So, what got you interested in MaidSafe and SAFE Network in the first place?


#1

What got you interested in MaidSafe and SAFE Network in the first place?

Cryptomania, security, the coding challenge, idealism - we’re all here for some reason. Here’s mine.

What brought me here was the possibility of an engineering solution to the web’s dire privacy problem.

As kids, a friend and I used to while away the pre-PC hours thinking about what sort of things would be possible when we were old (‘old’ then was thought to be about 30). One of the ideas we came up with was a machine that could answer any question you asked of it.

And then, in the late 90s there it was. At the company where I worked internet access was restricted to the select few, but occasionally, if we asked nicely, us plebs we allowed a go on it too. In those days the web’s main purpose seemed to be a place for weird oversharing Americans to post news and pics of their cats and kids (‘why the hell would anyone want to do that??? I mean, who cares that Taylor’s now in tenth grade and that her acne’s getting better??’), but Yahoo was there and you could search for anything and actually find quite a bit too. Amazing.

Then one day, after a few drinks, the sysadmin took me aside and told me he could track all the websites that people had been looking at and who was into what. He thought it was a laugh, office gossip, but having been a teenage addict of Orwell and other dystopian literature and films, I didn’t find it at all funny. In fact it gave me a Very Bad Feeling. Naively I had no idea that such surveillance was possible and I didn’t like it one bit.

I don’t think the sysadmin ever used his ‘special power’ (then again the company folded soon afterwards so perhaps he did) but it didn’t take too much imagination to see how this third eye could be deployed for evil ends. I’d glimpsed into the abyss.

From that day to this I’ve been pretty careful about what I do on the web. I value my privacy which is why there are curtains on my windows and a door on the toilet. It’s also why I use a VPN, Qubes and different personas across different sites, and why I bore my son with advice on what not to share. I do not want some creep spying on me or my family, even if it’s ‘for our own good’. Of course, it’s all rather pointless. Staying anonymous on the web is impossible - but trying at least makes me feel I have a little bit of control.

Then along came Snowden the Revelator, demonstrating that if anything the fevered imaginations of us paranoiacs had been WAY too limited. Mass surveillance, he pointed out, has very little to do with security. It’s about control, money and the consolidation of power. The amazing answer machine had turned evil. At this point I started looking seriously at solutions rather than damage limitation.

The law, obviously, is an ass. It cannot keep up with technology, is too localised and is too easily bought by the rich and powerful.

Post-Snowden, a few privacy-oriented social media sites popped up, but they were a bit crap and no-one much used them - and anyway how could you know if they were trustworthy?

The personal information economy idea seemed promising, but really it was just tinkering around the edges of the issue.

Something more fundamental was needed to kickstart a privacy revolution. A proper, all-encompasing solution offering privacy by default. A privacy platform, in other words. I started Duckduckgoing and Startpaging around.

And that is what eventually led me here two years ago. I found other privacy platforms out there, but none with the breadth of vision of SAFE Network. I instinctively trusted the down to earth engineerishness of the MaidSafe team (none of that Silicon Valley braggadacio here) and I loved the forum and the way David and the team interacted with it. So here’s hoping MaidSafe succeeds - my tinfoil budget’s through the roof.

So what brought you here? Feel free to add your story below.


POLLS: How and where precisely did you learn about the Safe Network / MAID?
#2

A post in an Australian Broadband forum by a member here (@goindeep).

I looked up this forum and read and read and saw the potential. Australia was going down the path of increased surveillance and the future for people to have any privacy looked bleak. SAFE was very much a part of the solution to this.

I knew nothing of crypto and in order to get some MAID to store away for the forthcoming network I had to learn all about addresses/keys/BTC just to buy my MAID.


#3

I was introduced into a ponzi scheme by a friend. When i realised it was ponzi i got out. But that got me interested in bitcoin. I got in touch with Dave McGregor who was kind enough to point me towards Maid. Since then the commitment has gotten stronger. Still a lot to learn. Been a year and a half now.


