Category:Technology

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Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.

- Melvin Kranzberg [1]


Contents

Introduction

This is a place to monitor technological developments, the P2P infrastructure, software issues, technology-enabled cooperation, etc.. Eventually, this section should exhibit the answer to the following question: what are the technical requirements for human emancipation? How to we design and implement an infrastructure that guarantees the participation of all?

Our related Standards section monitors open standards, interoperability, etc...

Above all, never forget: Technology Is Not a Force for Either Liberation or Oppression, as explained by Dale Carrico.


And please read this:


Related Wiki Sections

  1. Projects to decentralize/distribute the internet: see our section on P2P Infrastructure
  2. Open Standards


Socio-technological framework

"The capacity to promote autonomy is a fundament characteristic of a convivial tool".

= Ivan Illich, in: "Tools for Conviviality"


Brian Whitworth:

"Today technology designers must recognize Socio-Technological System Levels:

  1. Hardware systems, based on physical energy exchanges.
  2. Software systems, based on information data exchanges.
  3. Human–computer interaction systems, based on personal semantic exchanges.
  4. Socio–technical systems, based on community–wide exchanges.

See the Graphic at http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewFile/3173/2647/28318


(Source: The social environment model: Small heroes and the evolution of human society by Brian Whitworth and Alex P. Whitworth. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 11 - 1 November 2010 [3])

See also:

See the graphic at http://pan.tilted.net/~admin168/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/newParadigm_graph2flat2.jpg

Typology

This typology by David Weinberger [4] is actually quite useful in determining basic attitudes towards the internet and technology:

"1. Exceptionalist (E) vs. Ordinarist (O). Exceptionalists believe that the Internet is exceptional, extraordinary, and disruptive, the way, say, the printing press was. Ordinarists believe that the Internet is just another new medium, no more revolutionary than, say, CB radio.

2. Technodeterminist (T) vs. Contextualist (C). Technodeterminists believe that the Net by itself brings about transformations against which it is futile to struggle. Contextualists believe that technology by itself does nothing and changes nothing; other factos determine the effects of technology.

3. Optimist (H) vs. Pessimist (P). Optimists believe that the Net is, or brings about, good things. Pessimists believe otherwise. (Note: Since everyone believes their beliefs are true, everyone thinks they are a realist. When someone actively asserts s/he is a realist, s/he is actually asserting a form of counter-optimism, i.e., pessimism.) (Note: The “H” stands for Happiness or Hope."


Short Citations

All P2P really means is person-to-person: normal folk using web tools - without the annoyance of an institution or mega-corp getting in the way.

- James Cherkoff [5]


"The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it"

- Weiser [6]


“Man is a Tool-using Animal. . . . Nowhere do you find him without Tools; without Tools he is nothing, with Tools he is all.”

- Thomas Carlyle)


One of the key elements of p2p is the end of the distinction between infrastructure and users. Under p2p the users BECOME the infrastructure.

- Paul Hartzog

We have community supported agriculture, and it works. Now, we need community supported technology!

- Sam Rose [7]

Long Citations

“Modern methods of production have given us the possibility of ease and security for all; we have chosen, instead, to have overwork for some and starvation for others. Hitherto we have continued to be as energetic as we were before there were machines; in this we have been foolish, but there is no reason to go on being foolish forever.”

- Bertrand Russell. 1932


A truly technological machine is an open one, and the ensemble of open machines presupposes man as permanent organiser, as living interpreter of machines both in themselves and in relation to other machines. Far from being overseer of a gang of slaves, man is the permanent organiser of a society of technical objects which need him as musicians need a conductor... So man's function is to become both coordinator and permanent inventor of the machines around him.

- Simondon, Du mode d'existence des objets techniques (1958) [8]


“I choose to see personal web‐server technology (Opera Unite, Firefox POW, etc) as a breakthrough technology, so people can put their own data into the cloud without paying Flickr or whomever. It is this sort of 'personal technology' I believe will characterize (what we now call) Web 3.0 (and not 3D, or semantic web, etc.). So my dilemma is that, while these technologies are pretty evident today, it is not clear that the people I suspect Pew counts as “the savviest innovators” are looking at them. So I pick “out of the blue” even though (I think) I can see them coming from a mile away.”

