Pinned toot

HEY What's matrix? How do I set up an account? What is going on? How did you get in my house? Some of these questions answered in this very basic tutorial! Longpost. 

Matrix is a web platform that allows people to set up secure chat channels which are end-to-end encrypted. In this tutorial you will see "matrix" and "element" referred to. "Matrix" is the web chat protocol, while "Element" is the client that lets you interface with that protocol. Just like "gmail" is a client that lets you access the "email" protocol.


To get started using the web interface for Element, which is one of the available Matrix chat clients, go to

You'll be faced with a welcome screen that says "sign in" "create account" and "explore rooms"

Click on "Create Account" and you'll proceed to the account creation screen.

the next screen prompts you to create a matrix account.

If you already know what matrix server you would like your matrix account to be hosted on, for example, if you or one of your friends have already set up a matrix server, you would want to click "advanced/other" on this screen. Then, you would put in the full matrix URL for the server you would like to join.

If you don't know what any of that means, that's alright. Matrix hosts their own chat servers for free. Just click "Free/" to set up a user account through the standard free server.

Next, you'll be prompted to choose a username, password, and email.

The username is how other people will connect with you on matrix. If you set up the username "Smith" on the free matrix server, then your full username that other people would need to find you would be ""

Enter your password in the "password" and "confirm" fields.

Now enter in your email. This email is usually only used to recover your account if you lose your password. Some servers don't allow email recovery. The server does, so if you lose your password, you can have a password recovery email sent to the address you provide.

Next, complete a captcha, and read the terms and conditions. After you've read them (advised because it's a good idea to know what rules you are bound to when you use a service). The terms and conditions also explain more about how the service works, which is important to understanding how to use it. click the check box and and then "accept"

Next, you will be sent an email to validate your email address and activate your account.

When you click on this verification link, you will once again be asked to accept the terms and conditions. Once you do, you will be prompted to log in.

Now you will be prompted to create a security key and/or a security phrase. With these, you will be able to recover your encrypted messages if you need to recover your account.
If you do not create a security key or security phrase, all your messages will be lost when you recover your account, and you will need to re-verify your shared keys with other users.
If you select to create a security phrase, you will be invited to make up your own phrase. It's best if this is several words long, and uses uncommon words, or special characters.
After creating a security phrase, or if you only select to create a security key, you will be presented with a string of 48 characters. This is your security key, and if you created a security phrase, both this key and the security phrase you made will need to be entered to recover your encrypted data should you need to recover your account.

Once you have created your account, you will be invited to verify your identity by entering in your security phrase or key. Enter this in now. This might take a few moments to process, and for the identity verification window to go away.

Next you will be invited to turn on desktop notifications, and send anonymous usage data. I keep both of these options off. You can turn them on if you like.


You should now be on the Element interface home page. The interface for the desktop client is roughly the same. There are some differences in the mobile client, but the functionality is also largely the same.

To start a secure chat with another user, you do not want to use the "search" bar in the top left. Tricky, right? Instead, you'll want to go just below that to the "people" tab and click the plus (+) sign just to the right of the "people" tab. This will ask you to enter in the other user's chat handle. If the person you want to talk to set up the user "Vance" on the server "" then their chat handle would be ""

A new session in the "People" tab should appear with the name of the user you started the chat with. It may or may not have encryption already enabled.
If it does not have encryption enabled already, go to the gear icon in the top left.
This controls the settings for the specific room currently in focus. This is not the general application settings tab.
From here, go to "security and privacy" and make sure that "encrypted" is turned on. When encryption is on, this slider should be to the right

Now, you'll want to verify the integrity of the chat session. This ensures that the data is not being tampered with between the two end-points.
To do this, click on the silhouette of a person in the top right corner. This will bring up the "members" tab on the right side of the window. If there are multiple people in the same channel, this tab will list all the people in the channel.
Click on the name of the user you wish to verify.
In a channel with multiple users, if everyone wants to guarantee chat integrity, then this will need to be performed between every person in the channel.

Once you've clicked on the name of the user you wish to verify credentials with, look at the top of the information panel, just below the avatar. There should be a "security" section. If encryption is enabled, it will say here "Messages in this room are end-to-end encrypted" and below that "Verify"
If this says "Messages in this room are not end-to-end encrypted" then you will need to go to the room settings and enable end-to-end encryption.

Once you click "verify," the information panel will be replaced with an expanded security panel. To continue with the verification, click "start verification"
Once you do this, you must wait for the other user to accept the verification.
This step must be performed with both users online. If both you and the other user who you want to verify keys with are not online, the verification screen will time out. You can attempt this again without a delay, but if the other user is not online or is having connection problems, you will be unable to continue verification.

Once the other user accepts the chat, and accepts the verification attempt, you will be prompted to "verify by emoji." Click this button.

