Matilda is a trans disabled artist, community organizer, and programmer studying, imagining, and leveraging mathematical, ecological, and social systems for a more just, equitable, and inclusive world. They have organized around racial, disability, climate, and housing justice and are currently a fellow at The Knowledge House, a Bronx based pipeline for tech talent from low income communities.
The internet is often seen as THE epitome of decentralized communication/coordination, however, its military history and design have often conflicted with the way communities have tried to organize through it. This talk will address the historical networked methods communities have used to organize within or in opposition to states, militaries, and other threats. Examples will include the non-hierarchial power structures of Quaker activists, the diverse revolutions of 1848, the libertarian-socialism of Rojava, and the local member-led but twitter savvy Black Lives Matter groups. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, but to explore the historical basis for a bottom-up network architecture to meet the needs of communities, rather than the top-down client-server relationship imposed upon most of the world by states and data harvesting companies.