Solarpunk, Cyberpunk and Popculture: Technological Narratives tl;dr
2:57PM Jul 27, 2020
Greetings. You're tuned in to hope, 2020, thanks so much for being part of this nine day conference. We're here on day three, it's Monday, July 27 as we're recording, and we're in conversation with Pavel. This is a talk solar punk cyberpunk and pop culture technological narratives. This is going to be a fascinating talk, Pablo is a hacker solar punk educator and also a advocate and activist for free software and open notebook, science, we're going to hear quite a bit about where solar fits into the big picture, and some hacker perspectives on it. Let's tune into the movie, and we will then return for some live discussion.
Hey, my name is Praveen gay. And I have to tell you, recording stuff without an audience and actually looking into karma, speaking long sentences is much, much harder than giving anything at the actual conference. I would like to tell you about how technology is represented in the most popular fictional narratives, how this affects the real world and especially the hacker community. I've been researching this for the last few years working on a project called glider EEG aiming to explain the hacker values to the general public. Professionally, I'm a web developer, and as an activist, I teach the basics of cybersecurity at publish public schools, community centers, and others. I also heard praise awareness about
the real hackerspaces of the global south.
Many of you have may have probably not heard about. I'm also an active member of the solarpunk movement, about which I will tell you more in this presentation. One of the most life changing moments of my life was visiting a hackerspace for the first time, I fell in love with the curious community, playing with the technology freely, not worried about turning profit or the academic red tape. As a neuroscience student at the University at the time, I was made to wait to have access to a machine, a piece of software or even a public piece of experimental data. I was told I needed to study for many more years before I will be able to design my first experiment. In the meantime, the hackers just did things, short the results, put everything in the open, and celebrated it. They treated the technology playfully often helping people from outside of the hacker space when they needed something pre designed or tweaked. I loved being a part of this community, but as you start talking to people back at the union or outside of it. I realized I can't really explain what hardware spaces are to those who don't already know it. This is what inspired me to start working on a project called glider Inc, a graphic novel to explain what hackerspace and the hacker values are people that tend to see them as vibrant communities, but are completely clueless as to what they are about. The first thing I found on the course of the project is that we have absolutely no language to describe those concepts to somebody who is not a technologist already. Why open this white week, why sure someone might steal it. To explain something for which we have no notions, or words, the general discourse, we fall back to no narratives, and we tend up, and we end up with warped and misaligned representations. So sometimes more hurtful than helpful. I needed to deconstruct, a lot of my own preconceptions about hackers and hacking, in order to present them as humane with comprehensible goals and familiar drives.
One of the most important revelations I had is that for an average person, technology is transparent. That is, until it breaks. You cannot talk about something transparent. It's not a valid subject. It needs to be made visible to talk about it. People don't know about how sale or network works when making a call, and most of them are not even aware of it, they hit the basic practical understanding, and unless something goes wrong, there's no need to go deeper. This is not ignorance, we cannot be aware of every aspect of our reality at once. We need to abstract some of it. The trick here is to find a way to bring people's attention to technology. Then, when something is already visible, you can start looking at this context, all the things beyond technology, which shape and influence it, who builds technology, who owns it. Who profits from it, the hacker community says a lot of these questions as valid and openly discusses them, but they may be completely esoteric to an average person who owns my smartphone me Of course, I paid for it. Then there is a question for whom that technology is designed. This is something even hackers don't ask themselves too often, and it's a very valid question and itself. You may hear it from some academics or disability activists, for whom the home is not invisible. This leads us to another revelation. Technology is complex, but this context is even more complex, why it was designed this way, and not the other. It's not something we learn from a manual. We need to analyze and observe how technology is shaped and used around us to deduce it. For example, a smartphone is an unimaginably complex piece of tech. It has layers of hardware specialized computing units. And then on top of that, 15 million lines of Android code. What we don't see analyzing the smartphone is that it also has a quarter million patterns which dictate how it's built what it can and cannot do, and how it should do it is therefore dictated by our economy, and culture. Things independent from just scientific or engineering logic hackers have their saying, rtfm, read the fucking mind Well, they are not intimidated by documentation, and they like to analyze and study technology, it's visible to them. The majority of regular people don't study technology, they acquire knowledge through observing how others use it through the culture surrounding it. The cultural narrative surrounding technology are far from objective, they make a lot of implicit assumptions, to say what we see and what we don't. There are multiple sources of the narratives, some of them, like odds are pretty open about why what they are doing and why others on the show people utilizing the technology in a particular way, making its other users seem foreign, or alien. For example, why don't we store music on our devices but streaming it instead. Even if it's the same album, over and over again.