A list of 7 emojis will pop up on your screen, and on the other user's screen. Compare between yourselves whether these emojis match. It is best to confirm that they match on a service outside of Matrix. For example, over a video chat or over the phone. Any trusted service would work, but in-person is best.
The reason it's not a good idea to verify the encryption integrity by comparing the emoji through Matrix itself, is because if the encryption is compromised, then whoever compromised it would be able to modify what the users at each end see, to make them think erroneously that the encryption is secure when it isn't.

Once encryption has been verified between you and the other user, the dark grey shield next to the other user's name will turn green with a check-mark on it. This indicates that the encryption has been verified.

In some cases, it is possible that verification will be made, but the dark grey shield won't turn green with a check mark inside it. It is possible that not all devices have been verified. Have both users check to make sure that they have verified on all devices they use. It may be necessary to repeat the emoji verification step multiple times, to ensure encryption integrity on all devices.
For example, when I was making this tutorial, I set up the encryption between my main desktop user, and an Element web browser client connected to my test user. On the test user account and on my main desktop user account, encryption shows as verified with a green shield and a checkmark, but on my phone, a green shield and checkmark aren't shown. In my case, when I go to the user page on my phone, it does not give me the option to verify again. This may be a bug.

Pinned toot

Voting isn't "radical action"

Voting isn't going to get us out of the quagmire we find ourselves in.

The government and police refuse to be held accountable to the people.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that votes have made things the way they are.

A massive system of exploitation and abuse did that. And it's not going to go away because some lawyer in a suit with a petition list asked nicely.

Now is the time to demand what is rightfully ours. The respect of our humanity.

Asking nicely hadn't worked. Voting hasn't worked. From where we are, the next step isn't to maybe try those things again because they might work this time.

Pinned toot

The fediverse is a public forum.

Your posts are only as secure as the admins of every instance that your home server federates with, in terms of private and followers-only messages.

If you're going to talk about sensitive information, keep it to Signal or other secure 1-on-1 channels.

Assume that everything you post to the fediverse, is being scooped up by multiple gov agencies around the world.

The Milan scrape was only notable because they made their findings public.

If a university scraping feeds did it, it's safe to assume other, bigger organizations have been doing it for much longer.

Pinned toot

Here's a pepper spray relief solution you can make at home!

I've personally witnessed the efficacy of this solution against OC (pepper) spray. The person sprayed their arm purposely with it, let it sit, and then treated the affected area with solution. Relief was almost immediate. It's made from Liquid Sunflower Lecithin, Tearless baby shampoo, water, and magnesium hydroxide. None of these are controlled or overly difficult to obtain, and it is safe for use on pepper sprayed eyes. This solution should remain stable for a few days to a few weeks.

Here's a link where more information, including an in-depth development paper, can be found:

Pinned toot

If you're stopped by a cop:

I went to a seminar put on by the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. If police stop you outside a car, this is what you should do:

ask: "Am I free to go?" Persist until you get a yes or no
-if yes, leave ASAP
-If no, say this:
"I'd like to speak to a lawyer"
"I don't consent to a search"
"I am exercising my right to remain silent"

Simply being silent doesn't invoke that right. You have to invoke the right to remain silent directly. Being more precise can only help, but it is not necessary. "I'm invoking my right to remain silent" is also valid.

You must request a lawyer clearly and directly. It may be true that a cop could claim ignorance of what someone means when they say "I want a lawyer" or "I'd like to talk to a lawyer," but the meaning in the context of an interaction with police should be obvious and claimed ignorance would not hold up in any court that isn't rigged, like small town courts.

The lawyers that hosted the seminar relayed the story of someone who was in the process of being arrested and said "I want a lawyer, dawg." The police and state successfully argued to the court that the meaning of what the person said was unclear, and they thought he was requesting a "lawyer dog." Be concise and precise in your wording.

Even if police hassle you about not consenting to a search, and even if they proceed with a search anyway, directly stating you don't consent to a search ensures that if they search you and find anything, that evidence could be dismissed as invalid due to being unlawfully obtained.

Have a package with foam padding peanuts, and wanted to figure out whether they were biodegradable puffed rice packing peanuts, or shitty styrofoam ones.

For some reason, the method that i landed on and immediately set to testing was that if i stuck one in my mouth i would know whether it was biodegradable or just styrofoam.

I'm not sure what I'm more bothered by... My impulsivity to stick random packaging materials in my mouth, or the fact that i was right, and that the packing peanuts were in fact puffed rice.

veganism shitpost 

idk why other vegans feel the need to vocalize that they're vegan, I just fart and people usually understand

Something i can't seem to get to work on the Element matrix client: having silent notifications on 1 to 1 chats unless the other person pings me with my name, and only then pushing a noisy notification.

I can set individual chats to either have noisy or silent notifications, but not both depending on the message.

Yes, I've tried turning on notifications for the channel specifically, and then going to the app notification settings and selecting noisy notification on for mentions. That doesn't seem to work.

