I've finally taken the time to read your text Bob.
I believe your ideas are perfectly compatible or maybe even more of a background to what
I've been pushing for lately: that we stop talking about access to the Internet
and instead start to talk more about making infrastructure available to people
(communities), so they (and their devices) can network in whichever way they want/can.
The "internet access" terminology puts the people in a position of receiving a
service and it also puts companies as middlemen between these "consumers" and
the "goods" they are consuming (Facebook, Youtube, etc.).
You know I usually use the example of the roads system in a different way than you do, but
The Internet as it's being mostly modeled by big companies is equivalent to a roads
system where every house has to be directly connected to a toll road or highway. There are
no local roads, no sidewalks, no spontaneous paths through the land. Just highways.
In this model, people cannot "walk" to the park or to the local shop (local
service); those cannot exist. People have to use the highway and they have to buy at the
Mall (concentrated data centers) and have fun in the Mall's theater (Facebook,
Youtube, etc.). And of course they always have to pay for this "access" through
In my view, fighting for "access for everyone" leaves out the discussion about
how the infrastructure is built, controlled and used. From community networks perspective
we need to stress these ideas. We need local infrastructure that's open for everyone
to use (just like local roads are), where people can host and offer locally and to the
rest of the world their contents, services, etc. This point of view also breaks the idea
of scarcity that is artificially imposed only to create profit.
And this also connects our struggle with many others that are also the result of
artificial scarcity for corporate benefit. The food problem is one example. And in fact,
the approach of that fight is also sometimes wrong. Communities don't just need
access to food. We need a system where the land can be used locally so the people can
produce and share what they need. The artificial scarcity problem is again created through
concentration, of the land, of the production means and of the food distribution system.
There are many other examples of this and it's a reason why I have focused for years
on trying to get people from one camp to identify they are fighting the same struggle as
others, just in a different domain.
So... in relation to this, I want to propose that we somehow have the DC3 represented in
the World Social Forum and the World Forum of Free Media this year in Montreal.
Sorry for the long e-mail.
On 05/21/2016 08:22 PM, dc3(a)bob.ma wrote:
I’ve tried to put together my thoughts about community
as infrastructure. For now it’s a draft at
I plan to post it when the video of my Rio talk on infrastructure
I’d appreciate feedback.