When Bob Metcalfe invented Ethernet in the 1970’s, he intentionally designed his system in a way that would function anarchically. Many engineers believed this approach was too chaotic to succeed. How could a system of coordination function with no command center? It would be pure anarchy! Today, every Internet connection, local network, telephone uplink, datacenter backhaul, and Wi-Fi signal to your computer uses Ethernet. The anarchist approach proved simpler, more efficient, and ultimately more successful. This is no surprise to any practicing anarchist, although many practicing anarchists still won’t recognize the anarchism in action when they post their next Tweet. Meanwhile, most Big Tech insiders aren’t able to see the parallels between their beloved technology and the anarchist viewpoint. This must change, and we’re going to change it.
Technology, taught collectively.
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Your order has been cancelled.You have read about people who can talk to machines. Maybe you imagined secret chambers, hidden away behind locked doors, with dark rooms basking in blue from electric fires. Some of these people seemed friendly, others scary, but all of them were powerful. How did they learn to communicate with… (read more)
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This week’s issue of Martha Hipley’s “An Artist’s Guide to Computation” features an interview with Tech Learning Collective. We answer questions about what makes us different from code bootcamps and even other advocacy/community groups (short answer: we’re not doing what they’re doing), why we focus on communications security at every step of our curriculum (safe and secure communication is a prerequisite to political change), what to do if your friends say they hate Facebook but still aren’t ready to take action to protect their privacy online (change more of your own behavior first rather than debating the merits of your choices with them), how the year 2020 has radically transformed Tech Learning Collective’s own infrastructure (we’re 100% online now), and more.
“very thorough and responsive to where students are”
I found Tech Learning Collective recently through their membership in the Electronic Frontier Alliance and jumped right in to many of their great learning opportunities. The System Administration and Operation Basics workshop is a great example. The instruction was very thorough and responsive to where students are in the tech learning process. After the session I now feel like I have a strong foundation of understanding that I can build upon in setting up tech for my business.
I’m excited to continue learning with the Tech Learning Collective team and recommend them to anyone seeking to understand the complex tech world we live in every day.
“gay and good[,] Tech Learning Collective is rad”
If you’re looking for something gay and good to take your mind off the [Covid-19] quarantine blues, Tech Learning Collective is rad. It’s a fun way to pick up some skills for hacking the planet without having to interact with tech-industry bootcamp recruitment bullshit.
“extremely well organized[, with] a deep reservoir of knowledge”
The workshop I most recently attended, File Sharing for Fun and Profit, was extremely well organized and was a great presentation demonstrating the ease of using BitTorrent as well as its benefits. Better still, since the instructor at every TLC workshop I’ve attended so far mentions resources that I probably wouldn’t have learned as much about in other ways, I’m often able to double the number of valuable resources I get from attending the workshop by entering the names of things I learn about from the workshop into the search box of several search engines.
It’s clear that TLC’s instructors possess a deep reservoir of knowledge about BitTorrent and the other subjects in their curriculum. I’d encourage anyone wishing to learn more about BitTorrent, Tor, PGP, Signal, etcetera, to enroll in a TLC workshop or course in order to get the opportunity to draw from this rich reservoir!
“enlightening[,…] practical, and solution-oriented”
I joined Tech Learning Collective’s “Practical Digital Security” workshop because I had heard how easy it was to find out personal information about people on websites without their knowledge or permission and their workshop description promised to show me how I could protect myself from this sort of thing.
It did not disappoint! Not only did the workshop cover this topic directly, the instructor showed us exactly how “doxing” happens and the specific data broker websites that are used. For me, it was enlightening to learn about specific companies involved (augh, Facebook, of course!) and tools that I could use to automatically notify me of my personal information being out there, like Google Alerts and Firefox Monitor.
But there was so much more, too. I’m impressed at how practical and solution-oriented the whole experience felt. At the end of the workshop, I got the feeling that everyone got all their questions answered, which is really rare for classes like this.
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