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But sadly the Ethics, Society & Politics in general fell flat. That doesn’t mean that all the talks were bad (quite the opposite in some cases) it means that the whole impetus of that track was hard to read. But “A new Dawn” it wasn’t. All those talks could have happened at any C3 in the last 3 or 4 years. It lacked a vision, an agenda, a perspective. Which could be read as a continuation of last year’s shock state but I think that would be wrong. Nobody is shocked. Things are just back to normal.

Maybe “Back to normal” would have been the perfect motto for this year. The “product” CCC congress is established, successful and works. It’s like Microsoft Office or EA’s sports games: Every year you get an update with a few new bells and whistles, some neat new additions and an updated look and feel. But the product itself stays the same because its consumers have gotten used to and comfortable with it.

And so the usual suspects go through the motions of for example the “Fnord News Show” or similar events whose main function is to provide the community a folklore to assemble around. But folklore tends to be about the past, about keeping something alive through its rituals even when the world has moved on. Some people dance in the outfits of their great-grandparents, some gather to laugh at “stupid” politicians who couldn’t code their own kernel to save their lives. Ho ho ho!

The scene has found its way to deal with the situtation the Snowden docs created. A friend called that approach the “Snowden-industrial complex”. All those companies and governments and agencies need security consultants, every week sees a new cryptographic silver bullet to crowndfund or buy and a small group has made sitting on panels and milking the Snowden docs quite the successful business model. As Jacob Applebaum’s talk this year illustrated the scene has learned how to work with and against the docs to create whatever story sells best at any given moment. Sadly the product they are selling seems to be only very loosely connected to truth or politics sometimes.

And that was the saddest realization of the congress. That in a building full of art and music and smart people no forward momentum for any form of structural change was emerging. Everything felt chained to the way things have always been done(tm).

Just as with the cycle of Snowden leaks the subculture is still caught in its old MO: Take something , look at technical details, break them, wait for them to be patched. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

Once More, with Feeling #31c3 - Nodes in a social network
Reposted fromlordminx lordminx viawonko wonko
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