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Author Topic: 2013-11-18: Wired: You can't beat politics with technology  (Read 2107 times)
Mike Hearn
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November 18, 2013, 06:16:25 PM
 #1

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-11/18/peter-sunde-hemlis-political-apathy

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Pirate Bay cofounder Peter Sunde spoke to Wired.co.uk about the problems with the file-sharing website in its current form, the "imminent death" of peer-to-peer and the centralised services that leave us open to NSA surveillance. He also urges people to dispel their political apathy to prevent the emergence of a new Stasi-style era of oppression.

People who are disenchanted with politics and the financial system should try and engage with the democratic process rather than turn to technology for alternative methods of doing things, says Peter Sunde, cofounder of The Pirate Bay.

"You can't beat politics with new technology all the time. Sometimes you have to actually make sure that politics are in line with what people want. A lot of people are giving up on politics and thinking they can solve issues with technology. These kind of arrogant behaviours towards the rest of the society are a bit disgusting," Sunde told Wired.co.uk in a Skype interview.

His response was provoked by a question about Bitcoin, a technology that he thinks is "interesting" and has a fascinating story behind it, but one that he feels is symbolic of a depressing widespread lack of trust in politics.
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cfrm
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November 18, 2013, 07:16:14 PM
 #2

He has a good point. As a fellow Scandinavian I can easily follow, but we don't have the governmental fear/trust-issues of Americans and Chinese, along with a bunch of other nations.

At the same time, as a co-founder of The Pirate Bay, he is guilty of double standards. The Pirate Bay was a service mainly used (and created for) illegal purposes and therefore would never be politically accepted, contrary to Bitcoin.

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November 18, 2013, 07:54:43 PM
 #3

He has a good point. As a fellow Scandinavian I can easily follow, but we don't have the governmental fear/trust-issues of Americans and Chinese, along with a bunch of other nations.

At the same time, as a co-founder of The Pirate Bay, he is guilty of double standards. The Pirate Bay was a service mainly used (and created for) illegal purposes and therefore would never be politically accepted, contrary to Bitcoin.



You cannot escape politics; TPB is heavily entrenched in politics and is accepted by the people who partake in politics.  If you don't believe me, just ask all the people who have downloaded or even listened to an MP3 without first having paid for the right; very few of us feel guilt for this illegal act, nor do we fine ourselves for it, proving that we do not agree with our own laws.

If we don't agree with our own laws, how do we define what is and is not illegal?  Apparently, the laws we agree on via democracy are very different from the laws we agree on in reality; if we generally agree that piracy is not illegal, otherwise we should all be incarcerated and would, at this moment, willingly turn ourselves in for what we've allegedly stolen (still hasn't happened but I'll be waiting on it), then we cannot put forth that TPB is neither legal or politically accepted, because it clearly is.  Even now we've all accepted Bitcoin is perfectly legal and many of us have concluded that, even if it was made illegal in some way by the powers that be, whether the currency itself or its usages, we would still use it in the ways we choose regardless.

All that said, the writer makes an excellent point; people really need to snap out of this daze where it's assumed healthy and beneficial to let other men lead you.  People need to be aware, informed and thinking for government to work; otherwise it just devolves into a few guys calling all the shots and nobody wants another Nazi party.  Technology cannot save a person from their own sheepishness; one cannot hide from embracing reality and still expect all to be well.

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November 18, 2013, 07:58:34 PM
Last edit: November 18, 2013, 08:18:19 PM by jdbtracker
 #4

In my opinion, we are not really countering to anything. WE are creating this technology as a new business, why ask for permission to do something and be told if we can do it or not? It simply is not relevant, a better system is being built that requires the input of everyone; How are people going to remix this idea?

If this amazing new world is done the right way, it will provide relevant data to everyone without compromising anyones identity. and it's customizable so that you can add extra layers to it if you want extras, but the foundation is openness of information for everyone without compromising ones safety wherever you are.

people can safely do what they want to do without oppressive governments deciding what they should do, but the governments still get to remix the idea... but they cannot shut it down... they must convince us by choice to follow their leads; Now they have to be real leaders.

As I see it, we are simply doing what is natural, we are networking and self-assembling connections to one another, when would this reality of the internet be apparent? That the internet is acting as a Brain and each one of us is creating the web of knowledge that links us all together. We are just creating different networks to those of the governments, after all we are just talking peer to peer hear, why does there have to be someone in the middle to hear us speak?

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Carlton Banks
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November 18, 2013, 08:39:51 PM
 #5

The "Pirate" movement is a bit bizarre really, there's a bit much of a contradiction in a political party for rebels of the status quo. Pirates don't vote!

