After 8 hours delay of our flight with Iceland Express to Copenhagen, me and Björgvin finally got there and just caught the last bus to Gothenburg and arrived at 2:30 A.M., the night before FSCONS. A friend of a friend was so kind to let us use his couch for the whole trip. Thank you Arnar!
We woke up fresh on Friday morning and showed up 9 A.M. for a workshop about basic data security. It was fun, of course a lot of it was basic (as the title implies) but it was fun using wireshark, encrypting files, talking about shredding and of course pgp. Per’s slides can be found here. Me and Björgvin then went to a café with our new made Greek friend, Dion Papas, or Dennis as we called him and met up with maloki and other hackers. I pretended to be doing sth, but I was in fact just catching up and chatting. It was fun 🙂 The official opening of the conference was that Friday night, and it was great to see familiar faces and new ones 🙂
During the Saturday I pretty much stayed at the Future of Money track, except when Peter Sunde’s talk was supposed be, but he was sick, so we went to see Claudia Rauch talking about how to run successful sprints. It was fine, nothing much new, but inspired me to organize some event with Hakkavélin soon (and we are now having our annual meeting and Jólaglögg(Icelandic Christmas punch) in a couple of weeks). Nikolay Georgelev talked about Open Source Ecology, which I think is really cool, and I’m really looking forward to follow their progress. They have a OSE farm in the US, and are now planning on another one in Spain. This 6 min TED talk explains the vision behind this very well. To sum it up the project is about open-sourcing the blueprints for farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. Next up was Ripple, a project about building a new kind of monetary system based on trust. The idea sounds cool, but in practice it’s about lending money to your friends (and ppl you trust), which I don’t think is that great idea in the end 😛 I really loved the next talk, Marco Sachy talking about the Dyndy project. I can’t easily explain what Dyndy is, but if I try, I would say they’re getting people to think differently about the monetary system, and giving us ideas and tools to use and build upon. They are inspired (at least to some extent) by Bernard Lietaer, who’s a great visioner and I have had the pleasure to attend his talk (see my older post). This youtube video Marco showed is very concerning and everyone has to see: EU: Treaty of debt (ESM) – stop it now! Smári closed the session with his interesting talk about cryptocurrencies and taxation. His question was, can we have welfare if cryptocurrencies gain a momentum, with no tax involved?
The most interesting talks on Sunday was Kyrah’s talk: The revolution will not be televised! (But will it be on YouTube?). Was social media and the Internet as important in the Middle-Eastern revolution as some people have said? Well, it was used a lot to plan protests in Tunisia and Egypt. But what happened when Egypt turned off their Internet? It had the opposite effect Mubarak thought, people just became more engaged in their revolution! Syria “surprisingly” opened up access to Facebook and Twitter earlier this year…well after at first the Syrian people felt pleasantly surprised, they realized that it was just a tool to monitor the citizens. So social media yes helped to spread the word, especially to people in the Western countries, but the revolution was by the people, not the internet. In Libya, NATO intervened Gaddafi’s massacre of his people, but Russia and China won’t allow that to happen in Syria. Russia has a naval base in Syria, and is not gonna give it up… There’s maybe not much we can do to help the people in Syria, but what we can do is running Tor nodes since Tor is one of the few things that is not censored there.
To be continued…