Wincing at surveillance, the security state, medical devices, and free software

Last week I saw a play version of . I winced throughout, perhaps due to over-familiarity with the topics and locale, and there are just so many ways a story with its characteristics (heavy handed politics that I agree with, written for adolescents, set in near future) can embarrass me. Had there been any room for the nuance of apathy, a few bars of Saturday Night Holocaust would’ve been great to work into the play. But the acting and other stuff making up the play seemed well done, I’m glad that people are trying to make art about issues that I care about, and I’d recommend seeing the play (extended to Feb 25 in San Francisco) for anyone less sensitive.

If you don’t feel like seeing a play in San Francisco, I recommend Jacob Appelbaum’s talk on surveillance, the security state, and free software at linux.conf.au 2012. It contains everything important Little Brother does and more, and isn’t fiction:

I also just watched Karen Sandler’s LCA talk, which I can’t recommend highly enough. It is more expansive than a short talk she gave last year at OSCON based on her paper Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices.

I frequently complain that free/libre/open software and nearby aren’t taken seriously as being important to a free and otherwise good society and that advocates have completely failed to demonstrate this importance. Well, much more is needed, but the above talks give me hope, and getting Appelbaum and Sandler in front of as many people as possible would be great progress.

6 Responses

  1. John says:

    Thanks for posting. Hope you are well.

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