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10 October 2023 • (Updated 11 October 2023)

Computer system multiculturalism in the world of cyborgs. (Part 1)

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People in certain countries believe that technology should be in the control of the people, but governments and corporations in many countries believe that they should be the one.

To give the political context behind this, read A Declaration of the Independence of the Cyberspace and Slavery 2.0 and how to avoid it: a practical guide for cyborgs.

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

... In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

A Declaration of the Independence of the Cyberspace

Some people specifically mention the role of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, (and now perhaps TikTok, too) in contributing a new form of digital slavery: forced commissions taxes, so-called “content creators”, monopoly of infrastructure (aka. the case of AWS).

On my 22nd birthday, or should I say, my 22nd i++, I would like to personally reflect on my decade of interacting with communities across the Internet. Including those early days at Mozilla, where I met people with completely different ideologies from a small desire to work with the now-defunct Firefox OS project.

So, where I am today? Oh yeah, the Republic of Indonesia. I’m currently not at the new home of Mind, but the Wacky Kanucky World of Konoha Land (aka. the wkwk land) have some serious Internet problems.

Problem 1: The Indonesian government does not care about Internet freedom.

It's almost a decade since the government blocked Reddit, Tumblr, and Vimeo for one and one thing: pornographic content. I criticized the Vimeo case because that definitely supports YouTube to monopolize the video sharing industry back then, before local players like Vidio came into the market (and before Netflix-style streaming services are coming to the country).

A decade later, with people successfully circumvented that, there are no mentionable cases of the r/Indonesia subreddit moderators getting into jail for illegally accessing the Internet. So, does the government actually care about that? (#_ );

Problem 2: Because the Constitution said so.

Ever wonder why things like electricity, tap water, and Internet access are monopolized by the government, unlike America? It’s also mandated directly by the Constitution that “The branches of production that are important to the state and which control the life of the people shall be controlled by the state.”

Problem 3: Leaving Indonesia does not solve Indonesian people’s problems.

“Oh, come to Portugal, the digital nomad heaven,” they said. Or come to Germany, a wonderland of great hackers and tech politicians that helped make the tech world of EU as great as today:

  • forcing millions of companies to rewrite their Privacy Policies (the enactment of GDPR)
  • forcing Apple to ditch Lightning connectors on all products (the new electronic waste reduction policy)
  • forcing smartphone makers to switch back to removable batteries (starting next year)

Even when me and my family decided to change nationalities, my decision will never, ever, be able to be a viable solution for my friends, great family, and people. Economic and culture differences will always become a problem.

Problem 4: The war of the most correct definition of Human Rights.

Even if we already have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the most translated official document ever published on this world, the definition of human rights becomes more and more fragmented these days.

Is Internet access a human right? If so, how about digital resilience, privacy, net neutrality, and others?

I also cannot deny that religions and religion fanaticism are further shaping this fragmentation, like the case of LGBTQ back then in the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Germany (again) says that FIFA violated human rights by banning armbands that support “their Human Rights”, but Qatari people argue that wearing so will definitely violate “their Human Rights”.

My beliefs so far.

I believe that I’m not a fanatic of a specific religion, but I also can’t deny that I am, too, part of a specific religion. Or at least, a community that believes in someone named God exist and the fact that God builds and destroys things in the way humans are impossible.

The best part of my religion is that it predicts that things such as monopoly and surveillance capitalism will continue to increase, because people and more people (including me, admittedly) are getting interested in the world of cyberpunk.

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!

Genesis 11:5-6 NLT

Cyberpunk enthusiasts has become a global community that speaks the same language, even though some prefer English, Japanese, JSON, or a set of robotic-looking alphabets like ᮞᮘᮤᮜᮥᮜᮥᮍᮔ᮪. They are united in the vision of:

  • Humans becoming robots
  • Robots becoming humans
  • Tech companies becoming more powerful than their own governments
  • Video games are more important as if they are part of our real life
  • and so on.

So, no wonder why they start to exist in the real world, today. (#- );

Also read this pretty long statement from Aral Balkan.

The Indonesian government have built that, too, and now Indonesian corporations with their superapps, wishing that they could grow as WeChat. Yep, specifically, WeChat. Their official digital technology roadmap is to getting the nation all-out for:

  • making 1.000 digital startups to seduce and make venture capitalists pity for not sending some money for small and micro enterprises,
  • control the Internet at their own (poor) knowledge, making HackerRank, Vercel, and even Google Docs being blocked in Indonesia,
  • doing things for politics (remember when a former Minister of Communication and Informatics being jailed for corruption of 4G infrastructure provisioning project?),
Take Pandu Digital (government-sponsored digital literacy scout programs), with programmes under generic names, but at the end of the day, they expect millions of people to be active in social media, online advertising platforms, etc.

Continue to Part 2.

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