Eine leuchtende grüne Ampel neben einer roten, die mit dem Wort 'GO' beschriftet ist.

5.1.2007 | Von:
Claudio Prado

"A peer-to-peer society is possible"

If you say "bringing the tools of the 21st century to people of the 18th and 19th" in Brazil – what do you mean?

Free multimedia kits with broadband connection that we put into 500 small NGOs in Brazil, to people which have never seen technology before, have never heard of copyright before, have no job expectancies at all, don't have social security expectancies at all. Now they have access. And they understanding uploading before they understand downloading. They are producing things and understand what other people are producing. It is a Molotov cocktail that explodes energy, explodes happiness, explodes hope as a direct result. It is a revolutionary instrument of the 21st century, a proactive revolution, for things, not against anything.

So we have on the one side a world that doesn't give any answer to the people there in Brazil, any answer at all, except: The idea that if they go to school – which they will not be able to – they will get a job. It does not exist there because they do not go to school, and there won't be a job. So they have to manage themselves. This is very difficult to understand for people in Europe, but this is why its so easy for us to jump over all these things – jobs and schools and all that.

I have never learned anything in a school myself. I'm a hippie. I have learned things on my own. And I think schools have to be totally different from now on. Because if you have access to the internet, you might say to your teacher: "Your're wrong. Someone else is saying something different here." So the teacher – today – should be a researcher together with the students, learning together with them.

But enabling development in the third world with a peer-to-peer society – does that not require a certain hardware and trade infrastructure which doesn't exist right now and cannot be developed by creative artists and open source peer production?

Two things in respect to that. We are right now at a crossing point. I think today every government, every company should have one foot in the 20th century and one in the 21st. There are some such companies – Google, for instance, or some new recording companies. The old recording companies of the 20th century are going bancrupt. They are finished – that's a fact, it's very easy to see. So we have to deal with different realities which are sometimes opposed and contradictive to each other.

But at the same time, we are working on another level: recycling disposed of garbage. Because this idea that you have to exchange your computer every two years because technology advances: that is bullshit. This is a planned obsolescence. What we do is to get kids to build top technology out of PC garbage, to do WiFi connections of their own and to connect computers that they reconstructed themselves, using things that have been thrown away.

Of course, it is very difficult to find a balance between these ideas and the reality, but the fact is that something very new is happening and some people understand it and some people don't. I think people that are really sure about things today are doomed. If you are certain about something, you are certainly on the wrong path.

Interview: Sebastian Deterding

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