Solarpunk, cyberpunk, popculture - technological narratives tl;dr

Posted on Mon 08 July 2019 in misc • 9 min read

This blogpost is a written version of a talk I originally was to give at re:publica 2019 in Berlin. Sadly, I couldn't attend the conference due to some health problems.

EDIT: Thanks to Artes Mobiles I had an opportunity to give this talk at 36th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig, Germany, in December 2019. You can find the slides at

Several years ago I visited a hackerspace for the first time. At the time I was a Computational Neuroscience student, wanting to learn so much, but being constantly told I need to "wait out" my first few years of theoretical studies before I can lay my hands on any EEG equipment. I heard that hackers learn everything hands-on and are not limiting their curiosity. That proved true.

Hackerspace CC-BY-SA Mike Liuzzi Hackerspace CC-BY-SA Mike Liuzzi

I immediately fell in love with what I saw: people exploring technology not waiting for anyone's permission. If they - or their friends - had a problem, they just started looking for a way to solve it. They were able to fully dedicate …

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Hackers in popular culture - the curse of being an eternal rebel

Posted on Tue 05 March 2019 in misc • 7 min read

This is the second blogpost from my "technological narratives" series. The first was How Elon Musk takes Wikipedia's place.

Cory Doctorow CC-BY-SA Gregory Katsoulis / Pixabay Anonymous Cory Doctorow CC-BY-SA Gregory Katsoulis / Pixabay Anonymous

What might come to a surprise to a lot of people, the hacker movement exists outside of the Hollywood movies and computer games with a "hacking" skill. It's a full-fledged culture with its own set of values - like technological ownership and independence, a right to privacy, knowledge and cultural participation without limits.

Hackers are much more than black-hat cybercriminals and edgy teenagers breaking into school networks. How come we don't hear about hacker-inventors, creators of the infrastructure we all rely on - or activists pointing out the problems in the corporate systems all around us? Why have they become a cliche molotov-throwing anarchists while we completely omit squats and co-op culture?

Simply put, hacking culture does a very bad job at communicating its values and achievements to the mainstream. With very few dedicated advocates or storytellers understanding them, it's easy for a writer to use hacking as an aesthetic for …

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How Elon Musk takes Wikipedia's place

Posted on Mon 07 January 2019 in misc • 5 min read

For the last several months I've been attempting to write a comprehensive blogpost-manifesto summarizing my research into technological narratives in popular culture - and hackers' place in it. Since all the drafts I produced were overly long and hard to get through, I decided to cut the subchapters into shorter and easier to understand blogposts.

I'd love to hear your feedback, especially if you think that I omitted something important. All contributions to the text will be listed under the subchapter / final manifesto, licensed CC-BY-SA.

Here's the first blogpost:

CC0 SpaceX CC0 SpaceX

Why does our culture promote Elon Musk - a PR-savvy businessman - as an icon of technological progress and invention, while silently omitting millions of real people taking part in knowledge-sharing projects such as Wikipedia?

To answer that question, we need to look at the heroes of modern mythologies we create - and their relation to technology. For most of people living in the Western, English-speaking culture, the most prevalent mythology would be that of superheroes, be it DC, Marvel, or one of the lesser known publishers. The …

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35C3: We need to tell a better story than cyberpunk

Posted on Thu 03 January 2019 in misc • 2 min read

At 35th Chaos Communication Congress I had an opportunity to give a lightning talk titled "We need to tell a better story than cyberpunk". You can find a recording of it below, and the slides are available here.

EDIT: OpenTranscripts volunteered their work and wrote down the transcript of my talk. Thank you!

My goal was to show hackers that by repeating the dystopian cyberpunk tropes in their own narratives they're hurting their own agenda. The general public, seeing them as senseless rebels, doesn't even stop to consider valid points they raise, like the net neutrality, tech accountability or the value of privacy.

I believe we can change that by painting new world based on hacker values - but this time inclusive for the regular people, bakers and schoolteachers. Such world wouldn't require everyone to learn how to code or secure a server, but we could all benefit from the cultural technologies of transparent knowledge sharing, open dialog about technology and distributed, horizontal power structures.

A newly-born narrative which offers all those is Solarpunk with a …

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Cryptoparty: wykłady z cyberbezpieczeństwa w 2018

Posted on Thu 03 January 2019 in misc • 4 min read

Od pięciu lat prowadzę w Polsce darmowe wykłady z podstaw cyberbezpieczeństwa dla gimnazjów, liceów i grup zainteresowanych. Jest to temat niezwykle istotny we współczesnym świecie, a którego bardzo ciężko się nauczyć bez odpowiednich źródeł. Wielu dorosłych opuściło szkołę bez możliwości zrozumienia jak dbać o swoje bezpieczeństwo w Sieci, a młodzież nie zawsze ma dostęp do wiedzy znajdującej się poza podstawą programową.

CC-BY-SA Leszek Janasik

Rok 2018 był szczególnie owocny jeżeli chodzi o Cryptoparty: udało mi się poprowadzić je w liceach i gimnazjach w Gliwicach, Warszawie, podwarszawskich Wołominie i Milanówku oraz online dla uczniów z nauczaniem indywidualnym.

Ankieta po zajęciach w Społecznym Liceum Ogólnokształcącym nr 5 w Milanówku przyniosła też bardzo duży postęp: aż 90.2% uczniów biorących udział w wykładzie zadeklarowało, że będzie teraz znacznie bardziej ostrożnych korzystając z Internetu! Kolejne 68.3% uczestników wyraziło chęć udziału w zajęciach praktycznych, co jest świetnym wynikiem jak na klasę bez profilu informatycznego. Jak pisze anonimowo jeden z uczniów:

Podchodząc do zajęć spodziewałem się trywialnych porad mówiących o zaufaniu do innych internautów i udostępnianiu informacji. Zdecydowanie można było odczuć, że pan …

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