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[Nettime-nl] reminder: tomorrow open-search kick-off workshop
Erik Borra on Tue, 12 Dec 2006 09:34:06 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] reminder: tomorrow open-search kick-off workshop

   (please circulate, apologies for multiple copies)

Open-search kick-off workshop

Who controls the information on the internet? While the internet itself
is an open medium, getting access to the information is mostly
controlled by search engines, operated by large multi-national companies
such as Google and Microsoft. These companies have one primary goal:
monetary profit. If this entails manipulating search results, censorship
or disclosing user profiles to governments, they have no reason not to
do so.

All of these problems stem from the fact that these search engines
operate as centralized entities. We want to remedy this situation by
creating a distributed, peer-to-peer (p2p) search engine. This new
approach distributes the crawling agents over users' computers. Crawled
data is indexed and stored in a distributed and redundant manner, to
avoid single-point-of-failure and manipulation. Search queries are
processed anonymously by the network, leaving no central log of whom
searches for what.

This project is part of and funded by [1]the digital pioneers program.

The kick-off workshop will start with an introduction to the project,
and its political and ideological underpinnings. The second half will
revolve around the technology needed to create such a distributed search
engine. The results of this brainstorm session will form the input for a
paid developer, who will describe the architecture and subsequently
start to implement it. Follow-up workshops are already being planned.

We encourage everyone interested to take part in this workshop, either
virtually or in person. This is a community project, a search engine by
and for the people, not by the powers-that-be. See [2]our website for
more details, including how to get involved, chat with us or sign up to
the mailing lists.

Time & Place:

Tuesday 12-12-2006, 19.30h CET, 18.30h GMT, 13.30h EST, 20.30h EET,
8.30h HST, 11.30h MST.  Doors open half an hour earlier.

Virtual attendance:

The workshop can be attended in virtual form by audio/video stream and
interaction through IRC chat via [3]KickOffWorkshopVirtualAttendance

Physical attendance:

University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam
The Netherlands

There will be sandwiches (free of charge). Soft-drinks and coffee
available from vending machines.


1. (19:30h) Introduction to the project
2. (19:40h) Introductory talks by [4]Joris van Hoboken on regulation
by/in/on searchengines and [5]Michel Bauwens ([6]p2p foundation) on p2p
epistemologies in relation to searching.
3. (20:20h) Discussion and brainstorm about political / ideological /
sociological consequences of an application like this. Led by [7]Richard
4. (20:40h) Break
5. (20:55h) Presentation of objectives and possible information
architecture by our main developer Robin Gareus.
6. (21:10h) Brainstorm information architecture
7. (21:45h) End


1. http://www.digitalpioneers.org/
2. http://www.open-search.net/
4. http://www.ivir.nl/medewerkers/vanhoboken.html
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Bauwens
6. http://www.p2pfoundation.net/
7. http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/r.a.rogers/
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* Contact: Menno Grootveld (rabotnik {AT} xs4all.nl).