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November 18, 2013, 09:54:06 PM
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He has a good point. As a fellow Scandinavian I can easily follow, but we don't have the governmental fear/trust-issues of Americans and Chinese, along with a bunch of other nations.
But we should have! It is a huge propaganda victory for the borderline totalitarian (but still comparatively nice!) nordic states that trust in those organisations is seen as a value in itself. And that the only right and proper way to change something in society is to manoeuvre the government into commanding the change.
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November 18, 2013, 10:11:43 PM
Last edit: November 19, 2013, 06:12:18 PM by Carlton Banks
 #7

He has a good point. As a fellow Scandinavian I can easily follow, but we don't have the governmental fear/trust-issues of Americans and Chinese, along with a bunch of other nations.
But we should have! It is a huge propaganda victory for the borderline totalitarian (but still comparatively nice!) nordic states that trust in those organisations is seen as a value in itself. And that the only right and proper way to change something in society is to manoeuvre the government into commanding the change.


Which society? Which government? The one that begins at the end of your street, or the one that ends at the EU border?

These are all just a bunch of lines on a map, why can't we decide to change where the lines are? The sort of people who decided where to draw the lines are the same incompetent rulers from history who make all the big mistakes: whoops millions dead in World War 1, whoops millions dead in World War 2, whooops 100 million genocide of native americans in North America, dear oh dear same mistake in Australia, whooops 100 million genocide in South America, whoops millions dead in Iraq war pt II, whoops 100's of thousands dead in Syria, whooops millions of dead Vietnamese, whoops millions of dead Koreans, whoops we told lies to establish the whole premise of going to war in Iraq, Syria, Vietnam, Korea, South America, and god knows how many more.

These clowns are making a lot of mistakes. Billions have fought or been plain slaughtered. Why can't we change something more substantial about how we govern ourselves? Apparently, direct democracy doesn't work, because "professional politicians think long term". Shut the fuck up with that bullshit. They have a good line in thinking long term death, destruction, torture, impoverishment, and, strangely, massive money/capital profits and entrenched entitlements for the corporate and political classes.

So, I say again, which society? Which government? I think if we're so entitled to self-determination, then, I dunno, maybe we should be given the freedom to actual determine the boundaries of what we're permitted to determine ourselves.

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November 18, 2013, 10:11:59 PM
 #8

You can't beat politics with new technology all the time. Sometimes you have to actually make sure that politics are in line with what people want.

Sorry Mike, but I have to strongly disagree with that statement here. Not only is it impossible to make politics become "in line" with what people want. Politics is - in fact - the perfect opposite of what people want!

And technology IS the solution:

* The Gutenberg press freed humanity from the tyranny of the church.
* The combine harvester freed the slaves.
* And Bitcoin will free us from the tyranny of centralized coercion (the state).

^And this is the only thing that is guaranteed to "happen eventually".

Greets!
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November 18, 2013, 10:33:11 PM
 #9

You can't beat politics with new technology all the time. Sometimes you have to actually make sure that politics are in line with what people want.

Sorry Mike, but I have to strongly disagree with that statement here. Not only is it impossible to make politics become "in line" with what people want. Politics is - in fact - the perfect opposite of what people want!

And technology IS the solution:

* The Gutenberg press freed humanity from the tyranny of the church.
* The combine harvester freed the slaves.
* And Bitcoin will free us from the tyranny of centralized coercion (the state).

^And this is the only thing that is guaranteed to "happen eventually".

Greets!

Add to that the widespread anecdote that the fax machine and early computer modems played a big part in bringing down the "Iron Curtain" in late 1980's communist Eastern Europe. The walled garden propaganda approach defeated by technology was the clear message there. Why so different now, when the shoe is on the other foot?

What sort of technology magazine argues against the paradigm of it's existential premise?

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Mike Hearn
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November 18, 2013, 11:18:37 PM
 #10

Sorry Mike, but I have to strongly disagree with that statement here.

You realise I was just quoting the article, right?

I find it relevant given recent discussions but don't have much opinion on it beyond that. I wasn't a fan of TPB though.
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November 18, 2013, 11:24:15 PM
 #11

I agree we are creating a new form of politics, A politics for the masses. We are all communicating, sharing our ideas, we just have to figure out how prevalent certain ideas are and what percentage of the community agree with certain things, how it evolves over time. At any given moment there are people behind those beliefs that act upon them moving it forward, as it evolves it will get better. More people, more minds, more hands, more resources acting independently with accurate data each person can act correctly upon those ideas to help create what they believe in.

What is government after all think of all the different type of government that we have had over the millenias.

Bands,Tribes

Chiefdoms, Feudalism, Monarchys, Empires

Oligarchys, Republics, Democracies


Most of these systems except the smallest communities have a central control to act and speak for the community.
What caused this to be necessary? The size of the community. The larger the community the more it frays at the edges with regard to constant exposure to cultural norms, information movement brakes down... this all changed when the internet was created.




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November 18, 2013, 11:44:11 PM
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Sorry Mike, but I have to strongly disagree with that statement here.

You realise I was just quoting the article, right?

