Manifesto of LibertyBits Conference
The concentration of great power into very small number of players (a.k.a. centralization) puts them in a dominant position and leads to misuse of the acquired power. This includes governmental, political, economical and corporate power.
The goal of LibertyBits Conference is to stress out this critical ethical issue, focusing on 4 major topics (blockchain, privacy, free software and independent living) in order to reveal as much opportunities as possible about how we could avoid (or even escape) our dependency from the monopolies of power and how we can achieve more sustainable and peaceful life through decentralization. So why these 4 topics?
The blockchain technology offers accomplishment of trustless consensus between interacting peers, avoiding the need of a third party approval (usually from a centralized institution like a bank, the state or other monopoly structures). Showcasing the application of interesting blockchain projects solving vital economical or technical problems in our everyday life will inspire more people to get involved in the solution of ethical problems of the whole society.
Data is the new gold. We and our data are the product for a vast number of companies and state surveillance bodies worldwide. The corporations want to know our buying habits and preferences to sell us more of their goods or services. The political establishment wants to be able to control us, to drive us in a specific political direction, to affect our vote and to protect the status-quo and their power. Our privacy becomes their worst enemy. Collecting every bit from our digital footprints allows them to analyze our behavior so we become predictable and categorized as suitable or inconvenient for their plans. While we are trading our privacy and security for convenience, we are at risk and cannot protect ourselves from any sick mind in a dominant position, who may have the formal power and legal right to use all gathered information against us. We should embrace “privacy by design” for every aspect of our lives.
We use different types of software on countless occasions everyday. From complex software applications needed for specific use cases to simple ones, running on our PCs or smart devices for our personal communications. This creates another dependency to the software vendors (monopolies). The people should control the computers and not vice versa. If we rely on proprietary (close code) software from a third party, we cannot be sure what happens in the background, what type and how much from our data is leaking to this third party, which can be crucial for our lives and business. Using free software with auditable source code is the only way we can be certain it is doing only what we are expecting from it.
Our home used to be our castle. The possession of an own home for the younger generations however becomes less and less affordable. For vast majority of the young people there is no chance to buy a home, without entering into an enormous debt to a bank. A debt, which could last even over 30 years (or half of their lives) and could sometimes either become unbearable or extend its burden over to their relatives. Living in urban areas is convenient, but makes us dependable from the standard energy providers (electricity, heat, water, internet etc.). Using their distribution networks is very often the most favorable and cheap option, but puts us in an endless indebtedness towards them as long as they are providing us with energy from state owned and controlled sources.
On the other hand there are many building material alternatives, considered as waste or easily accessible from the nature, which can be used as building blocks to create smart, energy efficient and sustainable homes. Together with the renewable energy sources as the sun, the wind, earth warmth, which cannot be captivated by a dominant organization or the state, we have some interesting alternatives to explore in order to switch to freer and independent life.