A while back, I became aware of something called a Mobile Ad-Hoc Network. For those not tech savvy, this basically consists of a computer network that functions via individual connections from one computer to the next. As computers are turned off and on or moved, these connections rearrange themselves such that a given computer is always connected to the closest computers around it and this true for all of the computers in the network. It is wireless, and so as we mentioned mobile, and is constantly changing in the aforementioned pattern, and thus, ad-hoc. The significance of such a network struck me immediately. If there were ever a move to shut down the internet by unplugging the centralized servers, such Mobile Ad-Hoc Networks, or MANets, would spring up as an alternative means of networking without the central servers. The only way to kill a MANet is to take out every computer individually, one at a time.
Fast forward to today, and between the machinations of the Obama administration and the recent events in Egypt, we are all well aware of the imminent danger of government control over centralized servers. Technological evolution, which has the possibility to become the guarantor of human freedom, is moving ever closer to making MANets a reality. Enter the FreedomBox Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to create a cheap, personal server that will store all of your information, doing an end run around centralized sites like Facebook, in a decentralized, secure manner, safe from the prying eyes of private-public partnerships. His goal is very Fullerite in that it aims to make the solution to our collective social problem so clearly advantageous that everyone will adopt it voluntarily: the device will produce all the benefits we currently enjoy online, with none of the “free spying” that the founder of FreedomBox decries in his very intriguing lecture. I encourage you to become aware of these issues and perhaps contribute monetarily or otherwise to this effort.