Hackers and Users in Anti-War Activism

Protesters at Labour Party Conference, Manchester, 2006.

Short talk for the ‘Internet for Activists’ day organised at SOAS, 15 March 2009.

The purpose was to outline two different ‘ideal typical’ attitudes that activists typically bring to their engagements with technology. Within recent anti-war activism most people have approached technology as users, interested in the technology itself only to the extent that it makes the ususal organisational and communicative tasks quicker or more efficient. The talk outlines a few examples of the hacker attitude in action in order to show some of the possibilities inherent in stretching and blending communication structures. This is not to say that we must all become hackers, rather that an awareness of what we intend with technological solutions should help us approach technologies in an appropriate manner.

The slides for the talk are available here: Gillan, ‘Hackers & Users’ SOAS Workshop.

This talk was a short version of a book chapter published in Net-Working/Networking: Citizen Initiated Internet Politics. A pdf version of the chapter is available here: Diverging Attitudes to Technology preprint.