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[liberationtech] Call for Participants @ Noisy Square - Putting the Resistance back in OHM

Ruben Bloemgarten ruben at
Wed Jun 26 09:27:13 PDT 2013

Yay, Dutchy pileup. Joining the fray.

WARNING : the following lecture contains the word penis.

(But it does not have the word fuck. (Can I say fuck on libtech ?))

On 06/26/2013 12:55 PM, Lex van Roon wrote:
> On 06/26/2013 12:18, groente wrote:
>>>> Is this the pitch of "left unity at any cost"?  Because no, actually,
>>>> it turns out that unity isn't the best thing ever.  Do you want a big
>>>> tent that means nothing?  Do you think that the OHM orga is united in
>>>> fighting for the destruction of the power of all governments to
>>>> oppress their citizens?  Their actions indicate otherwise.  The
>>>> pushback you're getting here is that no, we're not all actually on the
>>>> same side.
>>> Thing is, as a dutch citizen, I do not (yet) believe that *all*
>>> governments need to be destroyed because they oppress their citizens
>>> (your words, not mine). The simple reasoning behind this, is that people
>> The point was, i believe, not to destroy the government per se, but to destroy
>> its power to oppress its citizens.
> Ok, I thought that Eleanor was pretty explicit in her wording, but I
> might be mistaking. 
She was, and you are. Probably because you injected "because" into your
I guess that she can make her wording more explicit
> and/or clarify them.
No need. "[...]the power of all governments to oppress their citizens?"
is perfectly clear.
>>> can be 'loosely' divided into two groups: leaders and followers. If we'd
>>> follow your plan and destroy all governments, that would imply that all
>>> the followers would be without a leader. And you probably also understand
>>> what happens next right, the power vaccuum will be filled by someone that
>>> will abuse that position. Since we, as a global hacker community, do not
>>> have any power structures that we could use to fill this void, every
>>> action that takes place to create that void will be detrimental to our
>>> cause. And *thats* why I call for unity instead of division. We might
>>> not agree on everything, but we will need to have an united voice and an
>>> united power structure if we want to make a difference against the big
>>> powers.
Great idea. We need a leader ! Een leider, un chef, un capo, ein Fuhrer,
if you will. And lots of followers preferably. After all, there´s too
many of them, and not enough of us. Yay us!
>> Well, the prerequisite for a united voice/power structure is a common goal and
>> methods which are not mutually exclusive. I frankly don't see how players like
>> THTC and Fox-IT fit into that picture. This may lead to awkward social situations
>> where personal friends are suddenly found on the other side of the dividing line
>> between those who empower the people and those who empower the state, but I fail
>> to see how it is useful to unite with players whose daily praxis is the direct
>> opposite of my (and i hope our) goals.
> The fight we need to fight is a big one. From that perspective, it makes sense
> to employ military tactics; In this context, Sun Tzu explained the reasoning 
> approx two thousand years ago (translation mistakes come from wikipedia):
> ~ So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a
>   hundred battles without a single loss.

Ok, we´re going for fortune cookie quotes. Great. Love those. How about
"Think you can. Think you can't. Either way, you'll be right." Or,
"Alas! The onion you are eating is someone else’s water lily." Oh oh.
How about this one : "If you want to fight a war without losing a single
battle, fight on both sides." Sound and fury.

