Today, in this country, we are suffering from a mass contraction of the heart. And I firmly believe that it is artists that can reopen the heart of America. It is our duty and our responsibility to do this. The day after the election I was terrified. I didn’t want to get out of my bed. I sat in my bedroom crying. But I remembered the young women that I had told just the night before that it was going to be okay. So I did the only thing that I could do. I got up and I got to work.
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Behind-the-scenes planning is often overlooked by observers and by the media because it’s what the cameras often can’t capture. I’ve witnessed it for fifteen years at the Albert Einstein Institution. This quiet capacity-building and structural work. The planning and preparations that make movements more effective.
I don’t want to live in a world where ISIS is scarier than hackers, especially in 2016. We previously held the title in 2013, ’14, and ’15. And to be honest I was a little bit disappointed when I saw this result. So I thought I’m in my 40s now, there’s a lot of young hackers in the audience, and I’m not going to pass the baton to you guys unless we have that number one spot back in our pile.
We don’t have a concept of balance. Not only do we not have a concept of balance, but we have a very distorted sense of social justice that has been reframed to justify a society that is fundamentally anchored around the concept of imbalance. The resources of the world cluster toward a handful of very very powerful countries, one country having an even greater share. In order to justify this greater share, it’s made them believe that this higher concentration of power is normal, and that anybody in all countries can have it, and that all countries should aspire for it.
Geek culture and hacker culture used to be relatively apolitical, but now every action that you take and every piece of code that you write has political effects. You may may intend some of these effects, you may not intend most of these effects, but they’re there and we need to start thinking about and understanding these changes.
We have to be careful about distinguishing between mere analogies linking the Romantic period to our own age that maybe don’t have any useful analogs, and those that do have some continued operational relevance. Because it is the case that Romantic writers like John Keats, Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, philosophically modeled and to some extent thought through many of the debates and issues that we’re currently having as we seek to shape the contours of our future societies.