On walkabout in life and technology

Explaining the Internet to Old Powerbrokers

Ben Hammersley gave a speech to the IAAC and reproduced it online at Check Against Delivery. My speech to the IAAC. Instapaper it and read the whole thing, it’s one of the best things I have read in a while.

In short, he explains the importance of the internet to a bunch of old, pre-internet security politicians. He points out how their ignorance is viewed by the rest of us, and how their decisions, while correct by their lights, are completely wrong and insipid.

Some gems:

My theme that day was that the world is currently run by a generation whose upbringing has left them intellectually unable to be deal with modernity.


You’re all the same age, and upbringing, as the people that the digital generations are so upset with.


We can bitch about it, but Facebook, Twitter, Google and all the rest are, in many ways the very definition of modern life in the democratic west. For many, a functioning internet with freedom of speech, and a good connection to the social networks of our choice is a sign not just of modernity, but of civilization itself.


What’s worse, is that the phrase “security precautions” has become a synonym for “pointless annoying thing to do because politicians are either stupid or oppressive”.