Oslo Freedom Forum Fringe Review [midipoet]
this is going to relatively long, so i apologise in advance.
there is a tl;dr at the bottom, so just scroll if you prefer.
All images are hosted on imgur, and the video posted is on Youtube. Background:
Monero were asked to be represented at the Oslo Freedom Forum, which led to a CCS proposal
and a plan to send me out to do a fringe type workshop while also attending the event. This proposal led to quite a long discussion on IRC (#monero-community).
Essentially the community (me included) was not entirely certain about whether the event, its financiers, and its audience were wholly non-partisan. It was also not clear whether or not Monero should be involved in such events, as they inevitably connect Monero to a degree of politicking - for better or worse.
It was decided that, if nothing else, i would go and get a general feeling for the event, the people, its organisers, and attempt to see if Monero should try and build a relationship with OFF in the future.
I will try and communicate what i think in this report. Please note, that i am open to discussion and debate on any of my views. The Actual Meetup:
The event was hosted by Blockchangers, who had a loft workspace in the centre of Oslo close to where the main OFF events were being held.
The hosts were extremely helpful leading up to the event, organised the Meetup and Facebook communications, ordered the food and drinks (which the CCS paid for), and generally were very hospitable to myself, and the crowd that attended.
Monero Outreach provided me with some nicely designed leaflets and card seed backups
. I did not distribute these anywhere other than the designated Meetup. They were well received - especially from a design context - though in reality the info booklet was probably of more immediate benefit.
The Monero event was definitely a success. There was a very knowledgeable crowd, and some interesting and genuinely curious people.
There were also a core contingent of knowledgeable Monero fans (who should really be doing their own Meetups on a regular basis - you know who you are!).
There was some notable attendees including a gentleman who, AFAIR, is heading up the R&D for a large Norwegian Bank. There was also an attendee from the Norwegian Central Bank who had a personal interest in cryptocurrencies, who also communicated the preliminary research being conducted by the institution into the design and architecture of digital monies. There were also some newbies, both young and old.
Some Bitcoin people were also in attendance. They were also talking at the actual Oslo Freedom Forum. They gave really good feedback at the end of the event, and seemed genuinely thankful for the invite. They also had some technical questions about the status of certain aspects of the protocol, RandomX, multisig, etc. I tried my best with these, but also gently persuaded them to seek out the people in the community that know better than me.
From this Meetup event i learned that there was genuine interest in Monero, genuine respect for the community, and also genuine understanding of the concerns that Monero is trying to address. In my short talk, i addressed the importance of information/financial privacy and censorship resistance.
The Q & A session went on for nearly an hour after my talk. There were a lot of really great questions about Monero, about the industry as a whole, the protocol, about privacy, about society, about the Norwegian kidnapping case, etc. There was also some discussion with the Bitcoin people regarding the state of the industry, adoption, second layer scaling solutions, and so on. The Q & A session felt like a genuine, open discussion, with a lot of people learning from each other in a respectful and curious manner.
I gave out quite a bit of Monero (in 0.1 XMR amounts). A lot of people downloaded the wallet, got to grips with the interface, learned how to receive, get back up info, connect to a remote node, etc.
Funnily enough, there were very few people that wanted to send their Monero onto another. Maybe i should have pushed this a bit more, but it was difficult due to the confirmation wait time on the wallets…
People were also able to have a look at the GUI, as we had a computer there.
Very few people wrote down their backup seed. I probably should have pushed this more. The cards were distributed, there was a bundle of pens available but, to be honest, people were more interested in either getting their Monero and running, or getting their Monero and chatting.
Maybe i have learned a bit myself about the cruciality of really hammering this UX security procedure home.
Having said that - writing down your seed phrase in a room full of people is probably not that good Op Sec… The Oslo Freedom Forum
I am going to try and keep this quite short. I haven’t really processed the event in totality yet, but i think its important to say something about it.
The best way to get a feel for it is to probably watch some of the videos
They are an extremely well produced mix of Human Rights, Arts, and Technology. Think TED talks except with a more Political/Human Rights slant.
There are three main things that i noticed about the event:
- Its extremely well funded (hence the extremely high production values)
- there is a measure of human rights capitalism about it (there was an expo hall with a number of stands - a mix of human rights organisations with merit, such as the Open Money Initiative , AccessNow and Plan International . However, there was also presence from Facebook, Avast/Hide-my-Ass, Twitter, and some strange sunglasses company who had created sunglasses for human rights activists (though some profits did supposedly get reinvested into the “cause”).
- There was also an air of “human rights celebritisation” about the whole thing - as activists and dissidents were being celebrated for what they had achieved, what they had fought for, and for what they were actively trying to fight for.
I discussed this view with a number of people, and the general consensus was that i wasn’t far wrong but that in an age of celebrity it may be better to create a platform for these people rather than the reality TV stars, the senseless Pop stars, and the seemingly endless stream of Instagram and Youtube “influencers”.
