“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

Over lunch the other day with some girl geek buddies talk came around, as it does, to the revolutionary nature of community on the internet. It reminded me of this quote from the noted anarchist Emma Goldman.

So much of the discussion about what is happening on the internet is so earnest and serious that I think we’ve lost a bit of our joie de vivre. Before the internet became a business it was about trying out cool stuff with people, it was about pushing the boundaries of what we knew was possible. It was also about meeting new people and creating our own, somewhat idiosyncratic, communities of interest.

Now the internet is all business. Everyone’s got advice on how to monetize it. But I miss the early days when it was just for fun and a way to stretch our notions of human endeavour. When it was idealistically driven and seen as a way to share information widely and to break down barriers.

I want an internet that is about connecting people and ideas in new ways that create a better world. I want an internet that helps us to overcome barriers and distance. I want an internet that makes people better than they were without it. I want to join with like minded individuals in collective action for positive purposes. And, like Emma says,

If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.

[Photo: Ned the Dog, Gold Coast Australia]

Author: Kate Carruthers

Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Insights Officer for UNSW Sydney, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering. She is certified in information security and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies terrorism and security. Kate has extensive experience in senior roles in ICT, marketing, data and digital; and is a member of the NSW Government’s Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board. Kate is currently working at the intersection of data analytics, AI, ML, privacy, cyber security, and data protection.

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