companies like Apple master conveying the context in more than just an ad, thinking about Apple products, you have more than just an idea of how to use them with them you're creative and intelligent, as they are for creative people, those contexts, change how we see the world around us. A good example of this is one last year the event horizon telescope captured the first ever image of a black hole. It was a scientific milestone, but in the news, it was quickly overshadowed by a cultural conflict. Dr. Kate Bauman who created one of the main algorithms used to build the image was presented by some reporters, as the face of the team, which started a very toxic and sexist debate whether she is good enough to be seen as the soul discover, no one listened to dr Bauman who had multiple occasions emphasize that it's a work of a team, not a single person, why we expect. Each discovery and each invention to be created by a single perfectly white and male person. It's hard to tell stories of themes behind an invention, without a single face to associate them with. Let's look at the popular culture around us and try to understand why the most widespread narratives in the popular culture will be the ones in video for, whether in a cinema, as a TV or a streaming series, more people will have access to them than anything presented on the in a book, or even a graphic novel format. I'd like to look at journals, which presents a world close to our own with similar culture and social order and analyze how they portray technology. While there are multiple interesting takes in post apocalyptic horror of fire science fiction stories, they aren't as close to home, and don't influence our perceptions of the real world, smart. The first of them has been popular in the last decade superhero cinema pushed by both Marvel, DC, and the few independent storytellers, this hybrid narrative focuses on exceptional individuals with superpowers. One of such powers is being a genius and being able to create technology, the geniuses are able to design prototype test debug produce and use multiple pieces of technology, which would normally take dozens of people moms or years to create and they still have time to fight their enemies. What's interesting though technology is effectively a black box on the other characters with a genius trait are able to comprehend or use it mortals scientists or engineers can try to reverse engineer something, but never use it on par with the superhero, the superhero mythology gives technology in new context. It is always a weapon, even if it's not intended to be used as such, it could be. And it's always a potential threat. Moreover, all technology is very singular. Those are artifacts, one of a kind pieces that no one but the superheroes can use. It is never infrastructure, it cannot be used to change other people's lives superheroes use it themselves to preserve whatever is the status quo of the world. There are no democratic decisions or a widespread adoption of tech,
the world stays how it always was.
If a group of people, not superheroes, or military creates or takes over some technology wanting to do something with it. They are usually the villains of the story. The context is, it's always a weapon. The last two Spider Man movies were a good example of that trope. The best men salvage a fictional company who lost their contracts because of Tony Stark, the Iron Men, but managed to acquire some super technology, couldn't use the alien energy generators to help hospitals or push science forward, they needed to make them into weapons. No other story could be told within the superhero January, only superheroes and the military can wield technology responsibly. Do you see where this leads us another piece of context from the superhero stories is the technological progress comes independently from the social one, the superhero stories visualize multiple very technologically advanced societies Wakanda Asgard Atlantis. Yet none of them is more just more equal more free than any society from our world wars wars, they are all violent despotic kingdoms Wakanda imagines a monarchy where you can challenge the king and obtain the throne through pure violence, and the clans or the turkey can only advise the king. It's no wonder that the magical Vibranium appears there as a weapon. If the movie villain, wanting to empower black people worldwide. Put a little more thought into his plan. He could have stabilized the energy grid across Africa, introduced by bringing technology to universities across the continent and easily rival American and Chinese geopolitical influences. This is not a movie about data though. This is a movie about, easy to imagine violent solutions. The lack of moral or social progress makes us stop expecting it. When talking about the use of technology. We want to use them to work together better, more efficiently, or to solve social problems with time will just get more powerful weapons. As we get used to these stories and internalize them, we start taking this context into the real world and expecting to see the same patterns around us. We see Elon Musk, clearly a genius inventor on par with Batman or Iron Men and, except that all the inventions from his company are made by him, not hundreds of scientists and engineers working for him. He's the face of our better tomorrow. We stay blind to the real movements changing