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Debate on TruthLoader Tomorrow: Can We Govern Ourselves With Digital Technology And Collaboration?

Op-ed - Debate on TruthLoader Tomorrow: Can We Govern Ourselves With Digital Technology And Collaboration?

TruthLoader, a UK-based daily YouTube show which describes its mission as “bringing investigative and citizen journalism together,” has announced that tomorrow’s episode will be on a topic that is bound to interest many Bitcoin users: can we govern ourselves with digital technology and collaboration? The show, which will air at 7:00 PM GMT (that’s 2:00 on the US East Coast or 11:00 on the West Coast), will feature a live Google+ hangout including two guest speakers, both of whom are known in the Bitcoin community: lead developer Gavin Andresen, and Icelandic parliamentarian and Wikileaks supporter Birgitta Jonsdottir. Gavin Andresen is well-known for his role as lead developer of the Satoshi client and the Bitcoin protocol, and Birgitta Jonsdottir appeared in the London Bitcoin conference in 2012, where she gave a talk entitled “No Privacy – No Freedom“.

Although the message of Occupy Wall Street was difficult to define,” Truthloader host Phil Harper states in the introductory video. “It seemed clear that it was a repsonse to people feeling left out of the political decision-making process.” Harper then continues “the internet gave us a glimpse of a world with out the old systems of power. It’s a place of creativity, engagment, and inclusion where people can feel like they are having an impact. Is it possible to use the open access principles to build a system thorugh which we can govern ourselves?” It’s a question which has been the focus of much discussion in the last few years; internet protests in 2012 were instrumental in blocking the Stop Online Piracy Act in the USA and the ACTA copyright treaty in Europe, and in 2010-2011 social media played a significant, and some even say crucial, role in the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Anonymous and the Pirate Party provide two more examples of political movements that have arisen entirely out of internet principles and culture. Bitcoin provides another way that a group of people can organize themselves online; here, a community hundreds of thousands of people strong has created, and enforced, an agreement on a common currency and a common monetary policy, all through bottom-up, decentralized cooperation.

Although most of the time YouTube shows are too obscure to warrant mention, TruthLoader is somewhat of an exception. TruthLoader is operated by the British news service ITN (Indepdenent Television News), which is also responsible for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 in the UK. TruthLoader’s videos have been seen a total of about two million times; far from mainstream, but nevertheless significant. TruthLoader is als accepting questions from the community which it will ask the guest speakers; those who have something to ask can simply post their question on either #opengov on Google+ or Truthloader’s Youtube channel. The event will be a unique opportunity to see Gavin Andresen speaking live, and another chance for Bitcoin users to interact wiht the larger internet activism community. For those who will not be able to watch it live, TruthLoader always posts its episodes on its Youtube channel. Either way, the event is important enough not to be missed.