Changes between Version 6 and Version 7 of techies_of_color


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Timestamp:
Aug 18, 2010, 11:06:54 AM (10 years ago)
Author:
Mallory Knodel
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  • techies_of_color

    v6 v7  
    77The Importance of the Internet
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    9 The converging crises in the major capitalist economies, the precarious state of the world environment, the political crisis in government in so many of the world's countries and the usurpation of government authority by international banks and committess have brought humanity to a point of urgency and increasing certainty that something must be done to save humanity.
     9The converging crises in the major capitalist economies, the precarious state of the world environment, the political crisis in government in so many of the world's countries and the usurpation of government authority by international banks and committees have brought humanity to a point of urgency and increasing certainty that something must be done to save humanity.
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    1111The Internet, a community of more than 1.4 billion people world-wide, is one of humanity's responses. When all else fails, human beings come together to communicate and figure out how to survive; that is our legacy as a species. That's what's happening today with the Internet.
     
    1515The Internet is humanity's way of facilitating the communication necessary to make all this collaboration possible.
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    17 At the same time, the global crisis against which we're mobilibizing depletes the resources required to build gatherings of large numbers of people. They are too large to put on, too expensive to get to and not capable of broadening the number of poor people attending. If we are going to ensure the progressive movements' continued collaboration world-wide, we are going to have to use the Internet and that is one reason why humanity invented it.
     17At the same time, the global crisis against which we're mobilizing depletes the resources required to build gatherings of large numbers of people. They are too large to put on, too expensive to get to and not capable of broadening the number of poor people attending. If we are going to ensure the progressive movements' continued collaboration world-wide, we are going to have to use the Internet and that is one reason why humanity invented it.
    1818
    1919In that context, the role of technologists becomes critically and centrally important. Techies are the leaders of the Internet because we run its technology and lead the work on its software.
     
    3939To characterize and understand the dimensions of the problem:
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    41 1 -- This lack of representation is actually a lack of empowerment. Since white people control the technology at the operative and managerial level, the important contributions people of color make in combatting racism, raising issues that are hidden by color, diversifying the "recipient" population and so much else simply doesn't "get" to the Internet's techies and users as it could and should.
     411 -- This lack of representation is actually a lack of empowerment. Since white people control the technology at the operative and managerial level, the important contributions people of color make in combating racism, raising issues that are hidden by color, diversifying the "recipient" population and so much else simply doesn't "get" to the Internet's techies and users as it could and should.
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    43432 -- Software development is never geared to people of color. Since techies do the software development, that software frequently does not incorporate of the true needs, culture, generalized perceptions and stages of development that exist within communities of color. This is true at the planning stages up to the testing stages which is also frequently done mainly by white people.
     
    5353Internet activists of color are traditionally mired in a disempowering situation when it comes to technology. Most activists who use the Internet are dependent on proprietary "social networking" software and websites built for them that they know how to use but don't know how to fix or expand. The activists whose skills go beyond that are sometimes familiar with "content creation" software like web creation packages (e.g. WordPress) but are usually completely ignorant of the software and processes that actually run a server.
    5454
    55 In that state, organizations of color (and individual activists of color) are universally beholden to white technnologists to run their servers and other infra-structure and, while it's not immediately apparently, this puts the communications of all movements of color in the hands of people who are white. In the long term, this is extremely harmful to everyone, to all movements and to the ability of our movements to work with the Internet and with each other using its technology.
     55In that state, organizations of color (and individual activists of color) are universally beholden to white technologists to run their servers and other infrastructure and, while it's not immediately apparent, this puts the communications of all movements of color in the hands of people who are white. In the long term, this is extremely harmful to everyone, to all movements and to the ability of our movements to work with the Internet and with each other using its technology.
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    57 In the short term, it serves to exascerbate the feelings of powerlessness and dependence on the dominant "race" that are a significant part of racist ideology.
     57In the short term, it serves to exacerbate the feelings of powerlessness and dependence on the dominant "race" that are a significant part of racist ideology.
    5858
    5959To address this problem, we need to consider the reasons for it
     
    65653 -- The Internet has, in fact, been slower in introduction into Third World communities and this "digital divide" (as it was once called) is systemically linked to the absence of techies of color since the presence of the technology in his or her community is a techie's first encounter with it.
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    67 4 -- The "techie Culture" that has grown around technologists' functioning and interactions with each other reflects white culture in virtually every way.  Because interactions among techies are so intense the cultural imprint is that much sharper and vivid. Techies of color would find self-introduction in that culture very difficult and intimidating.
     674 -- The "Techie Culture" that has grown around technologists' functioning and interactions with each other reflects white culture in virtually every way.  Because interactions among techies are so intense the cultural imprint is that much sharper and vivid. Techies of color would find self-introduction in that culture very difficult and intimidating.
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    69 5 -- The focus of political techie work is out of step with the usage patterns and identified needs of activists of color. For instance, the techie movement's stress on free and open source software contradicts the dependency by most activists of color on such social networking tools as Face Book. Such dependencies are, in fact, extremely damanging and dangerous and techies have been able to argue that successfully within much of the mass white movement. But the divide between techies and the movements are color make that argument must more difficult and even viewed with suspicion.
     695 -- The focus of political techie work is out of step with the usage patterns and identified needs of activists of color. For instance, the techie movement's stress on free and open source software contradicts the dependency by most activists of color on such social networking tools as Facebook. Such dependencies are, in fact, extremely damaging and dangerous and techies have been able to argue that successfully within much of the mass white movement. But the divide between techies and the movements are color make that argument must more difficult and even viewed with suspicion.
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    71 A note of major importance here: for the most part, progressive techies who are white are not oblivious to this point. In fact, as the recent United States Techie Congress outcomes demonstrate, progressive techies consider the struggle against racism in technology to be an absolute priority. They are allies of this struggle; not the targets.
     71A note of major importance here: for the most part, progressive techies who are white are not oblivious to this point. In fact, as the recent United States Techie Congress outcomes demonstrate, progressive techies consider the struggle against racism in technology to be an absolute priority. They are allies of this struggle; not the agents.
    7272
    7373Goals
     
    7777After a one year program of intense on the job training with constant support from a fully qualified "mentor", the trainee will be proficient enough to actually run Linux servers, perform installations, diagnostics and upgrades, maintain the server system and
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    79 The trainee will also have benefitted from a full year of intense discussion and reflection on the political significance of his/her work, the issues a progressive techie confronts and the problem of relating to ot5her activists and how to deal with those problems.
     79The trainee will also have benefited from a full year of intense discussion and reflection on the political significance of his/her work, the issues a progressive techie confronts and the problem of relating to other activists and how to deal with those problems.
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    8181Program Specifics:
     
    9595b -- developing website capabilities, email systems and mail list systems on that server and maintaining them
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    97 c -- developing a tehnical support system for that organization
     97c -- developing a technical support system for that organization
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    9999These areas of proficiency will make this person a qualified server administrator.
     
    110110
    111111The program will award certificates of proficiency to all who finish it. We believe this process will take 18 months in most cases although it is possible that a trainee could finish the course in a year.
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