While in India, I had known Sweden for The Pirate Bay, more than anything else. Not merely because it was a file sharing site, but it is still a metaphor to resistence and internet activism. While the intent of file sharing itself is debatable, the point I am trying to drive home is that it depcited many of the values that Sweden is proud about.
Sweden was hailed the internet safe haven, not just the asylum for refugees in real world, but also in the digital world. (unfortunate that I have to make this statement as past tense). I came down here with great anticipation to experience more of Free Software, Internet activism and the general open culture.
I have been an avid Free Software enthusiast for many years now, and I must admit that it was disappointing overall to see pervasive use of closed and proprietary software and technology in my city (I think it is the same across Sweden). I have been more so cribbing about the lack of enthusiasm and awareness even at Chalmers. In the last two months, I have approached couple of ogranisations in Chalmers and few students to see if anything could be set rolling.
Gothenburg, true to its claims of being the happening city also recently had the FSCONS for the Nordic region. This conference was supposed to be ”the largest gathering for free culture, free software and a free society in the Nordic countries”. Having been keen on knowing more people from this spectrum of technology I registered and was part of the this two days conference. The conference was organised in one of the campuses of the ubiquitous Gothenburg University on the 8th,9th and 10th of November.
And finally, in this conference I had the opportunity to meet and interact with many more like minded technologists, who have dedicated their lives to the ideology of keeping technology free. Hackers from several European countries, a friend cum hacker from Denmark, tons of gyaan and hours of feeling connected to the tribe has just reinvigorated in me the motivation to do another round of people check in Chalmers.Discussions on technology, politics and humanity in general – these conferences span almost everthing exciting that is left in the world.
If anyone of you reading this is keen on kickstarting a GNU Linux Users Group at Chalmers, or would just want to hang out and discuss, drop a comment; along with my acquaintacnes from the Free Software world we can work out a meet up!