> If you look at the history of warfare, you will have noticed that this
> statement still holds true and can be applied to all forms of warfare.
Nope. Wrong. If the history of war teaches us anything its that
“sometimes you go back for your bag, and sometimes you don't"
It´s a regular quote bonanza! Yay.
>>> Look, in the netherlands, we do not yet have or had any upcoming authoritarian
>>> / totalitarian government like the us or germany for instance. We know that it
Define authoritarian and, while your at it, define "had". How far back
are you going exactly?  Are you restricting a history of
authoritarianism to the Dutch European borders post 1839 ? (Well, post
1831, really. But let´s respect king William I´s refusal to recognize
Belgium shall we ? I still have a hard time recognizing Belgium, I think
even the Belgians do). Sounds perfectly sound. Who cares how the
Belgians interpret history, right ?  Let´s ignore Dutch colonial rule up
until, euh, now. To be clear : rule of Indonesia until 1949, ending
after "police actions" as they were and are euphemistically called. New
Guinea in 1963. Suriname in 1975. Granted, the malevolence of the
authoritarian nature of the Dutch state declined as the 20th century
progressed, but to suggest that Holland is and always has been this
haven of blissful innocence is at best an innocent display of ignorance.
And while I´m on the subject (those of you not riveted by Dutch history
should have stopped reading a while ago. If your still with me, you
might want to jump to the next interruption. Its about now (not real
time now, I can´t type that fast) and has the word penis in it.) Let´s
look at the lack of 'internal' Dutch authoritarianism in the period of
1839 to 2014, actually no. Let´s not. I´d would have to expand into
general state dickishness, the suffrage movement, labour unions, general
emancipation, the ethnic, religious and ideological state of
self-imposed 'apartheid' up until the early 1990´s and we´d be here all
>> I'm sorry, but have you been paying attention to the ammount of new laws that
>> were introduced over the last ten years? Have you forgotten we hold the world
>> record in phone tapping? This kind of rhetoric about the dutch government
>> supposedly being some kind of oasis of enlightenment and humanitarianism among
>> the evil states that surround it seems to be based on either naivety or blatant
>> nationalism, i'm not sure which is worse..
> I haven't forgotten what our government does, and if you would have read the
> rest of the paragraph, you'll notice that I'm not making up excuses for the
> dutch government. I'm just clarifying things from a general and realistic
> perspective. I oppose them as much as you do, but like I said, I disagree with
> the measures we can and should take, at this moment (note this last part).
Penis. (I promised.)
>>> will happen over time, since the netherlands is for most part a follower of
>>> the .us and .uk political flows. Yes, this means that we currently have
>>> a generation of people that is so laidback and comfortable 
Hm, maybe we´re living in different countries. The one I´m living in
just witnessed a 15 year period which saw one political assassination
and a religious assassination. A resurgence of publicly accepted
intolerance, racism and hatred. An electorate that is no longer
embarrassed to vote for, en masse, and publicly support, xenophobic
politicians. A public discourse that is rife with fear mongering and
narrow minded definitions of what it is to be Dutch. I could rant on
like this for hours, but I´ll restrain myself. (Really folks, this is

that we're a
>>> ripe target for a government with evil intentions. And also take into
>>> account, that the netherlands is really tiny and insignificant compared to the
>>> major players in the rest of the country.
Well, hm. Classic Dutch Calimero attitude.
( . But, to quote the great, still
not late, BB King "I pay the cost, to be the boss.", meaning to say this
great country of ours is still immensely wealthy and as such we, the
people, as represented by our elected second chamber of parliament (the
only directly elected national body in the country by the way, but I
digress. Often.) could be doing a lot more to make the world a better
place. The thing is that the Dutch are no exception to anybody else in
basically being petty little assholes. (Not me of course, I´m lovely and
sweet.)  For everybody´s cultural reference, for decades the Dutch
version of nationalism was not that NL was necessarily better than
everywhere else, but that everywhere else was definitely worse than NL.

