Urban Intelligence

To bring in some of the ongoing conversations in around the block, as I understand them:

One perspective on how to address this is to try to integrate smart contracts, distributed data models and IoT technology to keep the sensor data contextual, rather than have it flow into huge datasets controlled by companies or governments. Many groups around the world are experimenting with this. In many ways, I don’t see many other ways forward. Sensors connected to networks will be everywhere in just a few years, that is pretty much inevitable at this point. Benefits are too huge for governments and companies to ignore. What needs to happen is that a “human-centric” model that keeps your data in the context where it belongs, and secured by smart contracts and cryptography, becomes good enough and open enough that it just makes sense for companies and governments to use it.

Making such sensory data available to anyone who wants it, and making it irreversibly linked to contracts that only allow its use in limited contexts, is one approach to reap the benefits while doing some damage control to avoid complete dystopia. In broad terms, every time data is ‘emitted’ by a sensor, that data would be coupled to a contract in a distributed ledger (like a blockchain), available to everyone. Decoding the data can only be done by negotiating the contract to gain access to a key with which to decrypt it.

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Yes, that is the kind of argument that is helpful to my work. I am building that in a coherent framework of three Taskforce, one on Entitlements (was identity), one on Architectures (especially 5G) and one on Services (including blockchain). Anyone who wants to be on these very low very low mail mailinglists, just sending notes and briefings as a lot of people there (like all of us) are way too busy, is welcome just mail me at kranenbu at xs4all.nl
I can understand a lot of feelings and first impressions of Millennials about what looks like to them a connected world ‘all of a sudden’ or a situation that can be ‘avoided’. Me and friends confronted that as a situation 20 to 15 years ago and have been painstakingly working towards creating building blocks for the best possible b lance between centralization and decentralization. We look at that world in a realistic way, meaning there is no romantic way out, no naive escape, of course if you want there is still a temporary bubble you can build with a few friends - but we are working for the best and most inclusive zone of connectivity for everybody, every person and as we pay taxes in Europe, that for us is Europe.

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if you are interested you can look at my text from 2008:

We need to move to debate further from this seemingly deadlocked polarised state
it appears we are at now. Distributing yourself as data into the environment has been the revolving wheel of progress for our conceptions and applications of technology. Location-based, real-time – services, applications to strengthen communities, and the capacity to generate high quality data in information overload, these are all possibilities within a wired connected environment that need serious exploration and research.

In Art and Agency, an Anthropological Theory47, Alfred Gell puts emphasis “upon art
as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others”. He defines volt sorcery as the “practice of inflicting harm on the prototype of an index by inflicting harm on the index, for example, sticking pins into a wax image of the prototype”. In Gell’s theory the index is located in the region where the sphere of agency (the primary agent) overlaps with the vulnerability of thecausal milieu of the recipient. In our case the index is located in the region where the sphere of agency of the firmware on the hard disks (control) overlaps with its openness to different practices and interpretations by the hive software. The question is, can we immobilize or reformulate the subject (the set of business practices and real people articulating their agency through these business practices of patents and intellectual property laws) in this way? Seizing and scheming towards this opportunity to make sense, to have fully analyzed and grasped a situation – such as the recent individual agency in open source content-networks-software and hardware – will not lead to major organizational, political, and design breakthroughs, if we are not able to fully grasp the trajectory from thing as gathering places for spaces and discussion, from ‘matters of concern’:

“A heuristic use of the term ‘thing’ has also been adopted by Bruno Latour, who, after Heidegger, has worked to transform the semantic emphasis of ‘things’ from ‘matters of concern’. Drawing on older etymologies in which ‘thing’ denoted a gathering place, a space for discussion and negotiation; Latour has rehabilitated this sense of the term as a way out of the twin cul-de-sac of constructivism and objectivity”.

The story is no longer metaphor, no longer as if or ‘as’ something else, no, the story is the thing now, it is the protocol.