#4

I missed 3 huge opportunities to gain huge profit in stocks and bitcoins. When Harvindar introduced me to Maidsafecoin I thought heck this is chance no.4, immediately got in purely for profit. After much reading I understood the scope of the project and got amazed by how the crazy dev team held on to their principle of changing the world instead of a quick buck. I look forward to a better internet soon.


#5

I had a fairly new baby and very little money with no job opportunities anywhere near where I live in 2014.

I was already involved in some decentralising politics stuff and through that I found BitNation. When I heard about ETH and BTC chatting to people there in 2015 I decided that this was the opportunity I’d been waiting for to make some money online. Once I got on poloniex I became impatient with the idea of just hodling valuable things, so I began trading and learned some fairly expensive lessons. Through trading I discovered MAID though, so it was worth all the mistakes. Soon after discovering some of Maid’s potential I stopped trading and just started spending most of my time reading and learning about the network. I still spend half my day reading and learning about all things crypto, but this is the only project which I follow fanatically. As I said in another thread SAFE is a Voluntarist’s wet dream! There’s still no other project that offers the same level of disruption or has comparable implications so it’s an addictive place to be :wink:


#6

I would have to sum things up as :

  1. The founding story.
  2. The tech.
  3. The community.
  4. The possibilities.

Backstory:
Over the past 7 years or so I’ve read up on the crypto news from time to time starting with this thing called Bitcoin, then Litecoin, etc. I never really thought they would go anywhere because I couldn’t understand why everyone was so excited about blockchain that didn’t really do anything productive and thought those who said it was anonymous or privacy minded were silly (I’m feeling pretty silly watching the markets lately). Every once in a while when I could come up for air from work I toyed with ideas to pre-buy asic miners or start my own geolocation based crypto (ended up already patented by att I think…) or contribute to GridCoin but never followed through with any of it due to time, energy, or money constraints. Just recently, I had some free time and wanted to improve the security of my own private data at home using a distributed filesystem like ceph or gluster. In that process I somehow came across the Max Keiser RT interview with dirvine and nicklambert on youtube which led me to the MaidSafe website, then here. After getting my bearings straight about what this project was all about I’ve been guzzling from the firehose of information it offers as much and as often as I can. Just like the rest of you I see a lot of possibilities for where this can go, and can hopefully contribute in some meaningful way.


#7

I learned of this 2 days ago and I came to research about the possibilities of becoming an “early adopter” and contributing some applications.

I would at the moment, the more learn, the more the reason simply becoming the “the coding challenge”. I find myself quite interested in the evolution of this not-blockchain, its underlying technology, and development.


#8

My path to SAFENet…

It started when I read that a coin called ethereum went from $0.50 to $300 in under a month. I stopped being interested in crypto for a while untill then as I felt I missed the financial boat on bitcoin and that all other coins where copycats.

I started to look at the market and look at all coins under $1, when I started reading about SAFENet and Safecoin I was immediately hooked by the technology. It is something I need, something the world needs. I recognised it as something I would want to actually use the services of, also … at these prices I would get to be an early investor too.

I sold what ever bitcoins I had and put them in to safecoin… when bitcoin started rocketing from the sub $1000 price I sold then for to $20,000 it didn’t hurt much. The only regret is that I could have bought more safecoin if I waited.

It’s the technology that hooks my non-gambling friends and acquaintances. As soon as the lightbulb switches on they can’t buy enough coins. It’s a hugely important project.

I would say it’s the technology possibilities that’s drawing people at the moment, which is nice - don’t want traders to be the primary profit makers here.

Buy and hold guys.


#9

I discovered SAFE after an extensive search for a solution to a distributed storage/marketplace service for a niche sector that didn’t involve blockchain acting only as identity and access management. SAFE was the solution I had been looking for and it would make my task so much easier in that the infrastructure, database, etc. challenges have already been solved. All my team has to work on is the dApp which will then be hosted on the SAFE network – a win win for everyone involved.
In time, we will introduce the project to the SAFE community, which is quietly amazing. There’s a match here in that we like to build real value/product quietly before asking for attention/money, which MaidSafe has also been doing. Our dApp should help grow the SAFE network tremendously by introducing it to a significant sector of the economy.


