Immensely frustrated that, with turning out to be literally malware, there are no good video conferencing options that can step in and replace it, while scaling to 20–200 people.

We need leftist, commons-based alternatives. For moments like this and the climate crisis.

The challenges of video conferencing are immense, especially on CPU and bandwidth. I would argue that many technical challenges could be solved via novel and considered interface design.

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@shibacomputer I'm not sure you can scale p2p realtime video to such large groups though. The fact that Zoom works so much 'better' than things like Jitsi (which works really well) is that Zoom has infra colocated at all the major ISPs and IXPs so you have extremely small latencies. Similar strategy to Netflix. Its an infrastructural advantage that is hard to match client-side.

However considering academia's reliance on Zoom and academias historic development of networking infra through things like SURFnet in NL and NORDUNET in northern europe, it is absurd that there is no F/LOSS set up developed for those use cases because all the infrastructural groundwork is there..

@rra I’ve thought about this a lot and would be interested in experimenting with scaling and performance. I don’t see Zoom as a good replacement for a 200+ participant event, but 10? 20? 50? 64?

@rra Could the interface encourage a rotation of video, measuring the collective bandwidth of a group and adjust the number of concurrent video streams to ensure a minimum threshold of quality?

@shibacomputer also, fuck it, why not have the video in 1-bit dithering Gameboy Camera style.

@rra @shibacomputer Or why have video at all? I understand in a real classroom eye contact is important but we need to accept that's gone here. Unless you are screen-sharing something very specific, this is mostly just a precocious imitation of TV talking head aesthetics at a huge cost of complexity and resources for close to zero information.

@shibacomputer @mouloud @rra Maybe we can try to sort out how to frame the situation. Is it a "meeting", "panel" or a "presentation" or a "lecture"? Is there a leader or some kind of hierarchy?

@shibacomputer @mouloud @rra I wrote down a few quick thoughts, but I'm quite happy to take this to another time / place if people prefer. The chat sidebar in cryptpad is not bad but I understand if people want something else.

@KnowPresent @shibacomputer @rra

Like I wrote earlier, video conf' is a waste.

What does hierarchy has to do with video conf?

Think outside the box.


@mouloud @KnowPresent @shibacomputer any real-time conversation has to deal with hierarchy because you can't all speak at the same time and be heard.

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@rra @KnowPresent @shibacomputer

I may misunderstand something. What do you mean by "hierarchy"? Can you point me to a particular definition.

It is not clear to me how hierarchy helps in a conversation.

@rra @mouloud @shibacomputer Exactly. Or perhaps a group has delegated responsibility to someone and that needs some formal or informal acknowledgement. Some of the things listed may in fact be "bad" in a lot of cases but I think it might be useful to list all kinds of social functions first. We can only get into questions of ethics and power relations once we've examined the situations from many angles.

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