Most of you know that the word “robot” comes from a 1920 play by Karel Čapek.
I finally read this play and was surprised to learn that the robots in it were not mechanical beings. They were made of flesh and bone, just like people, except that were assembled instead of being born.
Čapek’s robots resemble human beings but don’t feel pain or fear, and focus only on their jobs.
Maciej Cegłowski on the advertising-industrial-government complex that constitutes the increasingly more centralized internet:
The offline world works like it always has. I saw many of you talking yesterday between sessions; I bet none of you has a verbatim transcript of those conversations. If you do, then I bet the people you were talking to would find that extremely creepy.
I saw people taking pictures, but there’s a nice set of gestures and conventions in place for that.
More than 500 of the world’s leading authors, including five Nobel prize winners, have condemned the scale of state surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and warned that spy agencies are undermining democracy and must be curbed by a new international charter.
I’d like to point you to a master piece from Frank Rieger in 2006 (!), predicting many of the things that are ongoing now and how to fight it. I recommend reading it completely as he does leave room for hope in the end :)
Frank is the current speaker of the Chaos Communication Club, btw. They have a lot of influence in Germany and culturally contributed a lot to making working for secret services uncool.
…I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides. I am not American, I am a Brit, but it’s no different - GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA.
We designed this system to keep criminals out. There’s no ambiguity here. The warrant system with skeptical judges, paths for appeal, and rules of evidence was built from centuries of hard won experience.
The current level of general surveillance in society is incompatible with human rights. To recover our freedom and restore democracy, we must reduce surveillance to the point where it is possible for whistleblowers of all kinds to talk with journalists without being spotted. To do this reliably, we must reduce the surveillance capacity of the systems we use.
If whistleblowers don’t dare reveal crimes and lies, we lose the last shred of effective control over our government and institutions.