the world both technologically and socially, such as the Wikipedia ones who are creating a common base of human knowledge available for everyone. What was once a utopian dream of science fiction writers became real, and now it's impossible to even articulate in our popular culture, because we don't have language to tell the story. Another sign of which one says to forget about social progress is cyberpunk when we try to imagine a realistic future for our own world, we extrapolate the technological progress only. We see the same capitalism, but with even more power concentrated in the hands of a few corporations and a few lone warriors fighting it. The 99% or even poorer and more powerless than today, and the technology allows the top 1% to keep them in check better than any totalitarian regime was ever able to do before the technology of cyberpunk is designed and manufactured by the corporations for customers, not users. If anyone decides to utilize it against the giants. It's through a hackers transgression against the intended use technology in cyberpunk is always either a means of oppression control or a way to fight it. There's nothing in between. Neutral technology doesn't exist. The story of Wikipedia and millions of people who created it must be unsaid, or if mentioned shown as a tragic and few title killed or taken over by the corporation's cyberpunk can't imagine any alternatives to corporate overlords, it locks us in the endless and hopeless fight against them, and everything is a tool in this fight was initially written as a warning has termed us with its aesthetic and neon light normalizing the corporate capitalism constant civilians and diminishing human rights. We stopped telling stories of other possible futures, with different social orders. Almost every story set in a realistic new future started having cyberpunk context tropes and aesthetics, they are sexy. They sell well. And each time a romantic cyberpunk hero manages to win their battles. We know it's only temporary. Because we imagine no other possible state of the world. So because we couldn't think of any alternatives, we embrace you in our homes, we accepted gig economy and the fact that Uber drivers aren't given the basic worker rights we spent decades fighting for. And at some point, whether through corporate language and arts or the oversaturation of cyberpunk media cyberpunk became our default vision of the future that our cyberpunk replaced the word futuristic in multiple cultures around the world. I heard it from Egyptian and Malaysian hackers wishing for a more cyber bond, meaning technologically advanced future before got the context that this journey carried with itself. And now it's hard to imagine better technology, better medicine without the corporate capitalism and oppression cyberpunk created a false dichotomy that by being a technologist, he needed to be either a pro establishment entrepreneur or BD in the corporate Master, or a rebel hacker. Again, with nothing in between the story of comedians and their work, their infrastructure and knowledge remains impossible to tell once again, a lot of hackers accepted the role in cyberpunk narrative, as rebels against the corporate and governmental machines. They wanted technology to be free. And this meant a war. They do not see or ignore that in almost every story, the civilians and bystanders are hurt in the war against corporations. For an average person, a romantic rebel is a bigger threat than the capitalism itself. Look at watchdogs to a game whose creators actually went to noisebridge, one of the most open and inclusive hacker communities in the world. They took photos notes. When created in gang. The hackerspace members instead print weapons and the killer drones have no problems with killing and attacking innocent bystanders just to bring down the evil corporate overlords. You may have cringed, but we largely accepted this narrative. It's so cool. so very cyberpunk, the context of cyberpunk change how we imagine specific technologies of the future as well. One of the most stable symbols of 3d summarize and net runners are cybernetic claims. They became an aesthetic we fell in love with. In the real world, the notion of advanced prosthetic limbs became fashionable marketable and sexy severely meeting our perspectives. We don't really ask disabled people, if this is what they need, and we often pressed them to wear useless aesthetic prosthetics. Just because they look better than a stamp, because a cumbersome glove with some LEDs, seen as sexy.
There are a lot of other things we can do for the disabled people. Researching assistive technologies and adjusting the technology we create, to fit wider variety of bodies and disabilities. Those are suddenly omitted in cyberpunk narratives. And since our technology is often blind to disability, we lacked language to address that. A few years ago, a group of disabled photographers signed a petition to create professional DSLR cameras with buttons on the left side, so that they are able to operate them without the right hands. The request was ignored and spawned a few cruel internet jokes. It didn't get much traction in the press. By allowing cyberpunk to become our default future, we allowed cybernetic limbs to be our cultural answer to disability, putting other perspectives, outside of the spotlight, sometimes even forgetting that they exist.