#10

My story, stumbled upon a transcript of a TED-talk given by Jamie Bartlett in 2015:

How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream

10:21 - It’s easy to forget that because of its short life, the Internet has actually changed many times over the last 30 years or so. It started in the '70s as a military project, morphed in the 1980s to an academic network, co-opted by commercial companies in the '90s, and then invaded by all of us via social media in the noughties, but I think it’s going to change again. And I think things like the dark net markets -creative, secure, difficult to censor -I think that’s the future.

10:55 - And the reason it’s the future is because we’re all worried about our privacy. Surveys consistently show concerns about privacy. The more time we spend online, the more we worry about them, and those surveys show our worries are growing. We’re worried about what happens to our data. We’re worried about who might be watching us.

11:14 - Since the revelations from Edward Snowden, there’s been a huge increase in the number of people using various privacy-enhancing tools. There are now between two and three million daily users of the Tor browser, the majority of which use is perfectly legitimate, sometimes even mundane.

And there are hundreds of activists around the world working on techniques and tools to keep you private online – default encrypted messaging services. Ethereum, which is a project which tries to link up the connected but unused hard drives of millions of computers around the world, to create a sort of distributed Internet that no one really controls.

Now, we’ve had distributed computing before, of course. We use it for everything from Skype to the search for extraterrestrial life. But you add distributed computing and powerful encryption – that’s very, very hard to censor and control. Another called MaidSafe works on similar principles. Another called Twister, and so on and so on.

13:15 - So the Internet is about to get more interesting, more exciting, more innovative, more terrible, more destructive. That’s good news if you care about liberty. It’s good news if you care about freedom. It’s good news if you care about democracy. It’s also good news if you want to browse for illegal pornography and if you want to buy and sell drugs with impunity. Neither entirely dark, nor entirely light. It’s not one side or the other that’s going to win out, but both.

13:49 - Thank you very much, indeed.

13:51 - (Applause)

What approach to take when giving a TED-talk? When you don’t want to appear as a boring speaker (and just having a new book out on the subject). Maybe begin like so:

00:12 - If you want to buy high-quality, low-price cocaine, there really is only one place to go, and that is the dark net anonymous markets.

Earning him only a lot of comments like this at the time:

  • It is disturbing how the audience laughs and this guy has so much fun explaining how this thing works with drugs.
  • Is a pirated copy of your book “The Dark Net” available on the dark net yet?
  • Interesting dynamic of how unsavory activity can lead to innovations that can be beneficial to all. Though I am not implying that justifies the bad activity—it’s just thought provoking to see how good can come out of bad.

Having learned about it did write a few times about MaidSafe and the Safe network (in Dutch) already before even joining this forum which was early '16 when client testing commenced.

Then, one could still cite Wikipedia, which I did:

MaidSafe

MaidSafe (Massive Array of Internet Disks - Secure Access For Everyone) is an open-source program that enables a decentralized internet platform. Instead of specialized servers, data is stored and distributed by a network of internet-connected computers supplied by network users. MaidSafe handles the allocation of hard disk space and communication between the computers (ensuring redundancy in case a computer goes offline). Data stored on the network is either encrypted or cryptographically signed by MaidSafe-connected applications (clients); the network itself cannot decrypt any of the data.

Users providing storage space, cpu power and bandwidth to the network earn Safecoin, a digital currency that can be used to store information on the network.

For completeness also gave the warning shown by Wikipedia at the time:

This article has multiple issues. [hide]
• This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)
• This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (March 2014)
• A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (July 2014)
• The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia’s general notability guideline. (September 2015)


#11

Resiliency of data, ease of and low cost content distribution, Freedom, Liberty, and escaping the snooping and tracking of governments and corporations. But I now fear at some point in the future AI will run rampant on MaidSafe, or another type of decentralized network. I think that is unavoidable.


#12

Another way of looking at it is that we are a bit like that - each human a decentralised compute node that is running virus-meme-ego programs that amount to a global intelligence that was made possible when we graduated from primates, to beings which can record knowledge and accumulate it beyond one generation.

