Saturday, November 10, 2012

Do techies and geeks need to learn to lobby as a group (and therefore, espouse "solidarity")?

I have to recommend the article in the November 2012 issue of “Fast Company”, “Don’t play pitchfork politics”, by Sasha Issenberg. The online title is “Four lessons for tech activists hoping to influence politics”.

 The link is here

The article notes that geeks are often loners, want to send their own individualized messages, and do not like to support the causes of others if it means any compromise of (often libertarian) beliefs.  Yet, the article notes that geeks should be “taught to donate”, use tact, join and form lobbying and trade organizations (the old social capital idea, again), and “have a Plan B”. 

In the print version, Issenberg discusses the experience of Michael Hendrix, head of “Precise Agency”  (link   – and yes, I’d like to “fly to Mars”).

The article also notes that some SOPA supporters are still in Congress, particularly from LA (and Tinseltown) area.  SOPA, remember, was an existential threat to the whole capacity of ordinary people to self-publish their own content, if had required service providers to prescreen them for possible copyright problems (DMCA Safe Harbor notwithstanding).  There are people in Hollywood who probably fear low or no-cost competition as much as they fear piracy.  At least one Hollywood executive has said that to me.

This all sounds like the debate on "arrange marriages" in other cultures. Eusociality is not for geeks.

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