The cyberpunk vision is almost universally dystopian, the renderings were does bring some hope for a better tomorrow. It's usually called post cyberpunk, something happened to introduce the social challenge. We are rarely shown what and how this happened since it's almost impossible to imagine from within a cyberpunk narrative. Meanwhile, in the real world, we are facing the global crisis of climate church, while lacking the cultural tools to imagine viable solutions to it. If we were to go with cyberpunk answers. We'd allow the corporations to build their hyper advanced safe and safe havens for themselves and condemn millions of people to death and despair. If we see no other possible future for ourselves, can we survive to that magical change in some post cyberpunk, but we can look with a different perspective. There's a new journal being born, which focuses on climate change in our response to it. It wants to present a world where we can change ourselves to address. Avoid and overcome the catastrophes, and we can create better, more sustainable societies. It's called solarpunk. It is a rebel in a way few other banks dirt to be hoping for a better tomorrow, painting a promise, not a warning. It wants to create a vision of a better, but not conflict less future. It understands, we need to social change, with new priorities, and new power structures. It focuses on craftsmanship community and technology powered by renewable energy technology created intentionally and adjusted to local needs, especially outside of the Western narrative. Doesn't this sound familiar, similar to what the hacker movement is striving for. solarpunk wants to give us a whole set of ideas and hero beliefs to imagine what we can do, how we can collaborate, what we can create in the real world, been the goal we can all strive for. It wants to look at world outside of the West and learn from it. Listen to local needs, analyze local solutions, the provenance of solarpunk, understand how vital the aesthetics were in making cyberpunk popular and propose their own green cities full of plants nature integrated in our infrastructure, human scale and human oriented planning. Farther stained glass and Art Nouveau technology in simple and elegant, often organic forms. If cyberpunk saw a nice cityscape full of neons and small solar bank once the sun and the shade natural vibrant coalos clean air with birds and windmills on the horizon. It wants infrastructure reclaimed and remade with new life breathed into it with nothing going to waste. Because why does the future need to be cold and sterile. solarpunk wants us to forget what we know about capitalism and cyberpunk technology. Instead of mass produce devices with planned obsolescence intended to break in a few years so you can buy a new one. We need sustainability, the devices are yours tweak them customize them maintain them and reuse them. We want to have technology we can upgrade and use for decades. We are all part of the ecosystem, and we don't want to waste our finite resources manufacturing closed scrap. Finally, solarpunk is about communities and human scale. If we are to create a world without toxic corporate care keys. We need to relearn how to work together, how to stay connected share our knowledge and help each other. It's a world without technical solutions. It accepts that engineering, in itself, won't solve every problem. It wants the solutions to be intentional local and adjusted to the needs of people living in a given community. It imagines technology to be created in spaces very similar to the hackerspaces we know Cami now, with multiple people tweaking them, sharing inputs and perspectives. When talking to solarpunk writers, I realized that a lot of them would like to invent the concept of a hackerspace, not knowing that it actually exists since it hasn't been visible in the culture they have access to.
In solarpunk technology is empowering. It's something you own and views, co create it doesn't own you. It's also not a weapon. While it may be dangerous. We shouldn't look at it just as a threat. It's something we can discuss and together decide how to put to the best use. We can create great feats of technology we are proud of, not afraid of. Since the golden age of science fiction we haven't really dreamt about using the technology to create something great. And it's a good time to start. solarpunk wants to show us a lot of versions from all over the world, instead of just importing the globalized Western culture as a white Egyptian hacker told me once, solarpunk without the local perspective is just another week greenwashed imperialism, where the only American and Chinese solar panels would be green enough and using anything else is irresponsible. It's a great opportunity to look at the hackerspaces maker spaces and activists from the global south, that have been mutually absent from our narrative so far, despite having huge successes in their own communities and cultures. I'm a member of global innovation gathering a network of very real innovators from around the world, coordinating hubs in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. I know of so many stories that did not get any traction in the West, just because somebody couldn't imagine an Arabic or an African hacker, and assume that no reader or viewer would be interested in depth, either with solarpunk. There is a chance to change that. Fictional narratives are not only visions of some future or a possible world, but also the lens through which we view our own reality for a long time we chose to see everything through a cyberpunk glass, not paying attention to things which didn't fit into that perspective, until our worlds start becoming more like cyberpunk. The solarpunk stories already exist around the world. We just choose to ignore them. or we see them in a different light. If we want to change the world around us must change our perspective and make them cool. Right now, if you tell an average person about hacker community, they will think about the attacks of the anonymous or Mr robots violent f society and the hacker movement is so much more than just a rebellion. The Hacker space communities around the world are unique spaces of cooperation and knowledge sharing, creating something new without academic red tape, and the pressure to be profitable. We can define ourselves not just in opposition to something, but with our own values. This doesn't mean being a political, but setting a positive example of something we can build seeing that there is a way to tell stories about hackerspaces. If we only decide to ditch the cyberpunk t shirts. I'd like to show you what more I learned in the glider ink project, I don't want to present hackers as a uniform body of the tech wizards. I want to show the variety and social roles within the hacker space, everyone with their own goals and approaches. I created example characters based on five stances or archetypes. I often found in hacker spaces, all around the world. The inventor, always working on their projects, hell bent on finishing no matter wat spending yet another sleepless night over signal analysis or PCB schematics, the anarchist always political and ready to organize something caring deeply about the community, using character space to fix their stuff and be independent. The activist who wants to share their knowledge with the general public, work with NGOs and petitions local government, finally get it right. The maker who doesn't want any politics in their space Kamsky to rest and relax with some woodworking 3d printing or Arduinos often teaching them to their kids, the troll using an abusing technology for the laws surprising, others with something totally unexpected feeding transgressive art and starting flame wars.
