Every historical moment is associated with its technology. The social, political, and economic practice of human beings depends mainly on the tools at their disposal. Their relationship with the environment around them, their knowledge of the world, and their worldview depend on technological prostheses that enable them to improve their perception, to understand the past, and above all, to foresee a plan for the future.
Moreover, technological development is the backbone of our understanding of the 21st century. The new technologies define our era and make it possible to understand the creations of contemporary human beings: their science, their way of living, their cultural habits, so on.
Contemporary humankind is impossible to be understood without the constant company of technology that allows them to improve and expand their senses. Today, technology has become an extension of the human body.
The human being today is a subject made by technology. Men and women have thus shown themselves to be irremediably permeable to technology, a technology that goes beyond them. The main question is: who is in charge of this factory? With what interests? Who is making us? Who is designing us?
Utopia and dystopia
Since August 1991, when the World Wide Web was made public as a service, the Internet has spread all over the planet and become famous. The first heroic times led to the birth of an autonomous, free zone outside the control of the power of governments and large companies. A place in which to create and communicate without restrictions. A vast blank page on which to start building.
However, the idea of collective intelligence was gradually eroded by the advance of simplifying globalization, ultimately capable of fostering unidirectional and unidimensional currents of communication contrary to the illusionary possibilities from which it started. At the same time, we assist in the triumphal beginning of “democracy,” a new kind of power based on the control (monopoly) of specific tools.
In the end, the medium prevailed over the messages, and the “wall” of the social networks ended up being a torrent of disinformation and banalities. The Internet thus became a way of looking at oneself in a mirror, of forming a continuous selfie based on not seeing beyond prejudice and the saturation of information and images—a tool of individualism and separation from reality. And, what is even worse, an infinite source of personal data to be traded.
Collaboration against individualism
Against the main currents determined by tech giants, there are still many possibilities of using the ways in alternative ways, understanding the vast opportunities open by technologies, some usually forgotten by people.
Facing the idea of an Internet of massive and monolithic movements, there is another open possibility: the return to the collective, to the community, and its needs. Open source thus becomes the counterweight to the dangers of indiscriminate use and the generation of information noise on the Internet.
Open-source projects refer to software development with a license that gives access to the source code so that programmers can freely use, write, modify, and redistribute the code. Open source is developed collaboratively and distributed over the Internet. It allows generating a product with a continuous improvement from the hand of a dedicated community.
AsyncAPI is a project that considers that human beings have naturalized the tools that enhance their capacities. Technology can guide us and define our steps. It’s not merely daily practice. We should be more aware that we humans make technology and that we are the ones who create and determine the future it holds for us. We are the ones who build the future.
The light between the walls
Transparency and horizontality are the axes on which this movement is settled. The absolute exposure of a project or company’s work, economy, and politics in a society with such opaque foundations represent a return to the initial roots of the Internet. In this autonomous zone, projects are built from the ground up.
Doing things following the open-source philosophy promotes a working system based on the open exchange of ideas, teamwork-based on flexibility, and constant innovation.
This working model clashes head-on with a system based mainly on competitiveness and concealment. It appears a stepping stone to repeal opaque and oppressive government models and a step towards a freer, more transparent, and equitable society.
Collaborating in an open-source project offers you the opportunity of a community of people involved and enthusiastic about the same goal. At AsyncAPI, everyone is welcome, regardless of their sector, their experience… all you need is enthusiasm. This enthusiasm is based on the idea that another world is possible, even more so in times of climate emergency and global crisis. Technology is the only tool in our hands to shape it. It is the key element of cultural, social, and political struggle. It cannot be left in other hands. It must be built collectively, with the community’s needs and users in mind.
You don’t take technology; you make it.
The author, Barbaño González, is Education Program Manager at AsyncAPI.