Version 14, am 15.4.2009 16:37
Betreiber: Erik Möller


What this site is about:

Why we are here:

In the past centuries, technological progress has exponentially increased our ability to communicate. First there were one-to-many media: orators, priests in churches. Then came the few-to-many media: newspapers, radio, TV. In both environments it was possible to control the flow of information and to treat information as "property", as if it were something scarce like any other good offered on the free market.

With the rise of the Internet, many-to-many communication became possible. Everyone can reach everyone, theoretically at least. In a "many-to-many" environment, "intellectual property" laws can no longer be enforced without controlling any information exchanged between any two persons or groups. This cannot be automated since automats cannot be taught the difference between "good information" and "bad information", there are too many false positives and false negatives, as porn filters clearly show (although porn should be easier to control since there are so many people who claim to recognize it when they see it – have you ever met someone who recognizes copyrighted content when he sees it?) . Additionally, in a restrictive environment, users will find ways to disguise "improper" information as "proper" information.

So you would need nearly one human "watcher" for each user, since you would have to control them all of the time.

This is, obviously, impossible.

The only way to enforce "intellectual property" in such an environment is therefore by changing the environment back to what it was before, i.e. by turning back time. This is what the industry is currently trying to do. By outlawing hyperlinks and peer-to-peer sharing software, they are effectively trying to pull us back from many-to-many to few-to-many. They would like the Internet to be just TV with some extra features.

This is, obviously, in violation of the First Amendment, other national free speech laws, and the internationally guaranteed right to freedom of speech. It is also, obviously, extremely stupid and dangerous. Mass media were utilized in some of the most atrocious crimes in human history, from the crusades to the Holocaust to, in more recent times, the genocide in Rwanda and the massacres in East Timor. People were manipulated to believe that their lives and lives of others were in immediate danger ("Pagans rape women, kill children", "Jews rape women, kill children", "Tutsi rape women, kill children" ..). This is very effective, since mass media enjoy a very high credibility. What they report is perceived as true, especially when there are no alternative sources.

How do you want to tell whether a genocide is really happening – which would require intervention – or whether its portrayal is just an attempt to manipulate you in some direction or another, with most or all information sources in the hands of very few people? The answer is that you can't.

This is not only dangerous for the freedom of the general population, but also for those in power. For without freedom of speech of the masses, important information will not find its way to them. Any environment that restricts thinking of the powerless will also restrict thinking of the powerful, in a sort of feedback effect that is inevitable. Had Hitler gotten the nuclear bomb, the world would be a pile of debris today. It was, to some degree, pure chance, that he didn't (it was also the result of Hitler's own restriction of freedom of speech) as was the nuclear arms race in the Cold War. In the long term, everyone is the victim when freedom of speech is restricted.

Take the Greenhouse Effect as another example: Instead of reducing CO2 emissions, companies pay PR flacks to say that it doesn't exist, produce pseudo-scientific videos, bribe mainstream media to print/not to print certain stories, etc. etc. Or the effects of tobacco on health: Hundreds of pseudo-scientific studies are produced, mass media are used as an outlet for obvious lies, etc. In both cases, company CEOs and their children will inevitably become the victims of their own propaganda: They will live in a world with a depleted ozone layer, with global warming, they might get lung cancer from smoking. Do they believe in their own lies? Yes, of course. They have no other choice since they try to stifle the sources of all contradicting information.

That is one reason why we need many-to-many media like the Internet, with no central control allowing dictators or corporations to put us all in danger and to throw us back into the Dark Ages. Most dictatorships are fully aware of (and afraid of) the power of the Net, and that's why they are rigorously trying to censor the Net. If we do the same, we are no better than they are. In fact, we will become closer to them the more we do it.

And in this modern age, it becomes clearer than ever that copyright is nothing but a special type of censorship, enforced by the government.

We may only have one chance.

So we must fight vigorously against any and all attempts to restrict information freedom on the Net and elsewhere. We must work together to develop the tools that are necessary to protect freedom of speech. Of course, we must also make this new future attractive for everyone, with new means to compensate the producers of information. Perhaps this requirement for monetary compensation is only a transitional step before we step into a new information economy, but in any case, it is a required step.

We, the infoanarchists, must be the best-informed, the best-organized. This site is one attempt to organize our efforts better. We want to share news about new tools and important happenings, we want to propose ideas and discuss them, and to review what's already there. We will also try to develop a very extensive collection of links (see resources). More is in the making.

Don't forget one thing: This site depends on your input. If you're a coder, you can alert us of new releases of your software. If you watch the media, feel free to submit interesting stories. If you have an interesting idea, let's discuss it! If you're just playing around with the tools, how about an extensive review of the latest ones? You decide what gets posted (except for the pieces that the Editors vote up because of perceived importance).

The future is ours if we cooperate. Let's take this chance.

übersetzt heißt das:

die zukunft gehört uns, wenn wir kooperieren. lass uns diese gelegenheit ergreifen.

na das kann ich doch unterschreiben


Neue Seiten im Kontext

Montag, 2. Januar 2006

Ein Wiki ist eine von jedermann bearbeitbare Website. Jeder Leser ist somit gleichzeitig auch potentieller Autor.

Alle Seiten des CoForum können über den Link "edit" rechts oben auf der Seite bearbeitet werden.

Die Entwicklung des Wiki geht im Grund auf Denkprinzipien von Christopher Alexander zurück, die von Ward Cunningham am Beginn der Software-Pattern-bewegung entsprechend umgesetzt wurden.

Freitag, 23. April 2004

Diese Seite zeigt die thematische Verwandschaft des CoForum auf. Alle hier verwandeten Wikis sind unter Wiki zu finden.

Donnerstag, 18. September 2003

Wiki des Projekts InfoAnarchy.

(de)Dieses Wiki enthält Informationen zu File Sharing, CopyRight, GeschenkÖkonomie, Möglichkeiten im virtuellen Raum, Untersuchung von P2P, Informationswerkzeugen und ähnlichen Themen. Falls nicht anders vermerkt, sind die Beiträge alle PublicDomain.

Sonntag, 18. Mai 2003

Eine P2P Gesellschaft ist nicht hierarchisch, sondern als Netzwerk organisiert.