GOTO – red flags

by dotnetnerd 1. October 2012 10:56

As with most conferences GOTO started with a program talk followed by the first keynote. Today’s keynote was by Rick Falkvinge from the pirate party about “The red flags on the internet”. It was a very interesting keynote comparing some industries of today with industries that have died out because they refused to keep up with technological advances and tried to protect their own interests by limiting the interests of the public. The comparisons went back to the catholic church and governments who tried to limit the printing press, to the railroad and stage coach who  were behind the red flags act of 1865.

The red flags act said that any horseless carriage should have at least a 3 person crew, on of them walking in front of the automobile waveing a red flag. More recently a comparison was made to Polaroid and Kodak who revolutionized digital photography, but ultimately went bankrupt, arguing that they died out because they ignored technological advances and took a protectionist approach.

Falkvinge went on to make some predictions about which industries will suffer the same fate. The obvious industries being postal services, news services and telco, who are under a lot of pressure due to technological advances, making them effectively obsolute. In the more far out predictions department he predicted the demise of banking due to crypto currencies and even governments do to technological advances that allow government to be done by the public.

The overall point of the talk was that we should protect the internet as it is today, and that it is in no way a new tendency that companies and governments try to limit the publics access to information and new technology. Throwing tantrums in public to get tax payer money for protecting against some theoretical danger we are supposedly facing is a pattern we see all the time. So it is probably something we will continue to see, but it is worth being aware of.

It was fun to see a talk that I think would be pretty controversial in some places, but probably not as much at a developer conference.



Who am I?

My name is Christian Holm Diget, and I work as an independent consultant, in Denmark, where I write code, give advice on architecture and help with training. On the side I get to do a bit of speaking and help with miscellaneous community events.

Some of my primary focus areas are code quality, programming languages and using new technologies to provide value.

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