We’ve had enough of digital monopolies and surveillance capitalism. We want an alternative world that works for everyone, just like the original intention of the web and net.

We seek a world of open platforms and protocols with real choices of applications and services for people. We care about privacy, transparency and autonomy. Our tools and organisations should fundamentally be accountable and resilient.


Shannon Tyler Cunningham [GG] Re: (probably) the world's highest solar powered mesh network and offline media server setup 2016-09-09 04:32:00 (2 years 2 mons 15 days 22:16:00 ago)

Realizing now that I was dumb and responded only to Anish. Forwarding to the group… Hello all. :)

On 09/09/2016 06:29 AM, Shannon Tyler Cunningham wrote:

Hi Anish,

I take issue with the NGO model because it is literally a corporate model. 501(c)(3)s in the US, for instance, must incorporate. That's centralization.

If you are self-funded, why incorporate? Why does this need to be "scalable?" Why would it need major funders in the future? I don't think we can claim to desire decentralization while fitting ourselves to a top-down, rigid institutional framework and attempting to curry the money of NGOs and companies. I ask these questions not to "trap" you, or even seeking for myself answers to them from you, just I guess hoping that questions like these will always be asked by ourselves to ourselves when we come up with solutions like you have.

I personally like the idea of cacheing entire resources like Wikipedia and expanding access (hence by support of Swartz attempting to download JSTOR with the hopes of uploading it illicitly), but I don't think we should work from the *assumption that connecting less connected populations is always beneficial to those populations. If that idea turns out to be a good fit for a given population/community/region, then by all means one should help that community in doing so (no strings attached and always ceding all control to the community in question), but always with the lesson of (e.g.) recent Ladakhi history itself in mind.

After all, in Ladakh specifically, we've seen *a lot* of the ill effects of Western and national cultural hegemony and cultural globalization (which necessarily flows much more strongly from "West" to "East" and from nation to community than vice versa under a [Western] hegemonic system of globalization) in many of its communities, including communities in Leh. I also think that neglected here is the concept that we should be preserving (cacheing, one might say) Ladakhi knowledge (and exporting it, should Ladakhis wish), rather than importing (national or global) hegemonic "knowledge" and systems of logic to Ladakh. The latter is also a form of centralization—of homogenization. And in the case of Ladakh at least, I'm sure you agree that much of the world has more to learn from Ladakh than Ladakh has to learn from the increasingly homogenized world. (If it's not yet obvious, I am kind of head over heels in love with Ladakh and have been for years. *Vajrayana Buddhist*)

I just think these issues always need to be critically examined and engaged with regard to all of our choices, and that we should interrogate a lot of the assumptions that we work from. I wouldn't say one should throw the baby out with the bathwater—what you've done here is very clever and I especially love the concept from a technical standpoint.

Best regards,

On 09/08/2016 11:17 PM, Anish Mangal wrote:
Dear Shannon,

"project" is somewhat ambiguous from where I stand.

In the context of *this* deloyment in Leh, it was funded by the two of us (Mikko, and Me -- mostly Mikko). He spends quite a bit of time in Leh every year so he knows the place and people inside out.

The same mesh+schoolserver idea was deployed in another Indian state, and there the model is commercial ... funds from the local administration went into the deployment of the server and network there. Me and a colleague are brainstorming ways right now to make this sustainable and scalable.

In the context of the open source project (which is XSCE - School Server Community Edition) , it is a loose group of volunteers collaborating remotely, but working locally with a common technology base. There would be some NGOs, some companies, some individuals in the mix.

Curious to know what you imply by NGO model. I am a strong believer in grassroots movements and local ownership of technology. My focus over the next few months is to make the technology available in human readable form, so anyone can understand, deploy using whatever model that fits best in their scenario.


On Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 9:26 AM, Shannon Tyler Cunningham <shannonc...@riseup.net> wrote:

I hate to say I think we should consider moving away from the NGO model. Who is funding this project?

Best regards,