– Stephen Downes, National Research Council, Canada [9]


"Advocating for appropriate technology is not "anti-technology," directing our attention to politically pernicious deployments of technodevelopment exploiting the vulnerable and profiting elite-incumbents is not "anti-technology," delineating the catastrophic impacts of false models and marketing hype is not "anti-technology."

As I keep on insisting, time and time again, "technology" doesn't exist at a level of generality that properly enables one to affirm a "pro-technology" or "anti-technology" stance in any kind of monolithic way. Technology is better conceived not as an idol to affirm or as an ethos with which to identify but as an interminable process of collective technodevelopmental social struggle in which a diversity of stakeholders (not all of them necessarily even human) are constantly contesting, collaborating, educating, agitating, organizing, appropriating, and coping with ongoing and proximately emerging technoscientific changes, costs, risks, and benefits."

- Dale Carrico [10]


"There are tools, technologies and discourses which favour diffuse power, and tools, technologies and discourses which favour concentrated power. Today the concentrated power mechanisms have the upper hand. All it would take to turn the tide is for the diffuse power mechanisms to gain the upper hand. I’d speculate that diffuse power mechanisms may have gained the upper hand in some fields in the 1960s-70s, and only the recomposition of capitalism as neoliberalism (with new technologies and discourses) saved it at this point (e.g. states were losing guerrilla wars to popular forces across the board in this period). If diffuse power retained the upper hand then any authoritarian regime created on the backs of diffuse power would itself be vulnerable to a reactivation of diffuse power."

- Andy Robinson [11]


Huberto Maturana: Technology is not the Solution to Human Problems

“Technological transformations do not impress me, biological technology does not impress me, Internet does not impress me. I say this not out of arrogance. No doubt much of what we do will change if we adopt the different technological options at hand, but our actions will not change unless our emotioning changes. We live a culture centered in domination and submission, mistrust and control, dishonesty, commerce and greediness, appropriation and mutual manipulation ... and unless our emotioning changes all that will change in our lives will be the way in which we continue in wars, greediness, mistrust, dishonesty, and abuse of others and of nature. Indeed, we shall remain the same. Technology is not the solution for human problems because human problems belong to the emotional domain as they are conflicts in our relational living that arise when we have desires that lead to contradictory actions. It is the kind of human being, Homo sapiens amans, Homo sapiens aggressans, or Homo sapiens arrogans, at the moment in which we have access to a new technology, either as users or observers, that determines how we use it or what we see in it.”

- Huberto Maturana [12]

Key Resources

General Infrastructure

See also:

  1. CircleID is a good source to monitor internet infrastructure developments
  2. History of the Internet in a Nutshell: http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

Anonymity and Censorship Circumvention

  1. Virtual Private Network sites are ideal to circumvent internet censorship: HotSpot Shield , AlwaysVPN (also for Linux) and Social VPN: Run the installer and they just work with one click every time you get to a blocked website.
  2. Anonymizer Sites & Services: "there are two general types: networked and single-point. There is one known networked anonymizer called EFF Tor, highly recommended"
  3. Free proxy lists
  4. Free Public Proxy Servers Lists


Broadband

  1. Various strategies to achieve Free Fiber to the home


Collaboration

  1. Free groupware: links to collaborative software which can be freely used, copied, studied, modified, and redistributed
  2. The Big List of Social Sites includes a directory of social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, and social aggregation sitges.
  3. List of collaborative software and ofwiki software compiled by Mark Elliot


Filesharing

  1. Complete list of P2P Filesharing programs with comparative notes. + A list of free and open source filesharing systems


Free Software Infrastructure

  1. High Priority Free Software Projects: "The FSF high-priority projects list serves to foster the development of projects
  2. Find Open Source Alternatives to commercial software in the OSALT directory
  3. Government and Open Source Software + the 2007 Government Open Source Policies from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, listing the Open Source policies of hundreds of national, state/province/territory and local governments
  4. Directory of Open Source Alternatives to commercial software (also here).
  5. Top 100 Open Source Linux Applications
  6. Open Source Living: guide to the best freely available open source software on the web