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sorry if it is a bit long but it has been a while I looke at it and it actually I think makes a lot of sense now :slight_smile: I can use it:

  1. In order to find productive principles we will have to make two moves; one is to go back to the arguments that led to l’Encyclopédie of Diderot et d’Alembert and see if we can find through their arguments a way to unthink and undo the classification as default (every object on the planet can have its own ip address with IPv6)57 and the other one is to find a way to articulate as performative practice the idea of a parallel movement without recursing to a mode of opposition based on anti classification , or oppositional ways of working. Jean Le Rond d’Alembert writes in Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot:“… it is perhaps among the artisans that one should go to find the most admirable proofs of the sagacity, the patience, and the resources of the intellect. I admit that the greater part of the arts has been invented little by little and that it has taken a very long period of centuries in order to bring watches, for example, to the point of1


perfection that we see. But is it not the same for the sciences? How many discoveries which immortalized their authors were prepared for by the work of the preceding centuries, even having been developed to their maturity, right up to the point that they demanded only one more step to be taken? And not to leave watch-making,
why do we not esteem those to whom we owe the fusee, the escapement, and the repeating works [of watches] as much as we esteem those who have successively worked on perfecting algebra? Moreover, if I can believe those philosophers who do not so despise the mechanical arts that they refuse to study them, there are certain machines so complicated, and in which all the parts depend so much on each other, that it is difficult to imagine that the invention would be due to more than one man”.

Not only is the mechanical seen as a collaborative effort and process, but the mechanical arts are thought on the same conceptual level as the arts and the sciences, especially because the knowledge gained and the theories put forward build upon layers and
layers of collaborative practical experience. The project of the Encyclopédie is the starting point for all questions relating to the Enlightenment and “the project of the modern library itself”. Yet does this mean that there is no other reading possible in the intentions of the authors of this paradigm of classification? Le Rève d’Alembert (1769, first published 1820) shows that for Diderot seeing the world no longer as God but as machine, and seeing Nature as a giant evolutionary organism that is never static but always experimenting, is not contradictory at all. Maybe the process of and will to classify is not the key to begin to dismantle neoliberal capitalism. But if not, then what?

According to Jens Kastner: “However the transnational guerilla may be seen as a try
to overcome the frequencies of fields between art and activism described by Bordieu. The respectively own logics of production of theory, art and also politic actions show overlapping and entanglement. This is the basis where it is meant to prepare - however not by identical closements or prefaced contextless communities. But as a transnational guerilla”.

    • The intrinsic bridge between artistic and social movements offers possibilities to overcome the structural hurdles between these two.
    • Universalism as imaginary (the re-connecting of universalism has a certain source in negation of the existing, which defines the artistic internationalism. This is followed by transnational guerilla, as criticism and as an alternative model to the universal community.
    • Zapatista self-management and tactics (“Intergalactic meetings against neoliberalism and pro humanism/the human race”, where a few thousands guerill@s [~guerilleros?], intelectuals and activists [orig. germ.: AktistInnen, must mean AktivistInnen] in
      the chiapanestic jungle (1996) and also in Spain (1997) met, can be seen without hesitation as the birth hour of the globalization-critical movements. It can also be understood as the starting point of the Transnational Guerilla.
    • Global mobilisation (in a normative regard transnational guerilla means to step across national borders and at the time it is also a moment of movement beyond traditional or geographic bonds. This is exactly what the TG is trying to archieve: to


create a transnational mode of movement out of the artistic internationalism of the 1960’s.

