Thursday, May 11, 2006

'68 > '06

à la revolution...!?

to me this all looks like the classic set-up for a final confrontation of two side who clash in what is know as a "revolution". just like in may '68 students in france started their fight against the establishment, we have today the masses of people around the world who want to share their data, who believe in building a better and fairer world through the net, and on the other side those who control key strategic points: big business and the political elite. in simpler words: us versus them - consumers vs. producers. but it is not this simple, since we consumers are the ones who spend the money that makes all of this possible...! (but therein also lies the answer for the problem...) (may '06: people in france protesting against new laws in favor of drm).

drm, rfid, copyright and freedom of speech

so what is this about? it is about drm, rfid chips, more copyright restrictions, further criminalization of people who have been robed of their rights by the music industry that claims that in fact it has been robed by its paying customers...

this is about free speech on the net. and about attempts from big business and governments worldwide to control it.

it is about realizing the incredible potential we have here and what we can do to make use of it in everyone's best interest: this is a revolution that could have winners only in the end!

the challenge: to make them understand that we have the power - there is a collective intelligence that is building whole operating systems and webbrowers, office packages or video editing/effects software: not to biggest monopoly in the world will be able to defend it's abusive position against that. maybe free software is empowering more people than any other democratic movement before.

recently philips ("philips invents for you") announced a technology that will make it impossible for a user to skip ads, no matter if you are watching tv or a program you recorded. and while admitting that the invention could "anger" users, they justified it with saying: "we just provide the technology. it's up to the broadcaster to decide on how they use the technology..." (more here.) to me this sounds like a weapon dealer who says: "i don't shoot people, i only sell weapons."

so when a consumer reads about the latest philips invention he could start thinking: "is this in my own interest? should i ever again buy a product from the company that says it invents for me, but in fact invents against me...?!"

blue pill / red pill...?

a consumer also could become aware of the fact that ads often say the contrary of what might be closer to the truth: every major tobacco ad sells "freedom" - but all you can buy is "addiction"...

the web today is seen as key strategic tool for governments, big business and anyone who has an interest in controlling something. so naturally they are trying to limit free speech on the net. the interesting thing is that all governments, democratic or not, seem to be working very hard to gain control over free speech, the western governments just might be better at selling this to their voters, but then again: maybe a chinese worker thinks the same about us media brainwashed westerners...?

i will never forget that google was the only major search engine that did not give away it's search data to the us government just because they asked for it: yahoo, msn and aol just did as they were told...

one pill makes you larger
and one pill makes you small

a few useful links

for your rights:

electronic frontier foundation
reporters without borders
oxfam international
amnesty international

for your computer's rights:

ubuntu linux
firefox / thunderbird
vlc media player
democracy player / broadcast machine
dvd back-up: os x /others
streamripper: os x / others
pgp (wikipedia entry, see links for software)

for news, ideas and research:

bbc news
world changing
make blog
hack a day

and the only major search engine that does not just give its user's search data to a nosy government that asks for it:



so how similar are things when comparing 1968 with 2006...? maybe one could say this: while the events around '68 were all about the dream for a free society, in '06 it is about defending this dream against the interests of big business and totalitarian governments.

still, there is one big difference: in 1968 the establishment owned the media - today we are the media.

feed your head, feed your head...


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