There are many more. But with those five, I feel we can start explaining how vibrant and beautiful the hacker communities really are. This still leaves people who don't understand, why do you need to change technology, and to explain that I needed a character for whom the technology is not invisible, someone who needs to modify it to be able to use it for whom it wasn't explicitly designed a disabled person. You can easily understand and empathize with someone who loves photography, but cannot use a camera without building some kind of interface on their own. It is no longer an inexplicably tech wizard archetype, but someone who made, who you can follow more closely and who can introduce you to the world of people who choose to modify the technology, and who are curious about it. There are a lot of other considerations to take, sometimes known tropes are better to be avoided. Other times, addressed and subverted creating an accessible and interesting story is really tricky. You might feel that it's a little bit too much narratives don't impact us that much hackers are always outside of the system natural rebels, we often don't want to tell our own stories to the wider public, not in a way which could explain our motivations, our goals. But if we want to present our own narrative, we will be written into someone else's out of ignorance, or as a calculated move. We can paint ourselves or allow us be painted as eternal rebels. A lot of people will see us with all the connotations that come with it as a threat to their daily lives, their normalcy. As someone who they shouldn't listen to when we warn them about upcoming threats that only we notice it can be a corporate monopoly, or the end of the internet neutrality. We won't be heard. Or we could tell stories of our hacker communities as something more than just rebels working against the system. As the trailblazers tweakers inventors, people building something new something wonderful. Without red tape or quarterly profits. We need to present the hacker community as an ally to an average person, not a threat, someone they can hear.
And with that, thank you.
And we're back. That was fascinating. Thank you so much.
Thank you. The conference is awesome, thank you for
organizing it. We're having a fantastic time here. There's been a very robust discussion in the, in the chat and so we have a, we have a few questions that I think we can, we can talk through the first one, you and I were actually talking about before the movie began right when it began. And I know this talk was not about solar energy but I thought it was interesting when you characterize the state of solar energy in Poland, would you take a moment and and do that for us.
Oh, I, I can do that general Poland is very much against solar and wind and wind energy right now and if you read about the global approaches to that. Well done seems to find like cultural refuge in using call, and we are like the national narrative is that we are proud to use call Lottie I know a lot of activists from all like all sides of political spectrum so it's not always the leftists. It is often in many countries, but we have a lot of activists, pushing for nuclear energy pushing for wind pushing for solar, of course, Poland doesn't have as good weather as South Bend countries, so we can use just solar we don't have as much wind to actually put stuff in the sea, but I believe that within the next few decades we should be able to get to something much cleaner than we are now,
I really hope so. Thanks for that yeah and I know that was a little off the topic but I thought it was an interesting fact that not too many people are aware of, um, I'd like to talk a little bit about these superhero stories that you spend some time on and I guess what I wasn't so clear on is do you think that the superhero, you know narrative on the whole are positive, towards a better future, are they, maybe not so helpful because that of course they're not very realistic.
So, I think. Once he or she was so easy to do is they focus on debt in the
US. Got a lot of superhero stories are about single characters or small groups of them. And we, they tend to make us lose the lose the bigger picture, forget that there are a lot of people making things work, as I mentioned with Iron Men, we see one person, create like went through the whole development process that we as technologists know will take moms for years. For a lot of people, and they are able to create that quickly, and they are shown as a single inventor. So, it also creates that notion that people who use technology are specifically gifted. You are the genius the tech wizard, because nobody like no regular person can understand how Iron Man's armor is working, you need to be a genius on similar level, and they feel that this really hurts the general notion that it's something we co create and it makes us forget about infrastructure in some Ironman movies, we see him working on the energy network and he agreed. But this is only just a few minutes, and then it's all about creating new pieces of tech for himself, and we totally lose the ability to talk about technology for the whole society, and we stopped asking questions. Hey, Mr. Stark, why don't you create like small energy generators for every hospital worldwide, like in Syria, they could really use it right now. So, so I think they are in general harmful as they may be nice as one voice but we got so oversaturated by superhero throbs that it's really hard to show people that other things exist.
