INDEPENDENT NEWS

OSOS Update #1: 10.30 am.

Published: Mon 22 Aug 2016 11:15 AM
It’s a small but friendly crowd here at OSOS. First, the housekeeping. If you’re not here, you can check it all out on the livestream. And, to be robust about it, here’s the URL: http://opensourceopensociety.com/livestream.html
On Twitter? #OSOSNZ. Simple enough. I’m covering it on my handle, and Joe Cederwall’s over here.
Follow the programme here. And do let us know if there’s anything (or anyone) you want us to cover in detail.
Te reo word of the day: Toke! Awesome!
In her opening remarks, organiser Silvia Zuur observed that “OSOS is you guys, right here.” She was talking to the room, but I see know reason why that shouldn’t include the people who aren’t here: you there, reading this.
Joshua Vial kicked us off with some provocative thoughts on the open world. “Open source is inherently amoral.” Witness: here’s a 3D printer that will whip up an automatic assault rifle.
Joshua Vial: “Open source in inherently amoral.”
Another morally questionable (in the most generous sense) example is Sci-Hub, “the Pirate Bay of academic journals.” “These people are doing good things”, he said.
The question of morality was picked up and expanded on by software superstar Evan Henshaw Smith. Twitter - I learned - was originally founded on an open source kaupapa, but was unable to defend itself to “open market attacks.”
On this, he quote Mark Zuckerberg (surely every open sourcer’s nemesis): “Twitter is such a mess. It’s as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in.” Henshaw-Smith’s reply: “I have to own my own responsibility in that. That’s partly my fault. Because I’m an anarchist and I’m more interested in changing the world.”
Henshaw-Smith raised more questions than answers.
How do we ensure meaningful participation? How do we include the input of parents? Of the less well educated? Of people who aren’t fluent English speakers?
“Technology is changing the world slower and more profoundly than we ever thought possible. You see pets online and you go, no! Nothing will ever happen. It’s a disaster!”
And, picking up on Josh Vial’s theme of morality: “We choose the values we build into software … We create the glasses through which people see the world.”
And, closing on a quote by Paulo Friere: “We make the road by walking.”
Now everyone’s into team talk: a kind of facilitated networking process. Better go join in. Toke!
James Littlewood
Writer and Researcher
I like to stick to the truth. Or at least, the facts. I initiate my own freelance projects, and I'm also a hired gun.
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