95 Thesis of Geek Activism

Found this site while on a random search string. Thought it was a great read. I’m pasting the preamble and first 15 thesis below, as I’m pretty sure the author in question won’t mind if I link back to him.

95 Thesis of Geek Activism

Geek activism has not taken off yet, but it should. With the gamers recognizing the need for a louder voice, EFF gaining momentum and Linux taking on the mainstream on the one hand and recent severe losses in privacy, freedom of speech and intellectual property rights on the other, now seems to be the best time to rally around the cause.

Geeks are not known to be political or highly vocal (outside of our own circles)- this must change if we want things to improve. So here is my list of things people of all shapes, sizes and sides of the debate need to know. Some of these are obvious, others may not be meant for you. But hopefully, some of these will inspire you to do the right thing and others will help you frame the next discussion, debate or argument you have on these topics.

  1. Reclaim the term ‘hacker’. If you tinker with electronics, you are a hacker. If you use things in more ways than intended by the manufacturer, you are a hacker. If you build things out of strange, unexpected parts, you are a hacker. Reclaim the term.
  2. Violating a license agreement is not theft.
  3. All corporations are not on your side.
  4. Keep in touch with everyone you can vote for and make sure you know where they stand on the issues you care about.
  5. More importantly, make sure they know where you stand on the issues you care about.
  6. Everything will enter the public domain some day- even Mickey Mouse.
  7. Read the original 95 theses. Yes, they are irrelevant to these causes. Yes, they are religious- and not even close to my religion. And yes, they are 500 years old. But they do demonstrate how stating your beliefs clearly, effectively and publicly to challenge the status quo can change the world. Of course, I have no delusions of grandeur!
  8. Use TOR for privacy and anonymity.
  9. Trusted computers must not be trusted.
  10. Democrats may seem to be on your side, but keep an eye on them. They may only be the lesser of two evils.
  11. Republicans may seem to be the enemy, but that is only because they are in power now. The true enemy is a lack of accountability.
  12. Read Eric Raymond’s The Cathedral and the Bazaar.
  13. Why do I have to jump through hoops just to get video off my own home movie DVDs?
  14. Know the DMCA so you know what you are up against.
  15. The true enemy is the line: “If you haven’t done anything wrong, what do you fear?” The problem with that line, as Schneier has said, is that it assumes that the desire for privacy implies wrong-doing.

Read the others, interesting information to be found. Here’s one of the later thesis for Chris:

  1. Calling Microsoft evil buys you nothing- it only polarizes the argument.


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