Open Source Bridge, day 1 keynote

Hacker Lounge – open 22 hours a day (closed between 6 and 8 fit cleaning).
Android app
Session notes link on each page, takes you to thewiki.
#osb11 is the official hashtag
Friday is unconference (I won’t be here on Friday).

What is open source citizenship? Nominate people for open spice citizenship awards by the registration desk.

Now the keynote, hacking for freedom: join the doocracy by Peter Fein.

Hacker, hacktivist, names are important, names have power. Peter uses the word “hack” meaning doing something clever with technology. “if we cannot see, we cannot act.”

Do-ocracy. You. Just. Do.

Telecomix (http://www.telecomix.org/) built mirrors to blocked sites, help folks tweet. They are yin to anonymous’ yang – they build and facilitate communication, not destroy and take down sites.. They go lower tech when they need to also, setting up fax and reverse fax lines for example.

The last 6-8months have shown how dramatic the Internet can be for freedom fighting. Egypt has pulled fiber optic cable to censor the ‘net, but in the Western world we have censorship and it’s more subtle. It’s not just wikileaks, there is a PROTECT-IP act going through US Congress that would allow Homeland Security to seize domain names under the guise of copyright issues.

Communicate organize resist, then we become subjects.

“If we can’t communicate, we can’t organize. If we can’t organize, we can’t resist. If we can’t resist, we become subjects [not citizens].”

We are seeing a sort of info war of nation-states vs the internet. “the Internet didn’t cause the protests in the Middle East [North Africa, really], but it did facilitate them.”. For me, though, Napster and Limewire did not cause piracy, they just facilitated piracy, but both companies no longer exist…..

Peter introduces the concept of a “disorganization” and different tactics to organize volunteers.
Radical openness – Anonymous chat rooms can be found by searching Google.
Adhocracy – put a team together todo a certain task.
At the end of the day, what matters is what you get done,and that is the core principle of the doocracy.

He points to Critical Mass as a disorganization – there’s no hierarchy, no centralized leadership, people just go out and do. He points to Burning Man as another one, and Open Source Bridge as yet another. People show up, they setup stuff they ask what they can do to help.

The he plays a clip from Lawrence Lessig speaking at Oscon 2002 about copyright: “If you don’t do something now…this freedom will be taken away…..If you can’t fight for your freedom, you don’t deserve it.”

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Overall, the keynote was good, but for me, was not particularly informational, inspirational, nor entertaining. I enjoyed it, and it reminded me of a lot of stuff that has been happening, but nothing ideally had forgotten. Maybe that’s because I already subscribe to the doocracy way? I can see how it might spark a non-doer to go out and do, but that was not the effect it had on me.

An interesting start to a conference that has less in the way of mysql content, and more of the “soft” topics, which really are important to me.

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