    • Multiplicity (For this collective and de-discriminating action a decisive hint is necessary, [which can also be described as] the temporary mark, the come across, the masks of the Zapatistas, the exposing of one’s mode of existence.
    • Parallel action (to speak about TG arises the assumption to be part of a minority: not to assign oneself to a suppressed group for reasons of misinterpreted political correctness, but to conclude oneself, to understand oneself as part of a just temporarily secret broad community.
    • Pragmatic activism (TG is not a so far un-perfect or an up to now uncomplete community, neither an historical horizon to be fulfilled. It leaves basic illusions behind re-supplied by Agamben, Baumann and Holloway, is coming from zapatistic riots (we are you behind our masks) and is learning from its’ own artistically practices. But it has to be understood as a gutsy, temporary rout not limited to national borders.All these qualities have been coined and developed from a different mindset and frame of thought, culminating in Bricolabs, the collaborative narrative of individuals that investigate, exploit and prototype the loop of open source software, content, spectrum and hardware. Unlike Jens Kastner our trajectory to these qualities as a possible reality for ‘uncapitalism’ on a global level did not unravel itself through an investigation of the common denominators in the oppositional positions that have all claimed in some way or another the predominance of becoming/das Tun/anti-classification. Our trajectory to these qualities comes from the realisation that old and new technologies such as RFID, biometric identification schemes (gait recognition, intelligent tracking video cameras and on chip DNA testing), active sensor schemes in logistics, clothing, home - are in the process of creating a real world in which connectivities expand beyond our conscious schemes and protocols of interaction.
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Oh wow, this is really extensive, thanks so much @RobvanKranenburg! I need to wrap my head around this a little bit more - but the overall idea is: we can’t “stop” it, but it has to be done on our terms (super simplified of course).

The one thing I wonder then, is what about authoritarian regimes? The technology will be anywhere, and as mentioned above in the piece on Uyghurs, the surveillance tech used is devastating (some even call it a genocide).

I’m interested too in the vein of “we can’t stop it so how do we steer it” and I wonder what the options are to address the issues. Some ideas for consideration:

  1. Create standards and influence design of smart cities to protect/enhance humanity (very hard)
  2. Educate people about these technologies and how to interact with them or possibly avoid them
  3. Sabotage the technologies eg blocking the sensors (dangerous, expensive)
  4. Explore the benefits of living in cities and look for ways to introduce these benefits to local more distributed communities so that living in cities isn’t the only perceived option

Personally I like the idea of (4) as it’s a move away from centralisation, I think we need to decentralise physically as well as digitally. But realistically it feels to me that education and campaigning are feasible initial steps and that might lead towards (1) where standards, policies and controls have been design specifically for humanity.

You are right, technologies often get abused - Facebook is a great example. I wonder what standards and controls would be considered at the conception of Facebook if they knew what they know now.

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Dear Inge,

Yes, that is extremely simplified but true. And to get to this level of simplicity took me and a lot of networks twenty years of fighting against the grain, and being misunderstood, as if we would be on the side of the Matrix, where in fact to us the potential for emancipation and a better balance between centralization and decentralization was on par with seeing animals, humans, machines and the planet itself as a caring and sustaining ecosystem. iot means transparency and exposing overhead and corruption. The balance I seek, was very well described by Malatezsta and Machno and can also be described as anarchocommunism (open on the services, closed on a public commons infrastructure). The current NGI 3step plan is exactly that.

My interest lies in building a stable political zone of human machine complimentarity, supporting humans in what they do best: ultimately Nietzsche’s love and shame and for iot full resource management as our only chance against Climate Change.

This may be hard to grasp for people who are different than me, and most are. Most people have specific self interest. Mine is simply to be continue living in a stable society. That requires new political models and new political leadership.
One of the first public mentions to my plan to turn the passport into a device is 2011:

Ofcourse if I had a button I would stop all of this technology now, I would push it. But for now this text
I still think it is valid. That means the logical trajectory now if we do not act is 500 smart cities aka military zones and Mad Max in between. I do not want to live in neither.

So, Inge, you see, that without taking control the drivers of the digital transitions our societies can not survive. I live in a simple street. I would like to keep living three and be abler to take a train and have a coffee in a bar. That is all.
Again, hard to understand if you are of a different sensibility that I have no other interest in this then general interest. The selfish aspect lies in the fact that this stable society enables me to work and live as I want, quiet and simple.

My friends and my networks are willing to take up that position, to build leadership in a fully connected world. I hope edgeryders do too. Otherwise it is very easy from our own cosy and sheltered positions ( me too!) to say how bad it all is, and how afraid we are of the Matrix. That’s too simple for us.

Now to your specific question. I see a pattern there, interesting.

To me, all current systems are dysfunctional. Hence we need to build better ones. That is my sole objective.