There also appears to be no way to reset a channel's notification settings back to the global defaults.

re: drugs 

Conversation I just had, retelling this joke to my sister:

Yeah, it's like putting a ball bearing in a hydraulic press. The pressure builds and it shoots out sideways. I've only done it once before, though.


At a furry party in the woods

Why did you have a hydraulic press at a furry party in the woods?!

laughing No, not a hydraulic press - Drugs!

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Our capitalist society has perfected the process of turning any sort of reverent day of remembrance or worker or minority power into an occasion for consumerism.

Labor day? Time to shop! Never you mind what "labor day" means or why people get the day off. Oh also, relate it to fashion! Yeah, "labor day" just means you shouldn't wear white the rest of the year. Yep, that's what it means.

Women's day? Buy a new purse for your wife! She doesn't need it, and you don't actually need to spend that money, bit don't let that stop you! Mother's day? Take on a diet compared mostly of chocolate! Don't ask where it came from.


A fun physics trick you can try at home!

Try mixing uppers and downers to get ejected horizontally at terminal velocity!

Just learned that there's no unified theory of aerodynamic lift.

Pretty sure we live in the dev environment.

See, here's the thing that most people don't consider in their goose-fighting schemes: the average person's arm is longer than a goose's neck.

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I haven't asked for money for a bit, but with spring coming up I'm doing my budget and y'know? It's looking like I'll need somewhere north of 0 dollars in order to get my projects finished.

Small projects:
- pay bills (internet bill went up AGAIN this month, second time this year >_<)
- buy some tools for fixing bikes to keep here at the CBGAZ
- Send money to Native folk who gave me seeds even though I have no seeds to swap back.
- Pay for another month of medication for a local person.

Medium projects:
- Buy posts and wire for plotting out quarter-acre garden I'm breaking ground on sometime next week or the week after.

Big projects:
- Pay to have a loom moved from New York to Ohio where it can be used by and for BIPOC making textiles.
- Help with the deposit on a 1/4 acre of land for a mom and their kid who keep getting displaced. Someone's got a free trailer, and we've got the folk to fix it up once it's on site.
- Pay for personal dental surgery (I'll postpone this one forever; there's surely one anarchist dentist somewhere in the world.)

Previously, I was waiting on assistance from a local mutualist group with a lot of these projects, which is why I've talked about these before but didn't focus on asking for money: it was assumed I'd be compensated once they had their budgeting meetings. However, that group is choosing to horde the money they solicited under false premises, so I'm left fundraising for myself!

My gifts-to-community and purchases-for-mutualism in February was about $869, while gifts-received was about $190. The difference came from interest-free loans from friends and isn't sustainable!

(Want to give a large amount? I can probably get you receipt for your taxes. Want to mail me seeds? I can probably get you a shipping address. just let me know.)


(I'll put addresses for sending blockchain tokens in a follow-up.)

product review, initial impressions, tires 

Initial observations of using highway all-terrain tires (Yokohama Geolandar G015) for general use: It hasn't snowed since I installed them so I can't speak to their snow/ice manners.

I call them highway all-terrain tires, as opposed to highway all-season tires or just all-terrain tires, because they appear to be designed primarily as all-terrain tires, with a focus towards pavement comfort and all-season drivability, and long tread life, over absolute all-terrain performance. For someone like me, who expects to be doing a lot of highway driving, as well as needing to be able to handle rough/unimproved roads, as well as snowy/icy conditions, they seem to have a good combination of characteristics.

They're a little bit growly but nothing that is a deal-breaker. If I take them on the highway I'll see how noisy they are at speed. They're rated for 130 mph, above which the tires risk losing cohesion and breaking apart. Being rated so high, I find it unlikely they're bad at moderate to high speeds.

If I find occasion to go on rough/unimproved roads I'll find out how good their loose surface road manners are.

The tread is very deep, and with how chunky these tires are, I can see how they can be rated for 60k miles, even as all-terrain tires.

joke about drugs 

If you mix uppers and downers, you go sideways very quickly.

I have succeeded in fitting a full size spare tire in a space only designed properly for a donut spare. The space was bigger than the donut spare, so the engineers thought someone might try to fit something a little bigger than the donut in there, but they didn't size it for easily fitting a full size spare tire with all the air in it.

I had to let all the air out of the full size spare tire, wedge it in, and then gorilla pound on it a bit to get it to sit fully in the space.

The screw clamp that held down the donut won't fit, but that's fine, because it's in there tight enough it's not going to move around on its own.

Most exercise I've gotten this week.

Going to the tire shop.

Just because I'm waiting outside for like an hour and dancing to the shop music.

Being an autism 

Benefit of wearing a mask everywhere: my absence of passive facial expressions doesn't bother people when they can't see my face anyway.


Look I'm not proud that I unintentionally heckled a Welcome to Night Vale live show while on shrooms, but I will say it was a fantastic show.

I've come to the conclusion that dentists hire harems.

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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.