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[liberationtech] It's about time we publicly declared privacy was never dead.

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Tue Nov 5 19:27:08 PST 2013

On Nov 5, 2013 8:32 PM, "Moon Jones" <mjones at> wrote:
> Shava Nerad:
> > Well, that is what the young people have been carefully taught but the
> > makers and a great many more feel something missing.  They are creating
> > their own tribes and communities because no one left a copy of the
> > contract near the remote control, or maybe they clicked through the EULA
> > too fast?
> There is no social contract, no EULA.
> > If these young people could dream together, on and offline, some hero's
> > journey -- to change their world reasonably peacefully, fighting
> > taking all that world building F&SF they love and putting that modeling
> > work IRL?
> Sounds like a Stalinist/1984 goal. I find your stance puzzling. You seem
> to be against the current political way, yet you are pushing for a far
> more totalitarian society.
I had to look up your FOSS involvement to make sure you weren't catfitz. ;)

How do you see that?  I see this as a continuation of the work of movements
such as the SCLC and the poor people's movement that followed.  Were those

Governments work to make us distrust popular movements because they can
effect reforms.  Public education, 40-hour work weeks, public libraries,
womens sufferage, civil rights, divestiture, (cc), FOSS.  Are these

> > Why aren't more of us working on that?
> Us? Who?

Us,  in LIBERATION technology.

>From the description of the program:

"Lying at the intersection of social science, computer science, and
engineering, the Program on Liberation Technology seeks to understand how
(and to what extent) various information technologies and their
applications -including mobile phones, text messaging (SMS), the Internet,
blogging, GPS, and other forms of digital technology - are enabling
citizens to advance freedom, development, social justice, and the rule of
law.  It will examine technical, legal, political, and social obstacles to
the wider and more effective use of these technologies, and how these
obstacles can be overcome. And it will try to evaluate (through experiment
and other empirical methods) which technologies and applications are having
greatest success, how those successes can be replicated, and how less
successful technologies and applications can be improved to deliver real
economic, social, and political benefit."

It might suggest this list comprises a list of interested parties.  Why are
you here?  This field has been my vocational center for two decades,
arguably three-ish.

Seems we both care about it.  I hope you don't have to protect the net from
me.  Heh…

> > We can be academic and clever and analytic.  But law and software and
> > academic papers will not get rid of the USA PATRIOT Act or tame the
> > of constitutional abuse in Congress and the IC.
> The Patriot Act is a law. Another law can just erase it. It's quite
> simple. Just enough people have to care. No need of mysticisms.

Were it simple, a lot of very smart people might have figured a way to do
it in a decade.  There is a lot of political machinery going into FUD,
security theater, politics of fear -- you know these terms?

To get people to care without *making* them care, but bringing them to care
through a journey of understanding and discovery (which, in my hopeful
moments,  I see Snowden as a part of, although I waver… ) is far harder
than scaring them out of their rights.

Enough people have to care and stand against fear-based arguments.  They
need to be brave and take risks.  They have to have a sense of meaning and
identity with a cause, if not unity or nation (I come from generations of
philosophical anarchists, myself, but that might take some hours of
discussion to pin down pragmatically.  Most often, I simply describe my
politics as anti-obscurantist.  Sometimes, a Spinoza-era liberal.).

People caring doesn't happen without steward leadership and art and it
never has.  You can call that mysticism, poetry, zines, leafletting,
soapboxes, folksongs, or propaganda according to your taste and the side
you're on, in relation to the people when they begin to wake up and care. ;)

Gandhi,  MLK, and Mandela all got charged with mysticism.  I am humbled.

> > We need a popular movement, and today that requires social tools,
> > will within our networks, and a great deal of the Art of the Possible.
> > Sausagemaking, my friends.  Not just clever language and fine
> This paragraph is precisely that: clever language and fine that thing.

Yes, which is why I am asking for help.  If you aren't interested,  this
isn't your project.  Might not be as evil as you presume.

> We? Who?
> Nobody need a movement. The movement is there. Or is not.
Haven't studied much political science or history?

Take free software or open source as examples.  (I more often use
feminism.)  I see, in my "evil corporate view," a few dramatic and
well-backed personalities and organizations, publicity engines, and
catfights over art, philosophy, and meaning.  (Maybe aided in this
perspective by being FSF's first PR person).  They annoy people getting the
work done… now… but they still refine the memes and craft licenses and do
significant catalytic heavy lifting and shielding, as well as spreading the
ideas so much faster in resistant areas (including non-software areas of

But sure, maybe you see, 1970s to now, I guess,  people just clapped their
hands, and fairy dust created a world movement.  Hold on to that, profit
off of others' efforts, and risk losing what they gained.

Or, learn from the history, and save yourself from repeating it, and
prevents others using their superior literacy hardcore organizational
politics and power against you.  Knowing methods doesn't necessarily make
one an enemy -- it can make one a warrior for peace.

I am not your enemy,  I think.

But you are right to not trust easily.  How could I advise otherwise, with
my background?  Perhaps not so justified dissing someone on this list as
totalitarian so very facilely.  We've barely met.

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