Every 4 years, a massive collection of curious and creative minds from all over the world make their way to a green space outside of Berlin where they build a temporary physical community made up of what for most of the year, is only a virtual one. It is here at hacker camp, over the course of a week, they share their work, inspire one another, learn something new, relax, play, swim or simply drink tea with friends.
The event: the Chaos Communication Camp 2015 an open-air even where the ideas go far beyond the tents and blinking lights, to a larger world where questions of privacy, information, rights, and more, are so often being decided for us behind closed doors. Today we explore this event and what it is about and what impact it has on… well.. everything.
In his short story The Bicentennial Man, Isaac Asimov gives us his take on cyborgs and society back in 1966, which includes the statement “There is no right to deny freedom to any object with a mind advanced enough to grasp the concept and desire the state.” In 2015 the big debate may not yet be the one Asimov was imagining, but with the advent of so many devices and options to assist or enhance the human body, the idea of combining human and machines is very much a reality. And it isn’t just a matter of helping someone without legs to walk, or someone who can’t hear to hear, the reality we already have today is that technology is helping humans run faster, hear better, do things that vastly improve the abilities of a human. Many may recognize this phenomenon by one name – cyborgism – or lets take the ism out of it.. cyborgs. This is no longer a work of fiction or fantasy, this is reality for anyone and everyone.
In 2015 there is no doubt left that journalists and journalism in general, need specialized tools to help them do their work effectively, efficiently, and safely. The problem is that sometimes being a good writer or investigator does not always mean you understand what technology you should or could be using. This gap is one that many individuals who have one foot in journalism and the other in programming are busy trying to bridge. To open up lines of communication and educate journalists on what tools are available while informing those on the technical side about what journalists need.
That, in short, is part of what has inspired today’s guest on the podcast, programmer and data journalist Annabel Church. Her mission, to help make tools for journalists. A quest that brought her all the way from New Zealand to Berlin with some interesting stops along the way. On today’s program we hear from Annabel in the hallway at 31C3, on one of the final days of 2014.
It is no easy task to try and keep track of the ever growing number of startups and tech projects in a city like Berlin. And with those startups come a whole slew of co-working offices, hacker spaces, and cafes where people can be found working together everyday. How do these places structure themselves, who are the people working there, and what is their function in the community? What characteristics does a Berlin space have that differ from any other place in the world?
Today on the podcast we explore the places and spaces where the magic happens. A journey inside the walls of some very interesting places, to hear from the people who help keep things humming along.