The following text was written right after 34C3 (Dec. 2017). It seemed to raise some interest during the session Hackers Against Climate Change during 35C3, therefore I will slightly update the list.
About 98 % of the new year are still left and thus its perfect time for making good resolutions. 34c3 was my first CCC congress and I really enjoyed it. Besides meeting plenty of awesome people there where a lot of interesting talks. However, most of the talks focused on describing problems and only roughly sketched possible solutions in an abstract fashion - if coming to that point at all. Of course, carefully analyzing problems is an important task and often a necessary condition to find a working solution. Additionally, coming up with solution approaches for the fundamental problems we are facing (global surveillance, violating human rights, abuse of economic and political power, distribution conflicts, ecological crises, scarcity of essential resources, ... ) is really hard and will surely lead to lot of discussion or might even provoke a fury and anger. Nevertheless, resignation cannot also be the answer. Even if its hard to come up with solution ideas, we - as the community of 34c3 attendees (and friends) - should accept that challenge and follow the the two main imperatives of this congress: "tuwat!" and "be excellent to each other!" As human society consists of the infinite stream of individual decisions, the key to make society excellent is to influence a significant number of those decisions. Unlike stock-value oriented multinational corporations, so called "intelligence services", religious fundamentalists and other displeasing contemporaries, I am convinced that we have the persuading power of the better arguments on our side. But these arguments needs to be sharpened, to be adapted to the variety of people and most importantly translated into practice - because behavior (i.e., unconscious decisions) mainly develops by imitation of peers.
Here are some (subjectively biased) ideas on how to proceed. It is meant as a list of personal challenges for 2018, each one achievable but probably not trivial. They are formulated with the SMART-Criteria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria) in mind. Admittedly, the list is not very original but just a collection of well known tuwat-stuff. Nevertheless this stuff has to be done by more people than in the past. As stated above, the list might be subject to controversies. Feel free to comment, criticize or amend.
- Teach 3 people on how to use email encryption.
- cryptoparty howto
- use existing material, e.g., https://fsfw-dresden.de/gpg
- Teach 10 people how to securely create and handle passwords
- Fix three issues of one or more FOSS-Projects of common interest
- Find sustainable (decentralized, FOSS, ...) alternatives for your proprietary and surveillance-prone apps and services ... and help 5 other people to do so
- Find in your area which are involved in "Chaos macht Schule" and ask them how you could support
- Motivate three non-tech friends to leave facebook and join diaspora
- some background information: http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/
- Motivate 10 People to sign this petition: https://publiccode.eu/
- Donate at least 10 EUR to each of these NGOs or projects
- If you study or work at a university unite with other people with similar interests.
- Education system is where information multiplication happens.
- See https://fsfw-dresden.de/fork
- Take part at a political manifestation, meet people, exchange contacts.
- Motivate one person to abolish their TV.
- Achieve one published reader's letters in a printed newspaper.
- Become a supporting member in one or more NGOs.
- Refurbish advertisements in public space with stickers or tape
- Interview 3 enthusiastic Apple users on their opinion on tax mitigation and publish them in your blog/whatever
- Background Information: https://media.ccc.de/v/34c3-9047-taxation
- Go to a fashion store and before you start to look for clothes, ask where and how they are produced. Consider to leave the store indignantly.
- Background information: https://cleanclothes.org/
- Call the member of parliament who is responsible for you and express your grievance about an important issue in a sober an fact-based manner.
- Engage in discussion with colleagues, friends and family. Be well prepared to make your point.
- Know conflict lines the arguments of "both sides".
- Rationality is a shrinking deer. Don't scare it off.
- Be respectful even if they are not. Argue against misconceptions but not against people.
- Achieve that the next family meal will be meatless
- Prepare for discussion, e.g. with this overview.
- Next time when their is fish on the menu in your cafeteria ask whether this is the last of its species or if it is at least MSC-certified.
- Convince 3 households to switch to green electricity
- Lichtblick, EWS
- Become a member of community supported agriculture
- Find other people willing to help to make 3nC3 a climate-neutral event
- I am on board
It boils down on taking suitable decisions about what to do with your time and your money. This lists tries to give hints on how to be less part of the problems but more part of the (yet unknown) solutions. And helping others to do so.
This article is work in progress. Among other things it lacks a good process to motivate people to actually doing things after reading about them (knowledge-action-gap). Preliminary Ideas:
- Gamification (Badges for completed challenges)
- Public commitment