Meshworks and Wireless Commons

  1. List of Wireless Community Networks Worldwide
  2. Open Source Mesh Networking projects monitored by Open Source Mesh


Political Organizing

  1. The Organizer's Tool Crib is a participatory directory of online tools and resources for social change activists.
  2. Infrastructure for social movements at Rise Up
  3. Tactical Tech helps activist organizations with training, support and tools such as NGO in a Box


P2P Network Computing

  1. For the most fully distributed Peer to Peer Computer Networks at present, please check out Tribler ;Peerple ; Wipeer
  2. Research into more fully distributed P2P systems for the future: Chord, CX Project, Farsite, Globe Project, Oceanstore, Pastry
  3. Decentralized P2P software programs are monitored and indexed here; Flud maintains a list of Distributed Internet-based Backup Systemssuch as Tahoe


P2P Searching

  1. List of Distributed Search Engines; [14]
  2. Privacy-Friendly Alternative Search Engines: List compiled by We Rebuild available at http://werebuild.eu/wiki/Alternative_search_engines

Virtual Worlds

  1. Peer to Peer Virtual Worlds: VastPark, Solipsis, Vast; see also: Multiverse

Articles

Kevin Kelly.

General Infrastructure

  1. The Rise of the Stupid Network. David Isenberg's classic essay for locating intelligence in the periphery, not the core.
  2. End-to-End Arguments in System Design: The best way to design a network is to allow the sender and receiver to decide what the data means, without asking the intervening network to interpret the data.
  3. World of Ends: Doc Searls and David Weinberger summarize the key characteristics of the internet.


Anonymity and Censorship Circumvention

  1. How Anonymizers Work
  2. How To Communicate Securely in Repressive Environments. Patrick Meier: Core to effective strategic nonviolent action is the need to remain proactive and on the offensive; the rationale being that both the resistance movement and repressive regime have an equal amount of time allocated when the show-down begins. If the movement becomes idle at any point, this may give the regime the opportunity to regain the upper hand, or vice versa.
  3. Top Ten methods to access banned websites + Everyone's guide to circumvent internet censorship


Internet Security Resources and How-to Guides

  1. FLOSS Manual for Circumvention Tools‎ ; Bypassing Internet Censorship. [15]
  2. Guide to Mobile Security for Citizen Journalists‎; [16]
  3. EPIC Online Guide to Practical Privacy Tools‎ [17]
  4. Anonymous Blogging with WordPress and Tor[18]
  5. Security in a Box‎
  6. Quick Guide to Secure Communication‎ [19]
  7. Everyone's Guide to Bypassing Internet Censorship‎



Broadband and Connectivity

  1. Telecommunication expert Gordon Cook asks: Is Bandwidth Infinite?
  2. Various strategies to achieve Free Fiber to the home
  3. How To Set Up An Open Mesh Network in Your Neighborhood

Free Software Infrastructure

  1. Understanding Free Software, Open Source Software and Floss, thanks to this booklet
  2. Open Source Software Tools And Directories: Where To Find Them, How To Evaluate Them. By Robin Good

P2P Network Computing

  1. Peer-to-Peer Networks as a Distribution and Publishing Model: the best introduction to the advantages of P2P Computing!

Podcasts on P2P Technology

  1. Adam Greenfield on Ubiquitous Computing
  2. Bruce Sterling on the Internet of Things
  3. Conversation with Ward Cunningham


Webcasts on P2P Technology

Full list at: P2P Videos on Internet Technology

Wikipedia Articles

Collaborative Filtering, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_filtering

Collaborative software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_software

Computer-supported collaboration, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-supported_collaboration

Computer-supported cooperative work, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_supported_cooperative_work

Debian Free Software Guidelines, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debian_Free_Software_Guidelines

Filesharing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesharing

GNU, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU

GNU General Public License, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License

Grid Computing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_computing

FLOSS, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLOSS

FOSS, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOSS

Free Content, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_content

Free software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software

Open Source, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

Open Source Initiative, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Initiative

Open Source Definition, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Definition

Open Source software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_software

Open Source Software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Source_Software

Peer to Peer (technology), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_to_peer

Point to Point (technology), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point-to-Point

Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain

Recommendation system, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recommendation_system

Reputation, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reputation

Social software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_software

Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

Wiki software, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki_software

Subcategories

This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.

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Pages in category "Technology"

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