Putin’s brutal aggression in Ukraine has put cyberwar back in headlines. Recently, Carey Parker, host of the Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons podcast, reached out to us at Tech Learning Collective to talk through some of the issues the war in Ukraine has once again raised for laypeople who may be newly concerned about the reliance we’ve developed as a society on digital infrastructures. So, late last month, we sat down with him for another conversation about what anyone and, arguably, everyone could be doing not only to keep themselves safer online, but also prepared in the event of an escalation of hostilities in a cyber theater, rapid shifts in political climates, or even just natural disasters that affect telecommunication abilities.
Technology, taught collectively.
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Earlier this month, we republished part 1 of our interview with The Enragés, where we discussed our blog post, Imagining an Optimistic Cyber-Future. In this post, you’ll find the conclusion of our conversation along with a (somewhat rushed) transcript of the same. Here, we touch on ways in which capitalism has constrained people’s telecommunication abilities, we describe some of our inspiration from earlier political thinkers, and we even answer a couple of listener questions.
“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!
“very supportive to newbies […] I learned a lot”
I found out about Tech Learning Collective through an Electronic Frontier Foundation article about an event they were hosting regarding cybersecurity.
What I really liked about it, is that they were very supportive to newbies (like me) and I wasn’t too overwhelmed during the event. They made it as simple as they could. The communication between the audience and the presenter (and the teacher’s assistant) was really nice too. They tried to answer as many questions as possible and kept going for almost two hours after the event was supposed to end.
“100% hands-on, demonstrating how to use the tools and techniques”
One thing I majorly value about Tech Learning Collective workshops is the fact that they’re 100% hands-on—demonstrating how to use the tools and techniques in a live environment—rather than a slideshow presentation.
“their students reclaim power over the work they do and are able to truly flourish”
We can see a glimpse of what’s possible in Tech Learning Collective[. …] By going back to their digital roots, students become more aware of their immediate environment. Numerous possibilities open up when these students realize they aren’t limited to the proprietary products of Big Tech; instead, they can build what they need on their own, thanks to free and open source software.
The school also advocates for cross-pollination. Their workshops are interdisciplinary, melding technical topics with the humanities, in subjects including history and philosophy. This allows for a more holistic development for the students. For instance, like they do with all their other courses, they teach cybersecurity through an explicitly political approach. They prioritize teaching security because of their audience, as many participants are also activists. They also cultivate critical thinking by encouraging their students to scrutinize technology from an ethical standpoint. […] Thanks to their programs’ technological and political immersion, their students reclaim power over the work they do and are able to truly flourish.
(Read all reviews.)