I'm thinking about making a thing called the Data Liberation Society (For People Who Are Tired Of Not Talking About Revolution).

In particular we will focus on actionable things we, dreamers, software developers, data scientists, concerned humans, can do to lay the foundation for revolution and the world to come after revolution.


I'm tired of talking about diversity problems without explicitly also talking about dismantling (through revolution) the systems of oppression that are at the root of the problems.

I'm tired of talking about ethics in tech without talking about the inherently unethical economic framework that tech shapes and participates in.

I'm tired of being a commodity of big data capitalists.

@egrasmed I'm have a question about the topic. Is there any literature on avoiding the situation where "revolution devours its own children", in particular, taking control of the systems of oppression for its own gains instead of properly dismantling and destroying them? To me, that seems like the biggest risk associated with a revolution - a simple exchange of the people "above", unnoticed or even applauded by the rest.

@phoe I advocate for an anarchist revolution without a transitional period, provisional government, etc. There isn't supposed to be an "above".

Peter Kropotkin's The Conquest of Bread would be a good place to start.

I'm totally for ethics, sustainability and stuff, but do you really think a revolution is a feasible solution? Why do you think systems of oppression are the root cause?

In my opinion, the *root* cause is human greed. To fix these problems, we need education, esp. religion-free and focused more on being open to different ideas. Less ego, more awareness of the complex interconnections of different things in the world around us...

@pfm I believe that as long as capitalist production continues, no amount of education or selflessness of the masses will make a meaningful, lasting difference. (Because the masses are victims, not perpetrators of the problems.)

On top of that, I believe that states and capitalists are incentivized and enabled to use greed and ego to keep the masses in fearful ignorance.

I'm not convinced that revolution is feasible, but I am convinced I'm morally obligated to advocate for it.

OK, I get your point, but let's take a closer look at it: the masses are victims because they are ignorant. But who is the perpetrator?

Just for the purpose of this discussion, as a thought experiment, imagine there's a widely available course in every school around the globe where kids learn how self-awareness and selflessness help them achieve more and feel better. With this takeaway they take different education paths, get jobs and do those jobs with goals they have set themselves. None of them aims at world control or unlimited growth.

In my opinion, it is rarely a single person that is responsible for all that evil stuff. Most of the time it is a large group, a complex system with a huge number of feedback loops. And that large group is still part of those masses!

This is why I think education could improve our situation (in the long run). Because it would bring us support of a (hopefully growing) group of people that would be aware of the dangers of ego, greed and uncontrolled growth (and perhaps lots of other stuff as well).

We definitely agree on one thing: moral obligation to act. The more is there of people like us, the better the chance of improvement. :)

@pfm This is an interesting thought experiment. Maybe we could create a society that discourages and shames greed and controlling behavior. Even if that is possible, though, I'm not particularly comfortable with positions of power that enable exploitation.

In my economics classes in grad school, we talked about the "benevolent dictator" and how actually economies would certifiably be better off if the right person were given full control over a government...

@pfm I don't think I like the idea of benevolent dictators any more than benevolent capitalists.

I'm still trying to imagine what a world of benevolent consumers would look like, but I think your thought experiment would evolve into the revolution I'm talking about! (No capitalists or governments exploiting the poorer of the world and, instead, mutual aid and support.)

I think we agree on a lot of things, and I'm happy to have you as a comrade

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