Amer's Corner on the Interwebs

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🌐♘ Current State of the Internet, Software Freedom and Chess Websites

Date: 29 Aug 2021


The sites that we generally use are full of advertisements, which by definition, try to influence us and make us buy/consume certain products, services, etc. The current state of our society and internet as an extension of the real world is something like this: it's filled completely with ads constantly influencing us.

As someone who is very interested in chess, I first found chess.com. Like most services, it has free and premium accounts and constantly try to sell us their services (it's a recurring theme) and most of the good features need to be paid for.

This is the worldview we are familiar with, aren't we? To get good seats in colleges, we 'give donation'. Everything has a price.

An alternative to the chess.com site is lichess.org, which is an amazing site and provides an extraordinarily excellent example of alternative systems.

It is open source, which means that we know exactly what is happening behind the scenes and thousands of people contribute to the code in their free time. Every member on the site gets access to all the features, there is nothing to buy. The features are at par with other premium sites. As far as the costs of running the servers goes, it is funded by the public in the form of donations. And the service remains free for all. Taking all this into account, this is how powerful the site is: at any time, there are 25k to 50k chess games running simultaneously.

This is what is possible if the community at large comes together.

This same concept can be applied to other domains: crowdfunded organic farms, education centers, open kitchens, etc.

This is what keeps me up at night.

Tags

Chess, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), Web