I find it relevant given recent discussions but don't have much opinion on it beyond that. I wasn't a fan of TPB though.
Peter Sunde may be one of the founders of PB, however, that entire article reeks of shady politics and/or a hidden agenda. Who is he really working for? It's not even between the lines:
"you are not going to stop the police from chasing you just because you have the best encryption in the world."

and:
"Sunde is a firm believer in taxation, since it allows communities to build shared infrastructure"

and:
"The distrust of the political system is unhealthy"

and, and, and...

It's as if every second sentence somehow confirms the Status quo, rather than to reject it. Unfortunately it appears like Sunde has become one of the "bad guys" now. He is exactly one of those we must fear most. A young, smart, sympathetic tech-guy like him is a far bigger danger to freedom & liberty than any polititian in a suit. He can do far more damage if people start listening to him or take him seriously.
Since you weren't clearly distancing yourself from the article, I just assumed (perhaps wrongfully), that you would agree with it.

Glad to see you aren't!
Mike Hearn
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November 18, 2013, 11:54:39 PM
 #13

It's the press section, people can post links to stories here without holding an opinion on them.

But here's an opinion for you: Sunde obviously feels his life under the status quo is pretty good. You don't have to be a buddhist to be content with the world. He lives in Sweden. Sweden is the opposite of dystopia: it's rich, civilised, they just closed a bunch of prisons because they don't have enough prisoners anymore, the Economist has ranked it once of the best governed countries in the world, the furniture is top notch, the people are tolerant and the women are beautiful.

It's of zero surprise that someone who lives in Sweden might be OK with things as they are.
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November 19, 2013, 12:03:33 AM
 #14

But here's an opinion for you: Sunde obviously feels his life under the status quo is pretty good. You don't have to be a buddhist to be content with the world. He lives in Sweden. Sweden is the opposite of dystopia: it's rich, civilised, they just closed a bunch of prisons because they don't have enough prisoners anymore
Yes, Sweden is clearly a paradise. But that's just my opinion. And that's ok, as long as I don't have to pay taxes for someone else's "opinion". Wink

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November 19, 2013, 12:06:32 AM
 #15

Sunde: You can't beat politics with technology

Bitcoin: Challenge accepted.
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November 19, 2013, 12:08:52 AM
 #16

It's the press section, people can post links to stories here without holding an opinion on them.

But here's an opinion for you: Sunde obviously feels his life under the status quo is pretty good. You don't have to be a buddhist to be content with the world. He lives in Sweden. Sweden is the opposite of dystopia: it's rich, civilised, they just closed a bunch of prisons because they don't have enough prisoners anymore, the Economist has ranked it once of the best governed countries in the world, the furniture is top notch, the people are tolerant and the women are beautiful.

It's of zero surprise that someone who lives in Sweden might be OK with things as they are.

Pretty much nailed it. In sweden many view the pirate party as armchair anarchists.. It's easy to 'go against the system' when you can do it from the comfort of a liberal welfare state where almost any dissent is well tolerated... Including the torching of cars and government buildings these days.

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November 19, 2013, 12:25:31 AM
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It's of zero surprise that someone who lives in Sweden might be OK with things as they are.

You find the exact same level of life satisfaction in eskimos who spend all day fishing in harsh tundra environments, or Indians who live in tribal mountain areas miles away from "civilisation".

Surveys from The Economist rarely take account of these types of communities, and yet what comparative similarities do happy, fulfilled Danish people share with happy, fulfilled Amazonian tribes-people? I think these disparate peoples definitely share one thing; they live under governance that tends towards the more self-determined end of the scale. And these tribespeople sure are a happy, fulfilled crowd.

Vires in numeris
David M
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November 19, 2013, 12:41:03 AM
 #18

Sunde: You can't beat politics with technology

Return of serve......

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21628862.000-lethal-weapons-and-the-evolution-of-civilisation.html

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November 19, 2013, 07:41:09 AM
 #19

The "Pirate" movement is a bit bizarre really, there's a bit much of a contradiction in a political party for rebels of the status quo. Pirates don't vote!

My understanding of actual pirate culture (meager though it be) is that most pirate communities were strictly democratic. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

Anyone with a campaign ad in their signature -- for an organization with which they are not otherwise affiliated -- is automatically deducted credibility points.

I've been convicted of heresy. Convicted by a mere known extortionist. Read my Trust for details.
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November 19, 2013, 02:55:25 PM
 #20

The "Pirate" movement is a bit bizarre really, there's a bit much of a contradiction in a political party for rebels of the status quo. Pirates don't vote!

My understanding of actual pirate culture (meager though it be) is that most pirate communities were strictly democratic. Do you have evidence to suggest otherwise?

The part of pirating where they invade another ship seems a little undemocratic from the point of view of the crew and charterer of said ship. Don't know if that surpasses the burden of proof for evidence.... although that is also the working definition of "pirate"


Vires in numeris
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