The Thimbl Story. // #facebookpurge // Pass it on.

# The Thimbl Story

People should finger each other as often as possible. Maybe even several times a day, hell, why not once an hour? As  often as you like! 

People thrive on interaction with other people. Mutual stimulation is a
deeply felt human need, a key characteristic of what makes us human. Imagine that
instead of reading your status updates on Twitter or Facebook, your
friends would just finger you instead.

The Finger protocol was originally developed in the 1970s as a way to
publish user and status information, such as who you are, what you’re working on,
and what you’re doing now. This is how the relatively few folks with access to
networks posted pithy personal bios. From when colourful polyester pants
were still groovy until the 90s people Fingered each other all the time!

Finger evolved into a completely decentralized system, where any user
could finger any other user as long as they were both on the Internet. There
were no big companies in the middle to control these users, or monitor them, or
try to turn their personal data into money. Fingering was a personal matter
between users, direct and unmediated, and nobody really knew exactly who was
fingering who. Promiscuous, right?

Sadly, these heady days of open relationships slowly came to an end.
Finger software was developed before the Internet had many users, and before
development was driven by commercial interests. The idea was bold, but the
software was primitive.

Capitalists and their desire for profit have no interest in such freedom
and promiscuity and chose to instead fund centrally controlled systems, in
which they are intermediaries. Investors wanted control, so that they can
commodify and monetize these relationships. Instead of users fingering each other
with reckless abandon, people are now stuck with centralized, privately owned
services like Facebook; chaperoning their relationships, imposing user
policies on them, and monitoring and monetizing their conversations.

Back in June 2010, Telekommunisten had had enough! “People must be freed
from these puritanical, controlling, consumerist, profit-seeking cults”, they
thought. If witchcraft, rocker hair and skinny jeans could make comebacks,
why not Finger?

The Thimbl project was born, and we immediately started working on giving
the project an online identity and releasing tools to create a microblogging
platform built on Finger, that groovy 70s protocol.

In October, Telekommunisten received the news that Thimbl was one of three
projects nominated for Transmediale/Mozilla Foundation Open Web Award and
almost immediately, the project started to attract significant interest.

Thimbl was the subject of many articles, blog posts, tweets, and status
updates, won a Distinction at Transmediale and earned supported status at
Drumbeat. Finger was becoming cool again. The masses were longing to
finger each other!

Still, the problem remains: Capital will not fund free platforms like
Thimbl. Even with the buzz Thimbl has, building a community big enough to actually
create a viable platform without financing is a major challenge.

Thimbl directly addresses the technical and social issues facing the open
web in every aspect of the project, in the code, and in our manifestos. The
Telekommunisten argue that the major chalenge the open web must overcome
is political, not technical, and that the open web is not just critical to
the future of the Internet, but to society itself. And people are beginning to
take notice.

The project is still in an early stage, but we are advancing. Several
clients now exist, including a graphical web-based one and more are in
development, along with client libraries, and an HTTP to finger API. A small community
of Thimbl users now exists. A few finger servers are running again, and
people are fingering each other.

Apart from this tiny fledglng community, the multitudes are trapped and
frustrated, clinging to their social interactions within sterile,
commercial platforms, longing for wanton, unbridled realms of contact.

Join us in inscribing upon on our banners the revolutionary slogan, “Don’t
be a Twit, it feels good to be fingered!”


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