At that moment when everybody is suddenly caring about this stuff, that’s the moment at which nihilism can be averted. It’s the moment in which nihilism must be averted if you’re going to make a change. Peak indifference is the moment when you stop convincing people to care about an issue, and start convincing them to do something about it.
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As we dug into this topic, we realized research gets forbidden for all sorts of reasons. We’re going to talk about topics today that are forbidden in some sense because they’re so big, they’re so consequential, that it’s extremely difficult for anyone to think about who should actually have the right to make this decision. We’re going to talk about some topics that end up being off the table, that end up being forbidden, because they’re kind of icky. They’re really uncomfortable. And frankly, if you make it through this day without something making you uncomfortable, we did something wrong in planning this event.
Talking to people who study the history of science, and you look at Nobel Prize winners, many of them have really taken sort of career-threatening risks in order to win Nobel Prizes. So even science, which feels like an area where you’re supposed to question authority and think for yourself, you actually have to be rather risk-taking and disobedient.
One of the most surprising outcomes since then is to find just how many people I know who are engineers [have] had some experience with the law. It’s unbelievable the number of people who’ve come to me and said, “Look, the same thing happened to me when I was a teenager, when I was in college, a little after.”
Maybe what we ought to do is start advocating that hacking is a religion. We can expand, right? We can carry around our little circuit boards with lights and maybe extend to e‑meters or something.
Let’s not only liberate the documents of the world, let us act in solidarity to liberate all of humanity. Let us create infrastructure that resists mass surveillance. Let us enable people to leak documents. And let us also work to infiltrate those organizations that betrayed us.