Vesna Manojlovic on Tue, 6 Jan 2015 23:26:36 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Hackers can't solve Surveillance

Reply to "Hackers can't solve Surveillance"

Original at:

Dmitry Kleiner wrote that hackers *alone* can not solve surveillance:

I would go further, and say that hackers *alone* can not solve
other IT-industry problems either:
- inequality / digital divide
- extraction of natural resources used to build the gadgets
- pollution caused by waste of discarded gadgets
- enormous energy consumption used to run IT infrastructure
- constantly pursuing unlimited growth

In order to solve any of those, I agree with the end of that text:

"we need more hackers and hackerspaces to embrace the broader
political challenges of building a more equal society."

Recently there were quite a few writings that, for me, resonate with
the same message:

"we are in this together ??? let???s join forces and combine our strengths"

For example: beyond whistleblowers, beyond sysadmins, beyond programmers - 
beyond hackers:

"sysadmins cannot create a solution by themselves. "

"The rapidly increasing numbers of the marginalized, unemployed, and 
oppressed must figure at the center of any strategy for change alongside 
defectors from the programming caste.

If programmers conceptualize their interests as distinct from the rest of 
humanity, and organize to defend those interests rather than to 
participate in a struggle much greater than themselves, they will be 
doomed, along with the rest of the species.

Programmers should not organize themselves as a class ??? they should switch 
sides in the class war."

Or, as the guy from Tarnac9 at #31c3 points out:

"The time has come for taking sides."

Already at #30c3 Elenore Saita & Quinn Norton said

"The world is on fire, and there is nowhere to hide and no way to stay 

To some external observers, it looks like most of the "IT industry" has 
taken a _wrong_ side:

* Heather Marsh calls the whole IT industry a dictatorship & a ponzy 

(excerpts at )

* From the (USA) socialist point of view:  &

* The "ICT for development dark side" & failure models:

Fellow hackers keep pointing to the ethical considerations:

>From the front lines: by Eleanor Saitta (Dymaxion) at OHM2013:

Walter van Holst about ethics in hacker communities:

However, some hackers still don???t want to be "aligned" with one or the 
other political side. As if that would be possible! What it boils down to: 
technical *is* political, technical *is* ethical -- no technology is 
"neutral", not morally neutral, not politically neutral. We all are taking 
sides every day, with every decision we make. We might not like it when 
other point this out to us, and we might not agree, and we might say that 
it was not a conscious choice -- but it is a choice nevertheless, and it 
has consequences - for ourselves, for out community/society, and for the 

Again, quoting form the text that accompanied the talk about Cybernetics 
at #31c3:

"Being free and having ties was one and the same thing. I am free because 
I have ties, because I am linked to a reality greater than me.

Which goes to show how ridiculous and what a scam the individual freedom 
of "I do what I feel like doing" is.

If they truly want to fight the government, the hackers have to give up 
this fetish. The cause of individual freedom is what prevents them from 
forming strong groups capable of laying down a real strategy, beyond a 
series of attacks; it???s also what explains their inability to form ties 
beyond themselves, their incapacity for becoming a historical force."

If we as hackers don't want to be a historical force, fine. Other 
historical forces will determine our future. If we want to take part in 
determining our own future, we will be aligned with - or used by - one of 
the sides in the "class war".

Going even further, beyond techno-fix and techno-utopism (while not 
falling into technophobia) : how can hackers ethics contribute to for the 
world after planetary collapse:

"For all of us to learn from each other, we need more contact between 
thinkers and doers; between philosophers and geeks. New collaborations 
between programers, artists and farmers, anarchists and politicians, 
atheists and yogis, activists and scientists and, yes, hackers and poets."

Because, however equal society we manage to build using political 
struggle,  Natural world with its laws and limitations is going to have a 
last word:


"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand 
the exponential function."

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