The Second Enlightenment

Tijd: Januari 9 2015 vanaf 19.00 tot 22.00 Locatie: Pakhuis de Zwijger Website of map: Soort gebeurtenis: netwerkborrel, lezing Georganiseerd door: Freelance Friday

Één van de beste tradities van Freelance Friday is dat de eerste bijeenkomst in het nieuwe jaar wordt opgeluisterd met een lezing van Steven Pemberton.

Lees de preview van The Second Enlightenment

Steven is onderzoeker bij het Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam. Als lid van W3C, de organisatie die de ontwikkeling van ‘internet voor iedereen’ bewaakt, is hij co-auteur van onder meer HTML4 en CSS.

De presentatie van Steven Pemberton vrijdag 9 januari heeft een titel gekregen en Steven stuurde ons de onderstaande aanleiding en samenvatting van zijn verhaal.

The Second Enlightenment

Helping my son with his history homework, I found this paragraph in his history book: "At that time it was common practice for the church and the state to monitor everything that was said, written and printed. This practice is known as censorship. Anyone who dared to criticise the Church, the King and his officials was prohibited from speaking and could even go to prison. In most countries there were many officials who constantly screened everything that was said or written.

[...] The enlightenment thinkers were totally opposed to censorship. They wanted the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas."

Before the invention of printing, the church and state owned all access to information. The printing press released information supply from their restrictions, and enabled people to spread ideas which, many believe, led to the enlightenment.

But books still needed an expensive infrastructure of printing presses, publishers and bookshops, so that although spreading ideas became easier, it was still not straightforward. And the church state and commercial interests still did their best to control what was published.

The internet has created a new way of spreading ideas, because now everyone has the power and ability to publish, without needing an expensive infrastructure: your living-room computer can in principle reach everyone who is connected to the internet.

But as we have now become aware, this has not stopped criminal, commercial and state interests from monitoring us and using our information, or trying to stop ideas.

How bad is the problem, how can we preserve our privacy, and what needs to be done to make us less susceptible to monitoring?

Steven Pemberton