Earth Connections and Small Networks


I was invited to participate in a workshop called Earth Connections and Small Networks, hosted by the Greens/EFA Group at the European Parliament:

http://www.greens-efa.eu/earth-connections-and-small-networks-10200.html

It was certainly an honor to participate in this event together with Eben Moglen, founder of the FreedomBox project, as well as with Julien Rabier and Jonas Smedegaard.

The discussion had many great points and questions, too many to list. I think my main takeaway was that apparently hackers and activists are still too often criminalized for their work, and that better communication is still needed to explain why we need less centralization online.

The use of metaphors usually helps to explain the situation:

  • The metaphor of postcards: Sending an e-mail is not like sending a letter in an envelope. It is like sending a postcard that anyone in the delivery chain can read.
  • The metaphor of food: Using Facebook, Google, etc. is like consuming fast food (fast and easy, but not healthy). Using alternatives is like using organic food and cooking at home (more expensive, more difficult, but more healthy).

I also found the event title fantastic. We should really build “earth connections” that are close to us, tangible, and under our control, rather than relying that on “clouds” which are well beyond our reach.

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