The world is full of terrible political features. If you are not careful you can get depressed by simply looking at one. What can you do? In Georgia the most repressing and backward laws are voted on abortion. Why not stage protest there? Extremely necessary! The USA is one of the few countries where inmates pay for their own imprisonment and Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless Typhus and Tuberculosis Are Spreading in Homeless Populations - The Atlantic

My good friend Pieter is currently on the Maker Faire in SF with his invention for a tent for the Homeless:

Oh, there are some many things to not sleep over. Israel effectively has Gaza under virtual control and actually wage war by extra legal killings.
Europe itself is strongly reproached:

Yes, people worry, and so can I.

But, we are in the Strategy CSA of the Next Generation Internet at the moment and from us new architectures and new ways of seeing are expected that work back from a position of full connectivity to building the best and most inclusive zone of care for ALL (human beings, animals, machines, plants and the planet).

Ours if not to bite one bullet, focus on one situation existing now and extrapolating from that or excluding building blocks.

In the previous eetings we realized that without a system perspective actively taking control of all these building-blocks a commercial social credit system is already forming as we speak combined of commercial services embedding dynamic pricing on commercial algos , the mapping behavior sets that are downloadable in JSON format from coelition.org embedded soon if not already in voice and camera supported services in home, shop and hospitals.

The Matrix is already here, everywhere. Our job is to find the pressure points of agency and make it work for all of us, meaning we find a way (and wade are finding it) to not have a subset of people and machines looking at all the data but open it up in such a way that e v e r y o n e is able to see all the data realtime, thus brokering new notions of mediation, and conflict management and that is where all skills and expertise can found in anarchist literature,

Greetings, Rob

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These four points are great! And I think I can assist with starting points for all, let me work on it a bit and I get back to you on this next week, Rob.


Hi Tom, are you in London next Wednesday? Want to join us at UCL? Check https://www.theinternetofthings.eu/open-invitation-how-can-we-bring-realistic-positive-story-accepts-techno-political-influence-and
and drop me a mail at rob at dyne.org

Hey Rob, thanks for the invite. I won’t be in London sadly. Your debate is an interesting one and certainly starts to address the trend in innovation that is attractive to our governments and large corporate organisations, the risks such as the one Inge points out have catastrophic implications.

From your link “We are experiencing the last potential zone of transition with humans in full control and planning agency.” - I’m under the impression that’s it’s more the capitalist machinery now that’s in full control and removing the human element from that is inevitable. I think I’ve tried to influence from within which is what I think you are working with too and for me I’ve been repeatedly crushed. I wonder if there is another way?

I’ve mentioned in another post what I feel are the real issues we face and I’m not sure how these innovations solve them.

This is more for what I stand for. But it’s not realistic at the moment, the only time we will stop at scale is when there is incentive (through force | desire) to do so. If we wait for top-down direction based on the “their” opinion of “when we have to do it” it will be far too late and any solution thereafter is likely to be the wrong one driven by the wrong values, and fear. But maybe we can tap into the desire to do so, bottom-up.

The Armish for example live simple lives and in contrast to popluar belief with technology. They ride in horse and carriage because all of them can do so equally, they use electricity because it is a utility accessible to all of them, they do not have tractors because their neighbour could buy a bigger tractor and competition would enter their community. Each new technology available to them is considered and either integrated or rejected. Their value systems are different to the majority of the western world and they know how to “stop” or rather not even start. I believe we need to have something similar, a set of values and standards to refer to when considering if we need 5G and smart sensors, etc, the real impact on humanity and if we need them the controls and constraints around them for their purpose. Though I have be mistaken for a Luddite I really am not, I simply call for a more cognitive decision making process based on human-centric needs when considering whether we “should” rather than whether we “could”.

I appreciate the mention of Nietzsche. I fully back a need to manage resources more carefully. A project I set up a few years ago which I need to restart aims atinspiring the next generation of ecologically aware creative technologists to do just that in ways we haven’t yet thought of.

