so many people convinced they are "building the future" are actually just rehashing the present and the past. like every new supposedly planet-scale system that is ASCII only on some level, or the cryptocurrency community who's wildest dreams for a future society still involve money, hierarchy, wealth disparity, centralized control. this isn't progress.


building the future is not a purely technical project, I don't even think it's a primarily technical project. it's a project of community and people, which is to say is inherently political. I think that word is a turn off to many programmers in the West who (due to Cold War era education I guess?) are effectively politically illiterate. and when you insist on being "apolitical" then all you can do is bolster the status quo. this is not how you make progress.

@nasser the only future that's ever going to happen is one that everyone can adopt & make their own, adapt, evolve freely.

technically all we can do is try to engineer & plant good seeds, good starting places. our higher amibitions are all ultimately irrelevant. the highest impact tech is merely fertilizer for others & other ends.

@jauntywunderkind420 @nasser

I agree with your take, and also think that - while politics is important in many respects - its not true that everything is "inherently political".

Places where new refreshing ideas take hold and movements form can exist and grow in parallel. Getting involved in politics often means 'being part of the game' and not 'playing a different game'.

It's easy to be dragged in controversial discussion that only serves to distract from underlying topics, divides people.

@humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 I think you can also describe what @nasser is calling political in a different way “every idea inherently has a bias towards some underlying value system”

@nasser @humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 I also usually use the word political and then get into this same position. Is there any better lingo for this in Arabic? I feel like half of the discussions I am having all the time are about how English is missing the right words for talking about what we actually mean

@liaizon @nasser @humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 i think we need get over it.

a lot of personal things, a lot of deeply intimate things, are political.

i am trans
i am bi
i am a foreigner
i am a parent

all of these things are deeply personal or even intimate, but how i can live in this country as who i am is delimited politically (my daughter's birth certificate has me as father with my old name) and technically (most forms and documents won't accept the ć in my last name)

that last part feels deeply political, too, tho:
i live in the EU. The EU has two countries full of people with ć, č, š in their name.

@meena @nasser @humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 who needs to get over it? The people who think that there is such a thing as apolitical? I’d agree that would be preferable but the amount of even levelheaded people who seem to think “I don’t care about politics” and then of course they care about all sorts of things but just don’t describe them as political seems very high. asking for potential vocab to talk about issues that would otherwise turn the discussion sideways

@liaizon @meena @nasser @jauntywunderkind420

I feel such distinction is needed. Some things are clearly deeply political as Mina rightfully states.

But the *connotation* (to me at least) of 'politics' is more one of 'doing political battle' with 'opponents' for the sake of bringing arguments that'll bring you a 'political win'. There's an element of struggle and fight to it.

A "project of community and people" involves politics, yes, but also much more. Culture, values, shared understanding.

@humanetech @meena @nasser @jauntywunderkind420 I really wonder sometimes how people in different language bubbles deal with this. I’m an anglophone so sadly haven’t been able to experience much outside of that bias but I’d imagine someone who is fluent in many languages may have drastically different issues between bubbles for talking about things like “politics” maybe a more expansive shared vocabulary would really change those dinamics

@liaizon @meena @nasser @jauntywunderkind420

A lot of terminology has become very loaded and full of controversy, such that its mere invocations almost guarantees that a discussion derails and goes far beyond the original topic into a divisive shouting match.

Some people unfortunately have become very apt at weaponising terminology like this, and found easy ways to wield them far and wide.

Avoiding their use could also be a tactic to keep discourse focussed. Using alternative description.

@humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 @liaizon @nasser @meena I think many people have even narrower connotations to "political" and think that if e.g. a piece of software works under both high and low tax rates, high and low immigration, doesn't advocate for or against import tariffs or employment security laws, how can it be political?

@humanetech @liaizon @meena @nasser @jauntywunderkind420

I understand the connotation, but I'd be wary of letting the most negative aspects of "politics" pollute the meaning of the word for you. Even more so because the "not everything has to be political" discourse usually comes from people privileged enough to pretend they're above politics while having a very clear political agenda. And that's definitely not a crowd you want to be associated with ;)

@yhancik @humanetech @meena @nasser @jauntywunderkind420 where I live in New Orleans I see this so so often even from quite left leaning folks. The negative associations with “politics” I have seen expressed from some of the most “politically active” people. In the mutual aid scene in New Orleans (an incredibly political act I would say) there is a quite active apolitical stance in outward communication.

@liaizon @yhancik @humanetech @meena @jauntywunderkind420 most of the organizations involved in literally the lebanese revolution go out of their way to insist they are "not political" because that phrasing (particularly in arabic) has strong connotations of being connected to the existing political establishment.

@nasser if Politics I was so bad why are we making Politics II?! /sorry bad joke

@liaizon Does it mean "not connected to either of the two major political parties" in that context?

@jauntywunderkind420 @yhancik @humanetech @nasser @meena

@clacke I think it means “I don’t want to think too hard I just do stuff”

@liaizon @clacke

I feel that is too easy.
In general people readily paint with overly broad brushes nowadays. They demand that others clearly show their colors, choose a camp, or else.. and when not doing so, one is placed in a certain box and judged accordingly. There's hardly any room for nuance anymore. And society isn't getting any better by that either. The soft-spoken people are pushed away, the loudest voices remain and lead the fight to its extremes. I see why ppl may wanna avoid that.

@liaizon @nasser @humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 if something technical is limiting us, we can call that issue technocratic

but that's just dancing around the issue that some people don't want to face (specific) realities.

and: if we keep calling certain things technocratic, these people will start noticing and then refuse to engage with these same realities again.

@liaizon @humanetech @jauntywunderkind420 i dont think arabic has a word that succinctly captures "bias towards value system" but i am not very well versed in theoretical vocabulary. i tend to use the terms "cultural assumptions" and even "cultural baggage" when talking about what i research, that tends to be well understood?


@liaizon @nasser @humanetech @jauntywunderkind420

Also think we need this word, I often think of politics as the process of manipulating or accruing power. But people (including myself) often use it to talk about social values as mentioned above.

I think this meme from 2011 after the murder of mark Dugan captures the tension in the words.

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