It’s been an intense few weeks of conversations held globally and on Edgeryders. The world slowed down over the past few months, economies grinded to a halt and those who were not ‘frontline’ workers were ordered to stay inside their homes as public health became a priority.
For some it was a time of inward reflection. Across the world we saw conversations that were long overdue take place around racism in the US - which has spread to other countries.
Different areas of society began to critically evaluate the way in which they have operated and started to challenge things that had been considered ‘the norm’ up until this point.
Other conversations began to turn to the immediate impact the crisis is having on human behaviour.With more people working from home and depending on software produced by the major tech giants, they have profited throughout the pandemic.
Some have questioned steps taken by governments to control the spread of the virus by using tracing apps that stockpile data on individuals - with commentators such as Edward Snowden - saying governments are passing laws totalitarian in nature that will survive longer than the virus itself.
It seemed like the world was listening.This week at EdgeRyders, we have to ask ourselves if some of these conversations have been forgotten about since the world has begun to hit the resume button. With economies opening back up and workers trickling back to their offices, has the time now passed? Are these conversations a distant memory?
One of our co-founders has asked why more people aren’t sceptical of the new tracing app the German government has introduced. Edgeryders had a community call recently with experts across Europe who said the technology infringes civil liberties in fighting the virus. Some of those previous conversations can be read here and here.
At Edgeryders we haven’t forgotten conversations around the establishment of a free open-source internet that’s free from big tech interest. Some of our members have been discussing how that looks, with a post this week describing a new model for book sellers, libraries and online publishers.
We’re still talking about what the future governance of the internet will look like, with one member discussing Apple’s new data summary label - inspired by nutritional labels on food products - that’s included on each app available to download in the app store.
We want to draw your attention to this call from action from one of our EdgeRyders members on how you can help support the movement against police brutality and racism in the US.
In case you missed it
Our session on precarity in higher education took place last week. It’s spurred much conversation on short-term contracts, and low paid wages.
While we have transcribed the webinar we held with DeLab on how to interpret data related to Covdi-19. Take a look here.
Video art: Lethe by Sina Saberi