Liberty, Equality, Anonymity

I’ve been thinking a lot today about the theme for the next Frequency Festival in 2015 and about the word liberation in the context of the digital revolution. I’ve come to the conclusion that the most important aspect of digital liberation for me is the way digital technology has given expression to a panoply of voices, the diversity of opinions, experiences, perspectives that are being shared internationally is exhilarating – each of us sharing directly with each other something of our lives, raising international and inter-community understanding without the mediation of news or governmental bias. Yes it leads to a cacophony, yes it means you have to filter a lot of noise to find the clear signals that lead to personal connection or any collective force for change, but the hive mind, the wisdom of the crowd, peer-to-peer recommendation networks do let the most important messages come flooding out. All the more reason then why we need a 21st century web that sees us as equal collaborators in a great experiment rather than a herd of consumers to be siloed and exploited. Tim Berners-Lee’s campaign for the Web We Want spearheads that call.

In a tangent that is connected by only marginally, I am personally charged with the energy of the Occupy movement in its myriad manifestations around the world. I know the political classes are dismissive of a movement that offers no coherent alternative but they clearly miss the point – the international grassroots movements that fall beneath the Occupy banner may not seem to have a single voice, but they do present a coherent message; this system isn’t working and we demand that it be changed! We’re coming up to an election here in the UK and the major parties are focusing on the UKIP effect – I think it would be a great mistake for them to assume that the dissatisfaction with the present political system does not have other, less visible but most definitely manifest faces.

The collective mind, empowered by digital communications networks, will make their expectation of radical change in the way we govern ourselves very clear.