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Santiago Siri at the World Justice Forum - The Hague 2013

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... ask Santiago Siri I think you're known as Santi. Is that right? That's how you signed these emails. You come from the...

actually, being on this stage you reduce our average age considerably here, which is very nice... and you come from the world of new forms of both social and political activism.

And you're not alone in this. Many young people across the world, we see them in these new forms of political and social activism. So, tell us a little bit how this applies to the ideas that we've been expressing now. Is this a new form of law? That's a great question now and good morning everyone. I'm 29 years old, so I'm very privileged to be part of this Congress and of this panel and we're in the context right now where... During the last 5 years we've seen an amazing expression in the streets throughout the whole world. Since the Arab Spring and even before that, in the Iranian elections, in Ukraine, and in the last couple of years throughout Europe, in Spain, in Greece and in Latin America we've seen it in Brazil, recently in Argentina, in my very own country, we've seen how a whole new generation is starting to get out in the streets. And even though in each specific country there are some local and more... forms of protest related to the local conditions of each particular country, there's also an underlying common denominator across all of these manifestations throughout the whole world. These manifestations are being organized through the use of social media and new technologies such as the Internet. These manifestations are especially common in the younger generations, in the whole new generations. Since, probably, the 1960s we haven't seen the young generations take the streets in such a global and massive way and there's a sensation, there's clearly a steam that is not being contained by the valve. There's a big crisis of representation in the world right now. And I think this has to do, basically, because of the clash of the technologies that are... where most of our systems are based on. Our legal and political and economical systems are still based on printing press, old school technologies from 5 centuries ago. And in the last 2 decades we have seen the web be born and completely reshape and reconfigure our entire culture. The Internet is a very serious thing when we are discussing about the future of the world rather than the past of the world. There's a striking thing that really caught my attention when I started doing research around these topics, it's that in every single parliamentary building, in every single place around the world there's a huge printing press. Even... in Argentina I went to the Congress, to the National Congress, and I saw that huge printing press. It employs over 2.000 people and every single process has to go through that printing ink and paper machine. Either... From asking for an official car or presenting a whole new project for the law. It's a lot of trees that is required to legislate and codify under those systems. And the word system, for my generation, has more to do with ones and zeros rather than ink and paper. And that is a very important thing, that clash of systems that we're feeling and the reason why a lot of people, even in democratic countries such as Spain, Greece, Argentina, Brazil, countries that have a healthy democracy, there's still the sensation that it's not enough. The fact that we vote once every 2 years is becoming more and more ridiculous as we are used to interacting with other kinds of systems that have completely changed the way we work, the way we relate with others, the way we do commerce, the way we share and consume culture, everything has changed except political and legal systems. So, that's a very disruptive moment, especially under the view of the younger generations. And this made me wonder how all of this can suddenly start changing. How we can incorporate new technologies, embrace them, in order to rethink the nations' state, rethink the legal systems, and rethink how we can codify law. One of the... my father is a lawyer, I'm a hacker, and I always wondered why in most parliaments 80% of the politicians that get elected are usually lawyers. I always wondered that since I was a very little kid, and then I got it, it's basically (that) lawyers are the hackers of the old system. They're the hackers of the printing press age, they're the ones that manipulate the code written in ink and paper, and now we're moving towards a completely new paradigm. That for me is very interesting. As a programmer myself, when I look at a piece of contract and I look at a piece of code, the similarities are striking. In both you'll find... In a contract you'll find terms and then clauses that operate around those terms and in software you'll find variables and then functions that compute on those variables. Structurally speaking, they're very similar. The main difference is that one is based on human language and subject to human interpretation and the other one is based on (a) completely logical language, not alphabetical but rather logical language, symbolic logic, and is subject to machine interpretation. As we're evolving, you know, there're a whole new set of techonologies coming out of the web that are really rethinking the way we use money, rethinking the way law applies, and reshaping the consciousness of new generations that do not feel they're part of a country in particular, they feel they're part of a whole new world entirely. Santi, that's absolutely fascinating. I'm sure that Justice Kennedy has questions for you. How do you like being called 'the hacker of the printing press age'? Actually, you have more...your generation has more in common with other people around the world than any generation in history. The young people around the world... because of this innovation, of this remarkable technology which is probably one of the great inventions in human history. There's, what, the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. This is with them. And, so, you have the capacity and, I think, the willingness to communicate with young people around the world that is simply unparalleled in human history and that's fascinating for those of us who wish to teach the rule of law. I have a friend who tells this story: he goes in to... his High School son is doing his homework and he's got Skype on, he's talking to his friends. And he says "well, now you turn that off and you do your homework and then you turn it on later, after you've finished your homework." He said "oh, dad, you don't understand. When you were growing up all they had was e-mail." You have a new party that you're starting... By the way, in one minute I'm going to ask to open up for questions, so please start thinking, don't be shy. There're microphones around, to pass around, is that correct? Yes? So, if the ladies and gentlemen who have microphones, they could be prepared to pass them. Thank you. So, tell us a little bit about how you apply this to a political party that you are even involved with. Well, the problem we have right now is that there's clearly steam getting out of the valve, there's a lot of agitation in Argentina, in Brazil, in an amount of countries. We're seeing it in the news every day in every single place around the world and the big question for me is how we go from agitation to construction, to building something new based on this entirely new logic that is, basically, the