The Supernova conference organized by Kevin Werbach, is getting started this morning in California.
The shindig is about decentralization — open spectrum, weblogs, WiFi, web services — new forms of decentralized communications, emergent social organization, and grass-roots content that will take down the dinosaurs of industrial bureaucracy and the behemoths of mass media and telecom. I have friends and colleagues at the conference; it sounds like the discussions are going be interesting and clever and fun.
The innovation up for discussion is real.
And the optimistic technological determinism is giving me the willies.
Because, while we’re developing and promoting all of this cool decentralized software and communications, there are:
- people using centralized money to maintain and increase oligopolies on content and communications
- people using centralized power trying to turn our country into a totalitarian state, with secret trials and searches without warrants and digital surveillance departments headed by convicted felons
- people using decentralized power trying to kill people who look like us, trying to destabilize our society, and succeeding
Meanwhile, we’re feeling smart, and socially connected, and politically pretty powerless.
We need organization, with all of the decentralized and centralized tools and methods available to us, online and on the ground, and we need it now.