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.


hellekin [LibreList] Re: [redecentralize] The next billion. A broken web. Social implications. 2015-09-17 11:17:34 (5 years 6 mons 16 days 04:29:00 ago)
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On 09/17/2015 09:52 AM, Anish Mangal wrote:
> I believe the problem has atleast two aspects - educating people and
> engaging them in conversation which was the thing I had in mind when I
> shared this email, and second, the larger fight of generally making
> internet a better place :-)

The problem with "educating people" is that you're already coming with
the assumption that you're right, and they should come to agreement with
your position if only they had the correct information.  It might not
feel like this, but it's the case.  Many cultures around the world have
conflicting world with the global Western approach.

The Western mind has a lust for general principles and since Descartes
and with the Enlightenment, we have a tendency to reduce the picture of
the world to support our totalitarian claims.  If Newtonian physics
works most of the time, we've known for a Century already that it does
not in all cases.  But the reductionist world view still prevails,
destroying as it builds, seeking universality from flattened and
dysfunctional models.

In the last few decades, a new force has been growing fast and strong,
that rejects reductionism, but still proceeds from a similar bias: it
starts considering an issue (e.g., Internet access), and restricts the
field of observation until it fits the agenda; it still works on
computable/measurable parts, and leaves complexity to "externalities".
This "good enough" / "just in time" / "stakeholder" approach can be very
helpful in many circumstances, but still fails when people try to
extrapolate universals from constituent parts.  I would call this the
holographic approach.

The difference between reductionism and this is that the former assumes
the world to be mechanical, and therefore entirely computable,
measurable, controllable.  The latter, while it's a lot more
sophisticated, still assumes homomorphism between a partial model and
reality.  It works for specific, limited cases where we already know the
parts and can combine them according to some predetermined logic, and
appears to be effective even in more complex cases.  But it often comes
at the expense of other ways to conceive life that do not assume an
informational world.

I do think there are homomorphisms in the world, but I do not believe in
an informational world that can be reduced to ones and zeros.  If you
come to a conversation with the assumption that you're right and your
interlocutor needs to be educated, then you're not ready to listen to
them and understand where you might be wrong.  An awful lot of
ideologies today assume that "progress" is "good", that "democracy" is
"necessary", that "transparency" is "appropriate", or that "technology"
will bring all solutions to all problems.  They often fail to consider
the genealogy and diversity of situations and tend to remove from "the
big picture" anything that "doesn't compute".

A prime example is this belief that connecting everyone to the Internet
will bring more benefits than harm.  But so far, there's no
demonstration that communities thrive better with Internet access.
Certainly isolated communities can defend themselves better if they can
reach out to the Internauts and have them pressure their politicians.

If "the next billion" is to connect to the Internet with Apple devices
and Facebook, well, they won't get any benefit from it: they will join
the hordes of ignorant people sucked by a machine that requires their
brains and purchasing power to fulfill their own agenda.  There's
nothing automatic in accessing the Internet and magically obtaining
empowerment.  As you embrace new technologies, your environment changes,
and with it your organism, from biological to political.  With the few
hindsight we have gained on communication technologies, we can tell that
powers already there can use them to their advantage as much as wannabe
liberation technologies, except at a must large scale: they act as
amplifiers, but when everyone is shouting, who's listening?  As much as
I like the Internet, I'm still worried that promoting its expansion is
more beneficial to the likes of Putin than to the rest of us.

I didn't see much homogeneity within the ISOC to tell that local
chapters can be helpful.  The Argentinian chapter for what I know is an
exclusive club of merchants who don't even take the time to update their
website nor respond to email.  But they still claim to be a local
chapter of ISOC, and there's no official ISOC response trying to unlock
the situation.  The truth is that this is all a theater, where people
try and play their part as much as they can.  But there's no text
written for this piece.  Everyone is writing their part as we go.
Acceptance without criticism means we're giving ink to those who do in
the name of others, using their broken assumptions, confirmed in their
biases by their apparent successes.


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