Yeah, thank you, thank you for that I feel like I'm just the patents alone so what do you think of the quarter million patents to make an iPhone. How many of you hadn't would have made the Iron Man suit. Right, and Who in the world could could have enough time in their life to develop that many patents, it doesn't even if you're not finally the patents, you have to develop the 250,000 separate ideas that are necessary so I think you're saying it's just not realistic as an individual, it's really takes the community.
It's it's not realistic but they also play it right in the, in the movies like you see other inventors saying, I will not work with stars because they will steal my technologies, and it's it's a thing, even in the, in the MCU universe, it becomes aware of itself, but it doesn't help because it's, it's shown as a running joke, not as a valid criticism.
You know, we had a keynote by Cory Doctorow I don't know if he's on your bookshelf behind you, I have a feeling he probably is. Yeah, I feel like he's, he's in a couple of his books he's talked about people that come up with great ideas and then they grant the patent to the public domain basically they make an open license. Do you think that's. Do you think that's got to be part of the future or you know the more where you lock an idea, and a little like the GPL you're not locking an idea for private use you're locking an idea for, you know, public use for the public benefit.
So I actually had the honor of working on a similar project and there have been presented because they don't want to say they contributed anything legally to that. There is a Polish German lawyer and Natalia, aka beach. Who created a project called Green bass, which has several layers, but one of it is to create. Basically, a GPL repository of patterns. So you basically pattern something, but just to have a defense so that nobody can use it for commercial use. Nobody can sue any hacker and the maker for working on this specific thing, and they believe this needs to be a part of our world. I don't know how close it is. I know that e FF and Cory are working towards this goal but seeing how everything goes with Apple, and all the US cases, it will be a battle.
It seems like we've made good progress on copyright with things like GPL and Creative Commons but patents, not as much. Yep. Um, one other question either we had, you're an optimistic person you're trying to guide us towards an optimistic future and, you know, you see that future, and yet there's also a lot of. So there's optimism and hopeful that said I sense you're advocating for, but there's also a lot of negativity and helplessness or perceived helplessness and. And do you have recommendations to help the people of hope to balance those and maybe come out more on the optimistic side.
So, a lot of works you where you will read around technology and hacker culture, especially from Corey are pretty depressing. His whole last series with homeland is really depressing it's really sick but depressing. but solarpunk books that are coming up in bigger and bigger number are trying to create a vision of the world which is more optimistic and a world which we don't need to destroy the planet to actually create something better. So there is a, there are a lot of things because solarpunk doesn't have any flagship single book. Like, Neuromancer was for cyberpunk solarpunk has a few nice analogies, like the sun vault solarpunk winters and summers, but there's also that one book that I really like and I really think that hackers could take a look at it. It's called Game Changer by x Beckett, and it tries to imagine a future, a few years, 200 years
ahead of us, where we actually.
We had a series of ecological catastrophes, but we managed to build and we managed to create a new global society which doesn't allow such exploitation of the planet in which is sustainable and what I think is really interesting is, that's it. It's not only technological but it takes a lot of questions about technology like. So, it's another 20 ecological, it takes a lot of questions about technology that hackers are really passionate about, for example, what about privacy. What about patterns. What about copyright What about working together in the future, and tries to imagine a world which will need to deal with that. And how such world foods, look like. I really like it, as, as something showing you that direction. I'm not, I don't necessarily agree with every single concept there but I think this is a piece of optimistic fiction that we could all use. Thanks so game changers by
Alex Becker. Yes. All right. It's interesting, we had another question that was a sort of literary question as well it was about, Becky Chambers, that there's an upcoming solar punk series and it's curious that someone in that matrix chat was curious whether you had read works and if so how do you see this wave theory series as fitting in to cyberpunk or solar punk.
