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  • Conclusion

last modified September 23, 2010 by strypey

Paper for FreeCulture2010


"Hope for a generation, just beyond my reach, not beyond my sight" - Fat Freddy's Drop, 'Hope'

Make no mistake, geeks and greens are different subcultures, despite the overlaps that increasingly exist. Geeks tend to be futurists, welcoming new technology, optimistic that its benefits will outweigh its costs. Greens tend to be more conservative, cleaving to the precautionary principle, and demanding proof of both safety and benefits before they embrace the synthetic. Geeks tend to be noncomformists, suspicious of the perceived social conservatism of neighbourhood politics, despite the entrenched social norms they co-operate under as part of online communities. Greens tend to be communalists, disapproving of competition, and despite their energetic collective competition for global moral leadership.

Despite all this, the communities of practice around both slow culture and free culture have nothing to lose by supporting each others work, and a just, free, and sustainable world to gain. With the global adoption of infostructure which integrates the ethics and principles of free culture, especially free software, we can ensure the universal freedom to contribute to, and draw from the shared human knowledge base, which will assist "slow and small" community development around the world. With a worldwide adoption of human habitat design practices which integrate the ethics and principles of slow culture, especially permaculture, we can be more certain of sustaining the capacity of the biosphere to support complex life forms like ourselves, and societies which can support free culture. 

Free software, open source development, and libre knowledge systems, offer the hope of every person on the planet having access to the knowledge they need to help people make their communities self-sustaining, and defend their freedoms. Permaculture, with its practices of regenerative production, incremental design, and renewable energy, offers the hope of making information technology sustainable, by embedding it in self-sustaining intentional communities of free people. By supporting the defence and collaborative development of commons (eg seed banks, ConservationCommons, CreativeCommons), both slow culture and free culture show themselves to be neo-luddite movements - working to humanise technology, rather than mechanise/ automate humans. To achieve this, we need to value the freedoms to know, and to grow,  over the freedom to own.