. If we were playing with a toy or something, I might ask you to sit before giving it back to you. We quickly expanded to a multitude of things you could do in order to get what you wanted.
I figured you were smart, so anything you did that I named with “good” in front of it, I presumed you remembered the word and its associated act the very first time I spoke it. I don’t think you ever disappointed that expectation. Of course, just because I said “no free lunch” is simple doesn’t mean its always easy. You definitely pushed the envelope to see what you could get away with. You’d act like you didn’t know what I’d said, doing the wrong thing, on purpose. I remember the times when I’d already successfully taught you several commands and you’d run through your whole inventory of tricks – EXCEPT the one I asked you to do, expecting I was going to give you what you wanted. You were frequently testing me. Training a dog with the “no free lunch” method, in my experience, requires significant discipline on the part of the trainer. You were trying to beat me at the game and I had to hold firm on not giving you the thing you wanted, no matter how adorable you were.
Eventually, you were performing multiple tricks on command in order to do special things, like receive a meal. You could sit, stand, roll over, wait, come, lay down, roll over, bow, give kisses, speak, shake right, shake left, look, back up, and probably some more I don’t recall off the top of my head. At some point, you realized that you were well fed and you weren’t going to run out of food, so we moved to an open bowl where we just kept adding to it daily and you decided how much to eat and when.
Renee Spinella and Jazzy on the UCC Rainbow Bench!
You were indeed quite beautiful. You regularly received compliments from total strangers who frequently commented that you had an unusually expressive face and raved about how pretty you were. You had collected a large number of fans including neighbors, libertarian activists, people in the area lucky enough to encounter you, and even people on the internet who watched you on the Free Talk Live Jazzycam during our nightly radio shows. You mostly slept through the shows, but hey, talk radio’s not for everyone. Free Keene blogger Garret Ean even named you Keene’s #1 Dog Activist and you deserved it. You were regularly my secret weapon to get hundreds of Keene State College students every year to accept CopBlock know-your-rights flyers. You participated in and helped bring attention the United Church of Christ’s rainbow bench situation, were a regular attendee of the Porcupine Freedom Festival and Forkfest, the official greeter at Keenevention, and of course were at my side through countless instances of freedom activism and beyond.
Even more impressive was that bulk of your amazing activism & outreach career came in your senior years, since you didn’t move back in with me until you were 10. When Jackie and I broke up in 2006, after being with you and training you for those first two years, I chose to let you go. They say if you love something, let it go. I love you and I loved her, and I’d always rather a breakup go as smoothly as as possible, so I made the choice to let Jackie have you. As it turned out, she was unable to take care of you immediately, so we got to spend another six months together, until Jackie was finally ready, then I sadly gave you to her. That happened to be right around the time when I moved to New Hampshire as part of the NH Freedom Migration. (more…)
Good morning from Roger’s Campground! If you’ve been reading Free Keene over the last week you’ve seen some excellent Forkfest/Porcfest video blogs from Derrick J. I’ve been so busy, it’s been hard to find time to do much of anything besides record my daily talk radio show and hang out with people here at Roger’s during Porcfest/Forkfest 2020.
This year, the Free State Project made the wise choice to decentralize the event. Gone are the unpopular vendor fees and any control the FSP had previously taken over the campground as they scaled back Porcfest 2020 to a minimal number of speakers and a geographic area of only the pavilion and bowl area of Roger’s Campground.
Soapbox Idol at Porcfest 2020
A pervasive myth about Porcfest is that it needs big named speakers to attract a large audience. This year proved that is not the case as very few speakers were present and yet the attendance seemed similar to last year, which had way more speakers. One regular vendor said this year was his best year out of the 5-6 he’s done and the Porcfest vendor organizer Shawn Grissom said his sales were on par with last year.
Clearly, Porcfest attendees preferred the hands-off, decentralized method of organizing and this year had a laid back vibe. It was fun to be able to broadcast from the event for the first time in four years. Or, since Porcfest was in a very specific part of the campground this year, was I instead broadcasting instead from Forkfest?
Some, like Free Keene’s Derrick J Freeman, say that Forkfest 2020 began on June 22nd this year, instead of the popularly promoted June 29th. His rationale was that Forkfest was originally created to protest Porcfest’s organizational missteps and he felt that with the decentralization this year that Porcfest had returned to its optimal form, so he and Steven Zeiler of Anypay announced they’d be having their annual dance party on June 26th during the Porcfest week of Forkfest.
Space Disco @ Forkfest 2020
However, that’s just his opinion. Forkfest is a totally decentralized libertarian camping festival. There are no organizers and no board of directors. Not everyone agrees that Forkfest started on June 22nd. Others believe it is starting today, June 29th. Originally, those who attended in 2019 had no idea that Porcfest would be decentralizing control of their event, so Forkfesters were expecting that Forkfest would be a separate week entirely and had come to some level of consensus that the forked event should happen the week after Porcfest in 2020 instead of the week before, which is how it had been done since its premiere in 2017.
The FSP made their decentralization plans for Porcfest known in mid-May, only several weeks in advance of the two events. As a result, some people – me included – decided that Forkfest is now a two-week long event and Porcfest is an event that happens during the first week. Longtime attendee Jay Noone has collectively called both events the “New Hampshire Freedom Festival”. Admittedly, the range of opinions has created some confusion, but regardless a good time is likely to be had whether you attend one week or both or part of each. You decide what defines Forkfest.
Forkfest 2020 Early Tent Party
Is two weeks too much for most people? Probably, based on the large number of people who left the park Sunday June 28th, which was the final day of Porcfest. However, other people are just showing up now for what they planned was going to be the only week of Forkfest 2020, June 29th through July 5th.
Sunday evening/night had some new arrivals join us for lots of hanging out with dozens still present on the campground as well as multiple venues staying open including a few food vendors and Colin’s large party tent which featured a bar and busy poker table. We’ll see how the rest of the week pans out for the fourth-annual Forkfest as it builds towards a hopefully epic Saturday night on Independence Day which will feature both a fireworks show and a concert featuring a new band, “FUD”, featuring Aria DiMezzo, Captain Kickass, and Michael Gordon.
Early 2nd Week Forkfest 2020 Hangout
It’s too early to say what’s going to happen and we have no ticket sales from which to base any expectations, as Forkfest has no tickets. To attend, you just come to Roger’s Campground during the appropriate dates and connect with other freedom-loving folks. You can also create whatever event you’d like to have people attend. The experience you have at Forkfest is up to you. You can learn more about the event and get connected with other attendees via the Telegram chat and Forkfest forum via the unofficial website, Forkfest.party.
Please do come on up this week until July 5th to Forkfest 2020 and meet a bunch of other liberty-loving people hanging out together in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. Bring along your favorite form of money like cryptocurrency or Goldbacks as many vendors and individuals accept multiple payment methods. See you soon!
It’s official. New Hampshire voters will for the first time be able to cast a vote for Nobody for governor. Sick of Sununu and his insanely destructive “stay at home” lockdown where he tries to micromanage everyone’s businesses? Do you wish New Hampshire was actually a live-free-or-die place instead of an insane authoritarian medical state? Nobody should be your candidate of choice during the September primary.
Here’s footage of Nobody filing first for the republican primary gubernatorial election for 2020 and his answers to why he’s running and how differently he’d handle the COVID-19 situation from the tyrant-King Sununu:
Vist ElectNobody.com and vote for Nobody on the republican primary ballot on September 8th, 2020. Remember, if you’re registered as undeclared you can declare as republican when you go to vote, cast your ballot, then undeclare again as you leave the room.