Self-reliance has always been a moral imperative but it has seemingly fallen by the wayside with respect to technology and the Internet. A basic understanding of computing is an essential skill but the depth of that understanding for many of us remains woefully inadequate. Information technology has matured beyond its beneficial saturation point and is increasingly moving us towards unsustainable dependency due to the ever increasing gaps in digital literacy.
Fractal Networks aim to address unsuitable dependency and the stagnation of innovation in personal computing. The digital services industry over the last decade has been dominated by custodial digital services such as cloud computing and SaaS, but things are changing. In 2022 on-premise solutions accounted for more than 50% of revenue for the sector. Companies and savvy consumers are realizing the cost and security benefits of taking ownership of their data through non-custodial computing practices.
Unfortunately, conventional wisdom has long regarded non-custodial computing (self-hosting) as too difficult or risky for the typical consumer and while this may have been true a decade ago, it is no longer true today. The misconception is perpetuated by the self-interested digital service providers whose business models depend on a steady stream of personal user data.
The Fractal Network architecture represents a transformative new technology paradigm designed to reinvigorate innovation in personal computing and drive economic growth in the consumer focused digital services industry.
In this day and age transformative technologies must be guided by a strong set of core values. We describe these underlying values as the "Tenets of non-custodial computing."
- Self-reliance is paramount.
- Eschew 3rd-party intermediaries and proprietary technologies.
- Critical software and hardware must be community driven free and open source technology.
- The Internet must remain politically and economically neutral.
No more servers. Just apps.
"Server" is a scary word if you don't have a good understanding of what a server is or how it works – a server is just a computer that runs specialized software to centralize information for efficient access and dissemination over a network. This may seems ideal but only until you consider the social implications of high-degree technological centralization. Servers were necessary in computing's early days when Internet connectivity was sparse and expensive but that is no longer the case. Unfortunately, the client/server architecture remains the dominant computing model despite advances in hardware and network capabilities. As humanity slowly realizes the inherent dangers of custodial computing and the risks associated with outsized technological centralization, we may find ourselves confronted with an insurmountable automated tyranny more harmful than the dictators and despots of the past.
Custodial IT service providers are the metaphorical kings of the modern age – will you remain a loyal rent paying subject or will you take ownership of your digital existence – the choice is yours.