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English
Talk
Everyone
Love Against the Machine

Short thesis

Computers changed over the last 20 years, from friendly machines we could understand, control and improve upon to black-boxed prisons designed at spying upon and controlling us. How come we are now an increasing number to *hate* these machines, when we remember a past in which we used to passionately love them?

This shift of modern computing towards "enemy machines" has a profound impact on geopolitics (think "Trump's NSA"), on power relationships (think "We know what you did online for the last 15 years") but also on our humanities and the way we learn, share and relate to each other.

How to rethink our relationship to machines, how to rebuild trust in computers that could efficiently enable and protect us?

What is probably one of the biggest challenges for Humanity can only be solved with love and the joy of sharing!

Description

Computers changed over the last 20 years, from friendly machines we could understand, control and improve upon to black-boxed prisons designed at controlling us. How come we are now an increasing number to *hate* these machines, when we remember a past in which we used to passionately love them?

From mobile computers (aka "smartphones") containing black-boxed baseband processors enabling remote control, and kicking the user away from properly owning his device, to generalized Intel CPUs and their "management engine" providing also a way for "real masters" of our machines to monitor and control all we do online, the age of the technological optimism is long gone. It is almost impossible today to buy a computer that isn't designed and built as an enemy of its user.

This shift of modern computing towards "enemy machines" has a profound impact on geopolitics (think "Trump's NSA"), on power relationships (think "We know what you did online for the last 15 years") but also on our humanities and the way we relate to each other: If I cannot understand how a machine works, how will I ever improve it? How will I ever have a chance to participate in a society run by such black boxes?

How to rethink our relationship to machines, how to rebuild trust in computers that could efficiently enable and protect us? Fortunately a few thriving software and hardware (therefore social!) projects give elements of a plan for action, based on ethical and otherwise humane values, rather than the integrated illusion of comfort and marketing of dominant actors. We will briefly explore a non-exhaustive cartography of such projects based on the ethical principles of free/libre software and hardware, decentralized services and end-to-end encryption as an outline of what can be done, what is being done, and what we could be doing more in a not-so-distant future.

What is probably one of the biggest challenges for Humanity can only be solved with love and the joy of sharing!