Are the Open Data Warriors Fighting for Robin Hood or the Sheriff?: Some Reflections on OKCon 2011 and the Emerging Data Divide (via Gurstein’s Community Informatics)

This is thoughtful posts in which Michael Gurstein contextualises his (much needed) critique of the Open Everything movement of – as he puts it – Ubergeeks. That is, the already empowered, highly technoliterate and most commonly white, Euro-males or their descendants or colonial favourites, to put it strongly and a bit exaggerated (in order to bring across the point).

Add to Gurstein’s critique the problem of materiality focused on in this blog, then we have a perfect means justifying the end (haha, only just realised this now, this is of course wrong)  instance of the end justifying the means and a waiting around for the trickle-down effect scenario. I.e. “If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows”.

Perhaps it is time to talk of tech-neo-colonialism. Recall, that many – obviously deluded and misled, yet enthusiastic – white men and women were convinced that they were saving savages from miserable, inhuman livelihoods and – importantly – closed down societies and introducing them to the right (democratic) path. The road to hell……

I spent the last couple of days at a fascinating (and frightening) event in Berlin—OKCon—a convention for the (in this case mostly European) uber-geeks who are in the process of recreating governments and potentially governance itself in Western Europe (and beyond). The ideal that these nerdy revolutionaries are pursuing is not, as with previous generations—justice, freedom, democracy—rather it is “openness” as in Open Data, Open Information, Ope … Read More

via Gurstein’s Community Informatics

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