day 21. thank you dries & Karlijn

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last night, i had the wonderful opportunity to dine with Dries Buytaert, founder of the drupal project. after a brief introduction to antwerp, we headed to his house where i had the lovely opportunity to meet and chat with Karlijn, Dries' lovely wife and a very expecting mother.

as we talked about life and our history growing up in rural communities, we delved deep into the concept of a world that can never forget. more frightening, we discussed society as producers of content and waxed about no longer having the ability to protect our intellectual property and privacy.

divided by corporations and government, the world that surrounds us is no longer free. monitored by corporation through our consumption, capitalized by our social networks, analyzed though our credit cards and buying clubs, and tracked by CCTV cameras, the modern world is facing a fundamental battle for freedom.

while one my say that google's "do no evil" policy is great, but it also brings back the concept of benevolent dictators. with no opportunity to click "remove" and with less opportunities for successful alternatives, we blindly produce content for corporations to thrive. from flickr, myspace, and google (just to name a few)... none of these companies would exist without our explicit consent.

as users, we also live in a world that can never forget. from the way-back-machine to search engine algorithms, our online identity is forever locked in locations we can not access. traded as a commodity, our identity is no longer human.

what are our options? ultimate transparency or fascism?

regardless, we are looking at world without privacy, and at worse a world with fractured identities.

as we move forward, how do we tell corporations that we want them to respect us as equals?

OH, i love bugs and flowers, but hate mosquitoes... ;)

ok, so flickr and myspace are "volunteer" programs of participation. those things i will accept... then again, i could always go to a mountain top, build a shack and write about the weather...

maybe some things are volunteer, and maybe they are conceived by the government... (OOOOOHHH!!! maybe there really is a man behind the curtain.)

"none of these companies would exist without our explicit consent."

I wonder if it's not actually implicit consent that empowers the things you describe. These things you describe happen unless people go through the effort of opting out. And sometimes you cannot opt out.

On the other hand, the danger to privacy comes hand in hand with the unprecedented freedom of information exchange and connection on a global scale. 20 years ago you may be sharing your thoughts with some friends, but unless you had access to or control of a mass media outlet, nobody else would hear you. But now you are heard, and here I am thousands of miles away typing a response.

We seem to be in a communications jungle, uncontrolled, largely unregulated, but also full of predators, parasites and lots of interesting looking bugs and flowers.

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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