net. So, in Argentina, a little more than a year ago, along with some Internet entrepreneurs, people that come from political sciences, educators, and a broad range of specialists from many different areas, mostly around our thirties, a group of people that are really interested in this new phenomena, we came out with the notion that we have to build a new kind of political party. We have to actually play with the rules of the given system and make an upgrade. Basically, inject in the old system the new variables and the new structures of the net. So, we created the Net Party. And, basically, the Net Party is a local party for the city of Buenos Aires, but we also have some chapters throughout Latin America, in Chile, in Ecuador, in Paraguay, in Mexico and some other places around the world but (what) we're aiming to do in Buenos Aires is, we want to run for elections, we're actually running for elections in October, and we want to put candidates for the local Congress of the city of Buenos Aires that will be committed to always vote according to an online system where the whole citizenship can put an input on. And, basically, these trojan legislators will be committed to always respond to this new online platform where, what we want to build is rethink... or try to think how democracy 2.0 will play out. With the use of new tenchologies, being able to widen participation through the use of mobile devices and Internet connection. In Buenos Aires Internet connection is very common, is very broad, and by starting up this process we want to be compliant with the current rules and with the current law but start building on top of that a new layer of online representation based on new technologies that can really use the power of collective intelligence to make a much more... to lower the barriers of political participation and actually make the society more committed and involved with the decisions and opinions they have about the system. (Does) anyone have any comments on the stage about that? I think my one comment will be: with all these systems and codes and laws which are very important, I want to go back to my earlier comment that there's a human being out there, and the human being and his well-being should not be lost to old hackers and new hackers, but that the integrity of the human person must be respected. If that system enhances how the great and good is served, how parity is respected, including where that technology is still a far reached dream, and I understand, but if that intelligence that is a new form of knowledge is again another way of subjugating others, that the human being and his well-being are being compromised and lost and I will again raise my ethical and moral neck even if they're subjected. Doctor Yakoobi. And also... my point is that in a society that, let's say, they have 70% of the population are not educated and 30% are the ones that, really a young group of young men or young women that they are, let's say that these are the hackers of this kind of technology and the society doesn't have really involved in accountability and responsibility, what will happen to the code of ethics and what will happen to the, you know, that responsibility that the humans in society are supposed to really take over and what will happen if the 30% of the hackers relies in the population that you have 80% of the population non educated, that's a different story. How do you deal with that in a society that they're not educated? And isn't it going to get out of hands? It wouldnt be a chaos situation that it would be unjust and not fair to the rest of the population? Because they can't participate... yeah... These are all great questions and are very core to the mission that we are trying to build with the Net Party. First of all, Buenos Aires, Argentina, is not a very advanced country in terms of Internet usage itself. It's a country where, in terms of national statistics, 50% of the country is online, 50% is not. In the city of Buenos Aires, that's the city where we're running for elections, 70% of the homes do have access, but especially in the younger generations. 89% of the people under thirty years old access the Internet seven days a week. So, basically, by looking at the future, even in the lower classes, in the working classes, online access is a very aspirational thing and there's, even there, a lot of access to this kind of knowledge. But still, it's the number one mission, the most important mission of a party like this to work to completely eliminate the gap of access to the Internet. Everyone should have access to the Internet. When we're talking about alphabetization throughout the whole world, alphabetization in the 21st century is not to learn how to read or write, or how to sum or rest numbers, alphabetization in the 21st century is how to program computers. How to use these devices that will be the driving force of innovation and ideas in the world that is coming and not in the world that just left. And I think that's a very key thing for a political party of this kind, to work towards widening the consciousness about the importance of the usage of new technologies. Thank you over there. And that's not from your generation neither. And I think what His Grace mentioned is very important. There's a thing about the printing press, the fact about the printing press that is very common is that, structurally speaking, the printing press set the basic foundations of all the structures of power in the world right now. The cost to emit signal, to send a signal, is way higher than the cost of receiving the signal in the printing press age. What (do) I mean by that? The cost of printing the newspaper is very expensive and you have to have industrial economical powers in order to print a paper, but the cost of buying that newspaper is very cheap. Everyone buys it. So, it's very few talking to a lot of people. From few to many. That's the basic structure of everything, of consummerist culture. The cost of producing manufacturing goods in the industrial age, very few people have access to that. The cost of buying, of being a consumer, is accessible for mostly everyone. In politics we have very few politicians and a lot of citizens. So, the ones that get to be producers, it's an access that is very limited and very expensive and the cost of being a consumer is very easy and very cheap. So, the Internet completely changes that. The cost of emitting a signal and the cost of receiving a signal is completely the same. Everyone can be a producer and everyone can be a consumer. The cost is exactly the same, and that's a very big change in terms of paradigms. In the Net Party we call ourselves peers, because we're all peers. We really believe in that notion of horizontality. And we don't mean by horizontality an egalitarianism that lowers everyone to the lowest denominator, actually, we will even in the power of actually widening our view through the exchange with others and the importance of treating others as peers. I think that anyone that has experienced the use of social media or social networks, you are always confronted, your opinions are always confronted all the time, and in that sense I believe that its a... technologically speaking, the Internet is a way more stronger democratizing force than any other technology in human history. Well.

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 43 seconds
Country: Argentina
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 51
Posted by: lukemohnen on Sep 12, 2013

The Net Party

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