So, sadly I haven't heard about this whole door. And what I can tell you is that people are approaching solarpunk from a lot of different directions and they really like because for some people it's very post apocalyptic as in something big needs to happen for happen for us all to start paying attention to the environment for some others is, hey, we can actually avoid catastrophes. For some people it's creating utopia is something that, you know, this is the world we can arrive at if we try some outdoors or trying to go with this is like out or something that is better than than our today but still not perfect. And for me the most important part of solarpunk that still not all, not all authors. See is for focusing on community and not just a group of characters but like why their community how they fit in the, in the society what they do. and when working on that little hackerspace project of mine. I'm trying to show how different people in their daily lives relate to, to each other and how they don't need to be single heroes. But how they all, create something awesome together and so on gives you space for that. And this is what's, what I would really like to
do, like, send to everybody.
We, we talked a little bit about query before and I want you mentioned a little brother but in the walkaway book it talks about some of these themes and what I'm curious about this and see if I want to comment on that but what I'm more curious about is in in science fiction especially, you have spaceships you have populating other worlds you have worlds you know that are 10,000 worlds and 10,000 years in the future. Do you think they're I don't know if they're exemplars but do you think there's a, an overlap. For some of those more set let's say standard sci fi genres or are they really standing separately.
So I think there are a lot of overlap for with standard science fiction but we have a lot of technologies that we think in a very different context. We tend to think about terraforming and creating a whole new ecosystem on Mars. But hey, we may need that on earth pretty soon we may need to actually start paying attention to how everything works and, and do something with it and be careful with it. With quarries walk away. I fell in love with the first few chapters, that was a perfect book. But then he did the exact post cyberpunk move that I described he came up with some super technology that suddenly changed how society works, and it stopped being a book about small communities. It was a cyberpunk book about this time that rebels winning. And, and this made me pretty sad because exploring what the hackers in walk away did in the first few chapters how they created their communities, how they make themselves made them sustainable. This was awesome and I want to read more books about that,
huh. Exactly the same reaction so thank you for that everyone should read walk away by Cory Doctorow it is it is a little brother is fantastic and scary, but walkaway offers somewhat of a blueprint towards a possible future that that I think overlaps a lot with what you've been talking about. Yes, I know there's others that you recommend as well I just wanted to mention that one because Cory keynoted just a couple of days ago,
and Huawei is great.
So we had a question from someone that is volunteering with a group that provides free repair of household items you know lamps and lawnmowers and electronics, and most of the people involved are not techies. So the question is, how can they help to bridge the narrative to show the people involved, they're also hackers and that they should be interested in supporting hackerspaces makerspaces in their community. In other words, I think the question is about cross fertilization between the technology side and the rest.
So first huge respect to the person who asked this question, both for their volunteer work, and for what they see because for me this is one of the biggest and most important questions for the hacker movement right now. And I, I feel the most important thing is to make the hacker movement, less threatening. And to make us, as I described, when you tell a regular person about hacker communities they think about the society from Mr Robot, somebody is gonna get hurt, somewhere in the process. So, a lot of organizations came up with repair shops came up with different names for hackerspaces and I was suggested to do the same with my work as well but I feel that we can make our spaces less threatening my own concept was to introduce somebody who is very humane who has very human needs and emotions and despite how they use technology and how they need to modify it. So, if I manage to finish a glider anytime soon. I welcome you to use all the examples if not the wiki and everything for the project there's some creative commons. But I think there's one more, one more source that I should recommend you, there was that great talk a few years back, it was called programming is forgetting harder questions, which was about hacker ethics and actually how we can bridge that gap between us, and regular people how we can start talking more accessible language by basically checking if our assumptions are don't make the don't make what we say completely
Thank you for that, um, thank you for that recommendation I think we're just in our last few seconds here and I you lead me right in because we've talked so much about literature and, but we also want to know some of the questioners in the room they want to know are there, TV shows, movies, even games role playing games that might be informative because as you know not everyone reads a lot.
So, gave me a second.
That is one game.
If you want role playing games. Legacy life among the ruins it looks post apocalyptic but it's not necessarily. It's a game about rebuilding society and it's a game where you don't control a single character but the community, they find it absolutely awesome and perfect for exploring such topics as for the TV shows, I don't know. Thank you, we're about out of time so the discussion continues in matrix chat and during the rest of hope it's been a real pleasure thank you for the movie thank you for the discussion the presentation, and especially thank you for the optimism I feel like we don't always tell the positive story here and this is what we brought during this session. So thanks again have a great rest of the conference.