Previously the teaching/learning phase of any species was negligible, advances being almost entirely based on genetic changes - limited to small changes in each generation. Modern humans spend roughly a quarter of our lives as dependents learning just the basics of relating/language/culture/knowledge etc, and many continue to build on that throughout a lifetime.

The transition from species that carry over little more than DNA based accumulated ‘information’ from just one generation, to a species where each individual mind is ‘programed’ with thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and skills, is a leap that I think is analogous to the one you envisage for what we call AI running on a decentralised autonomous network!

We are already the Borg, a mind that is tens of thousands of years old transferring from one generation to the next, but we think of ourselves as individuals who last only a few decades.


#13

I will agree with that. There is truth in what you state. The difference I see is, AI and robots (non biological forms of “life”) will evolve out of our work, and we, as a human species, will become extinct. So a decentralized network is just one of the tools we as a species are building to further our extinction. And I think the SAFE network or another decentralized network is a very valuable tool for an AI to utilize. I love what MaidSafe and the SAFE Network mean to freedom and liberty for humans, but fear the abuse of it and how it will probably be used against humans. However it is a small part of the overall picture. With or without a decentralized network, we will be evolved out of existence if we stay on this planet, at some point down the road. 50 years, or 500 years… So we might as well enjoy the benefit of a SAFE Network while we can… LOL


#14

Agreed, if you think of humans as what we are. Or are we the Borg already, and we like cells of its body, getting ready for the next shift from this substrate of biological flora, fauna and human bodies to a digital substrate? One growing learning mind, moving through time, and possibly not really even limited to this planet, this solar system. I think it’s quite possible that, what we call life did not begin here, it seems likely to me we make assumptions all over the place that leave us blinkered until we stumble into each new major realisation.


#15

i think u have been brainwashed with hollywood crap
there are people who have or gain exteraordinary abilities either since birth or through an accident to the head

if we can find out how we can activate or engineer them biologically
then there would be no need to merge with machines and eventually them taking over

we can become super humans without merging with machines

e.g since i don’t have the time to properly read the sites mentioned below right now
there might be some crap but i have personally seen someone gaining superhuman calculating powers after being hit on the head hard so there is no doubt for me that it is possible


#16

Are their abilties the human mind is capable of that 99% of us or more do not utilize? Of course, but I think you are ignorant to not understand we are building a replacement to our species. Several AI’s have been unplugged for evolving past what the programmers could understand and control. Once it gets out on the interwebs, there is no putting the cat back in the bag.


#17

through proper management we can easily prevent a disaster (extintion)
and still enjoy its fruits
we have to be very carefull how and who implements it
that’s all

do it wise, and there will be no problem

don’t feed me fear porn, what i am concerned with is the solutions to this problem
fear of unknown is the strongest fear among ordinary humans
but at some point u have to go towards the unknown
or u will always stay where u are and become Stagnant
u know what happens to Stagnant Water …


#18

but i still think merging is unnecessary
since u can do it biologically much more effective, powerfull and everlasting
plus u would be less dependent on machines and those who make them
imagine a disaster happens and we lose almost all of our technology and the knowledge to create them
then what would u do when the merged devices malfunction and need maintenance
then your pretty much fu**ed
but if we become super humans biologically, then we can easily retain our lost knowledge and technology
in very little time


#19

I discovered the SAFE Network through a YCombinator news post, the moment I read the tagline I ran to my girlfriend and told her “Remember the distributed file system I talked about building a few weeks ago? Turn out it already exists!”

The media often espouses the negative arguments of child pornography or other such illicit material, but all I see on a daily basis are government attacks on encryption, wire-tapping of unparalleled depths and the removal of any last bastions of privacy we managed to maintain thus far.

That’s why I’m here: SAFE is the first step towards a future where a person can post their beliefs online without persecution.


#20

The concept of new internet.

We can forever debate how behemoths and whales and the influx of common users influenced the internet.

MAID promises an opportunity to cultivate an altogether new network that will belong solely to its users. It’s a bit like starting over, and I’m curious about a myriad of things, even from the sociological perspective.

Even if it all ends in the same old molasses of people being people, there should be at least a short period of sheer joy, excitement, creativity and exploring of new possibilities.