It feels like we are concerned and challenging the same issues from slightly different standpoints. I’m currently trying to avoid London atm, I’m living out in the hills of the Peak District as part of my effort to decentralise and also focus on the natural environment around me.

I’d would like to meet up (remotely or in person, maybe in Georgia if we could fund the travel) at some stage to consider our current positions and how they might compliment each other in a simplified and unified approach. Maybe @inge would be interested in that conversation too and maybe it is something to consider for the festival. I think one of our tasks would be to simplify the heuristics and collaborate on an accessible concept derived from our collective concerns, understandings and approaches - though it may also turn out that we have a need to continue our different approaches.

Would there be interest in this from others?

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“I think I’ve tried to influence from within which is what I think you are working with too and for me I’ve been repeatedly crushed. I wonder if there is another way?”

You were clearly (way) too early.
I think it is more about timing. Now is the time for these arguments. I am studying the Amish too, for example, this kind of thinking runs parallel. If you read http://www.situatedtechnologies.net/?q=node/108 and just check out the last page you see we were/are on a similar track. We just keep on keeping on making the arguments until the threshold of seeing this as more normal is reached. This is happening, so now is a time to push again.

It feels like we are concerned and challenging the same issues from slightly different standpoints.


Very happy to have this conversation. Looking to forward to keep this conversation going,

Greetings, Rob


Let me do that for you Last page:

To finish and to instigate a discussion, we propose a series of indicative standards that test the waters, raise awareness and make visible the gap between where we are now and where have to go. The triple challenges of climate change, peak oil and social breakdown are coming. The question is not if, but when. Our standards are a shock therapy to the current practice of making. The sociability standards are workable and stem directly from the urgen- cies we have discussed. They will ensure interoperability between all the emerging actors. They require the joining of different actors that so far have not been involved in the making of standards.

All technological standards are also social standards.

• Systems that are designed by at least twenty people distributed across the world.
• Systems that are built less than 150 miles from where the raw materials are sourced.
• Systems that will not be deployed more than 50 miles from where they are built.
• Systems whose components are modular and backward compatible to allow local repair, upgrade and downgrade.

system Thinking
• Systems that fix end costs as a percentage on top of publicly available production, transportation and disposal costs.
• Systems that communicate the break down of energy costs of pro- duction, transport and breakdown of the product.
• Systems that automatically generate a fixed, public discussion u r lfor each item.

• Systems that encourage face-to-face contact.• Systems that build mutual responsibility.
• Systems that encourage conflict.
• Systems that during their lifetime will be used by more than 5 people.• Systems that enable strong bonds between people and the environment.• Systems that treat resources as equals.

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you’re very welcome in Tbilisi, Georgia (or countryside, I myself as well have moved out of the city to be more in nature) - and I’d gladly help organize something like that!

And also with regards to the festival, count me in with thinking about it more and designing something. Likewise, interested to hear what others think of smart cities, IoT, and the impact on our private and collective lives - and how/what to propose.


Dear Tom,

On you four points that you propose

“Create standards and influence design of smart cities to protect/enhance humanity (very hard)’

In projects like Tagitsmart we have worked towards standardization of smart tags and product passports so as to have a chance to go to full recycling and circular economy In retail. A very small steps but small steps is what it is.
Projects like Sociotal.eu, D-CENT, DECODE, Commonfare http://pieproject.eu is to demonstrate that all technological standards are social standards, so what was thought up theoretically a decade ago now becomes practice. Again, not fully ortganised, this is the flow of things.

In Barcelona, Amsterdam and NY these notions of data privacy and commons are put into action.
Amsterdam is in our current CSA. WE will make a Digital Signature for a 5G Architecture real.

We propose grey zones (current 3G/4G) hot spots (dedicated 5G zones) and cold spots.

Some people in edgeryders seem to me more about disconnecting, then connecting which surprises me but is actually quite good as it forces us to have this discussion deep and in the open. Nice!

I am preparing salons on hot spots but also on cold spots (one with Brussel based

As I think all three type of zones are our responsibility as architects of hybridity.

You and others are very welcome to join that cold spot (no ‘connectivity/wireless’) workshop.