 We cannot do that much about (eg)
>>> the major pervasive surveillance, warcrimes, torture, food shortages and
>>> other civil unrest in the rest of the world, since there are a lot of
>>> practical issues surrounding that that will make that next to impossible.
Had your statement read "[...] about *all* the major [...]", I would
have only objected to the suggestion that not being able to solve all
the problems absolves one from solving the ones that can be solved.
(Sounding like an AA meeting here, sigh.) As it stands you seem to be
making that statement without even the modifier of suggestion, and as
such I must object. (channeling a Victorian barrister now, double sigh.
Bear with me folks. There´s another penis on the way.)
>>> The strict .us border control as a result of 'terrorism' comes to mind.
>> Which is different from the strict .nl border control how, exactly?
>> Anyway, there are things .nl could do against pervasive surveillance, warcrimes,
>> etc, but the problem is the dutch state is really not that different from (and 
>> therefor just as much part of the problem as) the others. The dutch government 
>> could protest prism, just like it could end its praxis of massive wiretapping,
>> the point is it doesn't. That's not because .nl is a marginal player, it's
>> because it has no will to do so.
> And thats because the public does not care, and that's because (amongs
> others) we have failed to give them the perspective they need to pickup
> their roles within a democratic society and the discomfort caused by our
> governments haven't reached the tipping point yet. 
Who are the "we" that you are referring to exactly, are we talking
leadership again? Or are you suggesting that its the all-knowing "hacker
community", without whom nobody who is not attached at the hip to a
keyboard will ever be able to understand the world and see "the truth"
(which is out there) ever again?  And as for nobody adopting "roles" in
our democratic society. Again it seems like we are living in different
countries, the one that I am living in has many very active participants
to the democratic process and to the public discourse from which it
stems, some I wish were a little less active because I´m an elitist
left-wing snob and they are ignorant populist right-wing racists. Well,
fascists. Well, nazis. (extreme opinions are my own, and are in no way
reflective of an objectively observable universe.)
On the plus side (not all is rotten in the state of Denmark (Danish,
Dutch, what´s in a name.)) There is a thriving and diverse civil
society, not exclusive to nationalist (more expletives here), doing its
utmost to defend those aspects of the legislative story which attempts
to assure our civil liberties. AND there are many many who also trying
to do so abroad. I guess what I´m trying to say is that I seem to be far
more negative about the world today and don´t think Holland is an
exception. At the same time I´m extremely impressed with the tireless
efforts of so many to stem this tide and I believe that you are
completely wrong in what seems to be your believe of an upcoming epic
battle between good and evil. It is here, it has always been here, and
it will always be here. It is in this effort that we define our
respective societies , what it means to be free and what we want to be
free from. It is by this exchange that we exercise our freedoms, even if
sometimes it is merely the freedom to oppose. The day this no longer
happens, is the day that all dissenting voice is crushed. A corpse
rotting in a shallow grave spreading the putrid smell of uniformity and
universal agreement.

Yay ! Fun times. Let´s all sing a song now.

This in turn fails to
> generate the appropriate momentum needed to drive change. This is among
> other things why the whole occupy movement failed imho (as an example). See
> my previous comment about leaders, followers and power vacuum.
I recommend the Dyson, great power vacuum. (see my previous comments
about leaders.) Also, penis (I keep my word).
>>> Our 'anti-islam' political parties didn't do very well with the rest of
>>> the world as well, unfortunately.
>>> There are things we can actually do. Within the netherlands, there are people
>>> that try to help out other societies and nations with their internal problems.
>>> Most of those people will be in NoisySquare, so if you want to meet the people
>>> that actually *do* make a difference, that will be the place to meet them.
>> Well, there we can agree, I'm very happy to see N^2 work out the way it does and
>> hope to see you all there.
> Same here! I think that N^2 will offset most of the negative rumours that
> are floating around. Furthermore, I'd love to have a talk about this subject
> with you guys in person, since that works much more efficient and off-the-radar
> then a public ML.
Note to self : Insert friendly remark here. Don´t want to seem like an
>> <snip> 
>>> Like others have said before, and I shall say it again, a hacker event
>>> is *never*ever*ever* a safe place to be, because of the enormous amount
>>> of attention it receives from intelligence agencies and governments around
>>> the globe. OHM is not more/less safe then any other hacker event in that
>>> regard.
>> Surely there is no such thing as absolute safety, but we can try to maintain
>> cultural norms aiming at maximizing our safety. A clear rejection of the intel
>> community as our peers seems to be a good start.
> Sun Tzu disagrees ;-)
Sun Tzu is dead.
> gr, Lex

See you at OHM,

- Ruben
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