LinuxFest Northwest 2013

Bellingham, WA April 27th & 28th

Platinum Sponsors

Technology and Dystopia: How Free Software Could Save the World

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Both humor and cultural anthropology will be employed to explore the possible enslavement or eradication of humanity in our future. Are there parallels between historic regimes and our modern society as arbitrated by our relationships to technology? Several popular fictional dystopias set in humanity's future and what technologies are in play that could help or hinder those scenario will be examined; including zombies, robot overlords, panopticons and post-reading cultures.

John Gaventa's framework for social power will be used to investigate the political and economic factors that could shape humanity's destiny. Previous struggles for power between haves and have-nots will be investigated for clues to our modern situation. Questions about who retains control in today's environment of low tech-literacy and high usage of cloud services will be examined.

Privacy and the importance of open standards will be examined with an eye to the future. Can free software save the world? Current projects and educational efforts that can help us avoid (or at least ameliorate) a dystopic future will be recommended. During Q&A, the audience is invited to share or comment on technologies or trends that keep them up at night worrying about the fate of the world.

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Session Time Slot(s): 

Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 10:00 to 10:50