An open discussion as an attempt at building a common understanding and a narrative around the questions of technological colonialism, the loss of control over our devices, and the need to rethink the way we liberate our computing.
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?
This open discussion will offer an attempt at a narrative to help us (re)frame the issues surrounding Free/Libre software, and the way we participate in these projects. From a purely technological perspective to a holistic vision based on understanding the ways we interact with each other, at large.
Recorded by NUUG for FSCONS.