In the 5G workshops in my Task Force Infrastructures we address exactly this issue. You are very welcome to join. I can also send you the notes:

"How can we ensure not making the same mistakes as with the (failed) smart city (applications), but co-create services in the vertical applications (body/health, home/energy, car/sharing, region/collective intelligence) with all stakeholders including citizens? In this workshop we want to investigate the procedure of embedding these ideas and requirements in a Digital Signature for the Infrastructure. This has the important bonus it no longer matters who hosts the data and which platforms it runs, as the liability, accountability, procurement, GDPR and Cybersecurity Act compliance is in situational contracts (term Christian Nold), thus ensuring the new insights (fostering new services) stay well known to all stakeholders. In earlier workshops of NGI Forward WP3 the realization was made that in these 5G environments all entities (whether persons, goods, objects or situations) will be given federated and temporary identities, as in the case of an accident with the connected car in which all ‘stakeholders’ (the car, the person, the lantern pole that is hit, the water that the crashes into that is polluted…) receive temporary identities the ensemble of which becomes the ‘virtual accident’ the liability and accountability is administered on. Currently eIDas is the digital signature for persons, GS1 is providing product codes (‘passports’) for goods and coelition.org is mapping and numbering everyday activities. In these environments AI will run in the network and robotic capabilities are built in to function semi-autonomously, the agency to name the combinations of the temporary and federated (attribute-based) identities will be vital to creating new services. Currently this agency is in the hands of GAFA and BAT.

In the case of architectures the first Salon put forward four building blocks. The first is that in an Internet of Humans, or Next Generation Internet, trust can be tokenized but only within a situation of already established trust between people, meaning there has to be a social understanding before it can be technically articulated, can we talk about communities and everyday life. The second is successful anticipatory regulation: “joint-up multidisciplinary regulation through collaboration platforms on AI that include startups, think-tanks and academia, large and medium-sized companies, governments and their ethics commissions, civil society and activists.”The third is to explore building institution like entities with the concepts of data utilities and the work of Neil Lawrence and Sylvie Delacroix who propose data trusts as a bottom-up mechanism whereby data-subjects choose to pool their data within the legal framework of the Trust. The fourth is to include potential third-party trust providers are seemingly neutral organizations that have a large member base organized around for example mobility (in the Netherlands the ANWB has a membership of 4.446.528 (1-1-2017). In January 2018, for example, the various accounts of FC Barcelona surpassed 180 million engagements worldwide. One could also consider alumni groups of different schools."

“Educate people about these technologies and how to interact with them or possibly avoid them”

Avoid them? You seriously think that is an option? Where on the planet would you go? I think that is not an option at all. Our job, at least in the CSA NGI for which I am making the case here that is paid with public money of European taxpayers), it is not an option at all to have as a strategic assessment to the European Commission that we should learn Millennials and Igens and older people who can no longer use analogue means for a lot of administrative purposes, to avoid IoT, Big Data, AI, biotech, smart phones, to avoid new technologies. What is the advise? Dress up in aluminium foil? Of course edgeryders is bigger then this project and if the aim of edgeryders is to explore these options (that I also described but discarded as the Unabombers fiction of ‘going back to nature’ in 2007, I was discarding that as a strategic option for society as a whole and people taking responsibility as leaders for the whole of society. It is of course perfectly possible as an individual option, but then it is a personal choice with a very limited strategic or educational aspect.

“We have seen the end of the guerilla, as being on the move now is not different anymore than staying in one place and securing it. At the outer ends of this kind of opposition we find the ultimate innere Emigration (inner emigration), the suicide of Menno ter Braak, four days after the Germans invaded the Netherlands, and Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Menno ter Braak took sedatives and his brother gave him a lethal injection. Drenched in the Nietzschean philosophy of autonomy and ever striving to be a homme honnête, he could – being involved in anti-fascist activities from mid-thirties – see the fascist logic of life very clearly and could not envision any way out. The Innere Emigration of intellectuals in the thirties, retreating into ones own mental sphere, not publishing, not speaking in public, was not only unbearable to him, he realized that it had become ontologically impossible. The Unabomber’s strategy – killing three and maiming a further 23 – in trying to get his message across to both a research community and a larger public, has caused a lot of human suffering, landed him in jail and may a have had adverse effects in that the search for him converged new techniques of surveillance. In the end it was his brother that recognised his style.
As a core issue in his thinking is his distinction between small-scale technology is technology “that can be used by small-scale communities without outside assistance” and organization-dependent technology is technology that depends on large-scale social organization”.


