The definition of an operating system

The operating systems of the world we live in today provide access to a technological environment where the user receives something valuable - the ability to utilize a vast selection of free and paid applications. In return for this ability, people pay for a license and sacrifice a significant portion of their personal data to ‘Big Tech’ companies. Anyone using these systems are also at the mercy of social media algorithms that ultimately set the parameters for creating the filter bubbles the user inevitably ends up in.

Many accept this without much thought, perhaps due to not realizing what’s really happening, sheer convenience, or because there isn’t a functioning or efficient alternative. Some may be fully aware of what’s going on, but feel that surrendering personal privacy and the rights to their own data in return for a free social media app is fair. One could view this as a shifting "Overton Window" - what starts as unthinkable becomes considered radical, acceptable, and sensible before it finally establishes itself as the popular norm. Anyone with a passing interest in politics may recognise this phenomenon.

It’s hard to imagine the situation will change anytime soon. Most will continue to choose the large platforms because that’s what everyone else is doing, and the perceived benefits gained from using those systems appear to outweigh the data ownership and information control handed over.

Still, we suspect that a growing number of people want something different. Just by observing the explosive growth of interest in blockchain technology and decentralized solutions over the past decade, it’s possible to deduce that a percentage of the population would prefer to use a platform that is democratic and private, provided that it is valuable, efficient and easy to use; either as an addition to, or instead of, current platforms.

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