Hackers Next Door

Hackers Next Door session details for

December 15, 2019 from 8:45 PM to 9:30 PM

Presented by red clover

Building Alternative Internets

Because hardware has never before been both so powerful and so affordable, a new era of community-run digital infrastructure is dawning. Among these possibilities for new modes of de-/re-programming Capitalist modes of operation within digital spaces is the exciting landscape of the neighborhood or citywide mesh intranet. red_clover from ShiftCTRL Space will briefly explain the material circumstances, so as to explore new avenues of resilient organizing using autonomously run networks and services.

Our situation today is this: every time we use the Internet, we are forced to accept that we are using the surveillance engine of advanced Capitalism in the Necrocene, a corporate-supported machine that consumes everything in its sights for the purpose of re-packaging it as benign. Situated at the brink of total climate collapse, the disenfranchised continue to be given insipid promises that in the Automation Revolution, “learning to code” at a “bootcamp” will set them free.

As Anarchists, we recognize the nature of this false promise from the quicksand on which it is based.

Revolutionaries in the West have either forgotten, corrupted, or else have never had a chance to find out what it might be like to harness the efficacy of digital technology for the benefit of radical social movements; many have abandoned the idea that this is even worthwhile.

But there has actually never been a better time to revisit this assumption: hardware has never been more superfluous and less expensive, with brand new, fully functional computers costing $35 and running Free and Open Source Software, and the prevalence of overlay networks like Tor eking further into the public conscious.

There is no chance now of reclaiming the mainstream Internet in its entirety (and perhaps there never was such a chance). But there has never been more opportunity than right now to create new systems, new internets, informed by new perspectives and approached holistically, for the purposes of revolutionary praxis.

Shift-CTRL, a radical queer semi-elusive hacklab based in New York City, has plunged headfirst into the margins of this electronic dreamland with vicious dedication to the ideal of better potentials for organizing radical spaces, and are peering out now to talk about its humble beginnings and the state of a new intranet connecting radical spaces in the City.

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