My take on education? I took that challenge in 2010 when I set up April 9 iot Day. In ten years over 500 self organized events

IoTDay is an open invitation to the Internet of Things Community to set up an event, a lunch, a talk with the neigborhood on what iot is and what it means in everyday life for all of us

Have taken place

I also run, the local iot Meetup in Gent, where I live, so I take my responsibility not only on a global scale but locally as well, what else would be the point we are not here for ego or fame - so in over 30 meetups were done over the years. I could do more and having realized that I am now talking with IMEC in Gent to have more structure.

“Sabotage the technologies eg blocking the sensors (dangerous, expensive)”

And ridiculous and fully ineffective. Adding more negativity to the already ongoing negativity is pointless and counterproductive. Any action should be communicative, non violent, non negative and fully from the perspective of dialogue.
In France over 60% of all traffic cameras have been destroyed. What is the point of that?
Do you really think Google is the enemy, the smart phone is the ‘evil’? Would you rather have lived before the internet? When, in 1500, prior to book printing with priests the only ones reading and you being burned for asking can I read a book?
Of course it is very sad that the first iterations of the anarchist hippie protocol was taking over by old fashioned greed (Mark Zuckerberg call his first four users dumb fucks) niche intelligence seeing Over The Top openings (intelligence without a heart):Amazon, Uber… and national states like China, Singapore, Malaysia and now quickly Africa, and also US and Europe as all dependencies in, the national states see these surveillance options as a way to sustain their power ( the state - church, Moneyland, military wedding). But and here we differ, you somehow seem to think ‘it is over’, this is the next normal, to me it is just a phase, and there is no doubt in my mind that the aligned sensibilities in favor of sharing, of cooperation, of common sense are winning.

“Explore the benefits of living in cities and look for ways to introduce these benefits to local more distributed communities so that living in cities isn’t the only perceived option”

Do you have links, texts, projects, pointers? Love to hear about them!

Greetings and wishing you a very good Sunday, Rob


I agree that there will be no turning back from these technologies. I like the concept of the cold zone you articulated in another topic. I think such spaces designated like that would be very useful and quite civilized really. Advancement of These technologies is inevitable. It won’t be stopped. As you say individuals can turn away. To me as a society I would like to see us figure out how to consciously advance it. And I think the work you were doing is very much in that spirit and in the right direction.

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And I don’t think Google is the enemy but I do think that once they went public as a corporation they shifted their focus in ways that I don’t prefer. And I use their services and I am writing this on a smart phone.

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I am very happy to hear that and I think yes we can explore what a cold zone looks like and what a set up be in cities of cold zones and hot spots is exactly what we can do in NGI. Also “To me as a society I would like to see us figure out how to consciously advance it.” I fully agree with that, that is also what NGI is there for. It can not be just tech push or shareholder value, it has got to mean something. I am always convinced that if a hack is needed it is at system level, building a next normal, building attractors for different drivers, and that is what I see happening.

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I would like for those cold zones to be of some decent size. Not like the smokers pen in the airport.



This interview with Ben Green (and the book he wrote on which it is based) might be relevant to folks here: The Opendatasoft blog

A short blurb from the interview that reflects his general thinking:

“I think that the smart city, as we conceive of it today, lacks a holistic perspective. The common understanding of what it means to become a smart city today does not necessarily include a holistic approach to solve a certain issue. In my book, I describe smart cities as seeing most problems exclusively through “tech goggles”, meaning that there is a tendency of seeing every single social challenge only in terms of technology. Issues are diagnosed as being technological in nature and the solutions to these issues are also seen as exclusively technological.”