Monday, 15-Jun-09 02:24
If you don't share, nobody cares

Tweeted this today, not really thinking too much about it. That's how I express myself often, hiding truth behind a joke. (And no, I wasn't naked all day. But I didn't wear "proper" clothes either. So was the tweet true or not?) But I did get a couple of comments that got me thinking.

Recently, I've been growing to another role - that of the boss. It already creates some interesting communication when your colleagues read your blogs and tweets, and there's some nice tension when you know that your boss subscribes to your RSS streams. That's fine though - it creates a certain peer pressure model which keeps stuff like corporate secrets out of the internet, and may also lead to friendships beyond the corporate life.

However, I think the online life gets really interesting when you have people who report to you. Me, being part of the internet unit of the corporate behemoth these days, I get the ones who even better at living online than me. And, it's the same people you want to be doing things you tell them to, but at the same time they will be privy to parts of your life in which you're not the boss, but just a normal human being with average and not-so-average tastes. So it's kinda scary.

Now, I live on the borderline: I am not young enough to know of no other world than one with sharing online everything you have; but I am not old enough to believe in the necessity of keeping my different lives separate. Gen X, all the way :-).

Risto Linturi writes wonderfully (albeit in Finnish) on the generational differences of the necessity of keeping "roles": The elderly caution the kids that "you can't remove anything from the internet", and "be careful or all the stupid things you do will come back to haunt you later" - but the kids do it anyway, because sharing so much more efficient than the old way. It's an incredibly powerful way to create trust between people, and the young view the "must hide everything lest people figure out that I am not as smart as I try to look like" -attitude of their elders with suspicion. Which is obvious, considering that the mechanisms of trust are different, and as much as the older generations don't understand the young, neither do the young understand the older generations.

The fun thing is that the Internet amplifies this kind of mechanisms. Of how many private photo-sharing sites have you heard of recently? There are zillions of them, but none of them can match the popularity of Flickr, where everything, by default, is public (and the privacy controls are really coarse). The popularity of Flickr feeds the popularity of Flickr - because you can talk about it. You can show your pictures easily. There's a strong incentive towards sharing, and sharing begets sharing. Image searches find Flickr pictures, but they don't find your hidden pictures - so the Flickr pictures get shared even more. Putting stuff online openly is a much faster breeder, so to say, than private image sharing (which obviously has its uses as well - I keep most of the kids pictures hidden simply because it should be his decision to choose whether to share or not, so I'm deferring that decision until he can make it himself).

People, especially those who vote Pirate Party, say "sharing is caring", but I think it's more correct to say that "if you don't share, nobody cares." We live in an information age, and whoever moves information fastest or best, wins the race. In a few measly years, who is going to care about an artist whose works you can't download for free from the internet? You used to hear it for free from the radio; now you use Spotify or Pirate Bay.

I have been on the internet since 1989, and yeah, I've done stuff which can't be erased from the net and I feel now rather ashamed about. But never ever has this come back to haunt me. It may be that I've managed to keep the account on the positive side - that is, I do more of the stuff that makes me appear sane and fit to serve humanity than I do of the insane/oh-my-god -variety. Or it may be just the fact that there is always someone weirder on the internet.

OK, so here's the catch for me: In order to be able to actually function as a leader in an internet company, I simply have to choose the younger generation way, or there would be no credibility. But all (well, most) my superiors over time have been of the older generation, which means that all the role-models I have are inherently faulty. Which in turn means that I feel, on occasion, rather lost.

So here I go again, twaddling along with leaking boots, inventing stuff as I go along... Comfort zone is what happens to other people. *sigh*

Guys, I know you are reading this, so sod off and get back to work ;-)
Monday, 08-Jun-09 18:59
Dem Pirates

Sweden, as expected, voted one Piratpartiet member (Pirate Party) to the EU Parliament, with a possibility for a second one, if their delegation size increases by two.

Now, obviously, a single guy can't do much, and the elected representative, Christian Engström, just moves from the lobby wing of EU to the actual parliament, so I don't think there will be much impact on that side.

But what is really significant is the fact that Piratpartiet got 7.1% of votes. That 7% is huge amount of voters that any party would love to sign up, especially considering Piratpartiet's popularity in the 18-30 demographic (20% votes), who by the time of the next election, are going to be the 18-35 demographic, and therefore likely to grow from that 7%. So, it is very likely that some parties will start changing their rhetoric towards PP's lines in order to cannibalize their support; especially parties which are already pretty close in some ideals (like the Greens). The Pirate Party is seen as a single-agenda movement, and many people who in principle agree with the sentiment don't necessarily want to support a party whose other views are unknown, or just think that PP is too extremist in their views towards copyright.

So, there's at least 7% of voters to be grabbed by choosing to openly defend consumers and driving towards a more modern copyright and internet legislation. I say modern, because I feel that there is a good, solid middle path which actually takes into account the extremely rapid change that media creation and distribution and communication is currently ongoing, without sacrificing people's right for privacy and freedom of speech, but still fulfilling the original purpose of copyright, which was to give financial incentives for people to create. Unfortunately, the quest for this middle path is completely hidden by irrelevant discussions, bad metaphors, falsified or misinterpreted data, deeply entrenched opinions with no actual facts to back them up, and the simple inability to communicate across the board.

Perhaps it'll take a few years of fighting between the extremists on either side, and we may have to wait until that 20% becomes the 18-50 demographic. But time is on the side of the Pirate Party: If the idiotic "copyright enforcement over all civil liberties, damn you evil pirates" -trend continues for a few more years, will the "starving artists" have any friends left by the time the current teenagers actually have power? And how will they use the vast powers created by the current administrations? For good, or for revenge?

Sunday, 07-Jun-09 00:38

The EU parliamental election is tomorrow. Even if you might feel that it's not affecting you, it is. The parliament has grown a collective spine over the past few years, and, as Jyrki Kasvi pointed out in his tweet, a lot of the issues are being decided already on an EU level.

So, no matter who you vote, vote.

Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.

More info...  
"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.