I think the important thing to try and decide (as a community) whether we want a presence at this event in the future, and what type of presence we want to have if we do. The impression i got from those running the event is that they would like us to be there.
Remember that there is already a strong Bitcoin presence at the OFF (i would hazard a guess that crypto wealth is a main financing medium), and for the most part Bitcoin is advertised as a solution to some of the problems faced by some members of the human rights community - whether for those under dictatorships with questionable economic policy suffering from collapsing economies and hyper inflation (Venezuela), those that are trying to avoid persecution from tyrannical governments due to their human rights work (Tajikistan), or those trying to avoid harsh economic sanctions forced on them because they are deemed judiciary dissidents by their governments (Cuba).
While Bitcoin can play a role in some of these fights there are those for which it is wholly inadequate. We at Monero know this - but for the most part the whole Human Rights community don’t.
Do we want to explicitly try and readdress this educational imbalance, or not? And if we do, do we want to actively pursue it?
My advice would be to get a presence on one of the main panels, especially some of the more Privacy focused, or those concerning Financial Freedom and/or Economic Censorship Resistance.
If we don’t - Zcash, Bitcoin, and the likes of Jimmy Song will just keep parroting on in that utterly ridiculous, relatively ignorant, Bitcoin/ZCash tone that they seem to have; all the time remaining blissfully unaware of their own genuine disingenuousness. =========================== ============TL;DR:==========
The meetup was a definite success. The Oslo Freedom Forum is a highly sheened and expertly produced event. There is a lot of behind the scenes politicking happening alongside it being a genuine platform for Human Rights Activists. Monero has to decide whether to get involved at this layer, as the Oslo Freedom Forum seem genuinely interested in having us there. I am sure that if we wanted, we could push for more direct involvement in the program (as Bitcoin and ZCash already have), but this is something we need to decide together as a community. n.b
as you may well have noticed, the XMR price moved in my favour for this CCS proposal. Considering this i will be returning XMR to the General Dev fund (as is standard).
However, Norway was also way more expensive that i remembered (hotel, food, coffee, taxis/mobile scooters wtf!!!).
Once i get the second payout, i will settle all the expenses (Blockchangers are owed for food still), i have to pay off my credit card (hotel), i will rebalance and then send the XMR not spent back to the General Dev Fund. It won’t be a huge amount sent back, but there will be something.
I am not going to give a full set of accounts on this - mainly as i was pretty bad at getting/keeping the receipts, and i am lazy, so i am afraid you will have to trust me to an extent.
If anybody feels this is not adequate, please let me know. n.b-2
opening and closing ceremonies were in Oslo City Hall
. While in there, i spotted this
want to say thanks to those that helped me from the Monero community out in Oslo. It was nice meeting some of you, nice to see others again. I have said it once, and will say it again, Monero people are cool people.
also should say thanks to the Outreach workgroup. they put a good deal of effort into the materials and organisation of the event, so thank you!
Vitalik Buterin submitted by
called out Craig S. Wright as a fraud, when are you going to call out the OmiseGO team that used your face, reputation, and name to promote their centralized payment processing company, along with the ruse of using blockchain, to grow money instead of VC funding?
Vitalik Buterin boldly, and rightfully so called out Craig Wright as Faketoshi back as a conference in March/April. Seeing now, that FraudmiseGO, has only accomplished expanding office workspace this year while delivering a shitty plasma dog flash game, trading on insider knowledge, and leveraging your name whenever possible to promote their (currently useless token), when will you be truthful in calling out these frauds?
I don't think its a coincidence that you haven't been seen with the OMG team since May 2018. A while back, you responded to one of my posts saying that you supported Jun's intentions
in plasma development, but cautiously avoided commenting on their capabilities along with their claims.
My question for you at this point is, how is Craig S. Wright a fraud, yet you willingly stand next to a team that has market dumped in July from advisory shares, with each "advisor" receiving a lump sum of excess in over 6 figures of tokens, while not delivering anything of value, but dumping on the shared contribution of retail investors? Are you saying you can call out CSW as a fraud, but remain an advisor for a project that regularly trades on insider knowledge, paid advisors for their name, yet didn't do anything for the project, but "unbank the banked" in a literal sense?
Your close friend, since 2015 as he calls it, Jun Hasegawa has promised a rock year, the network for OMG launching soon, conglomerates, partners, all that jazz, but has only accomplished making himself, and a select few advisors who now have ghosted the project (Cough, Thomas "smokes too much weed" greco), a bunch of 20 year olds who didn't really do much at all, and very early presales wealthy. A very similar "management" style has been noted with Martin Lam, the man who has no tech background, was a Chinese briefcase watch salesman, and no direct value proposition for a token that is now at a 98.5% loss. In a AMA back in May, he said tx fees would be paid via staking the OMG network in elec tokens. However, come 12/31/18, he dumped the entire remaining stash of his personal collection, rendering the token completely worthless. It is no surprise that Martin "let me bam that secretary jam" Lam would do anything less as he has proven time and time again from both previous employees and lack of delivery, along with a useless asset would be any different. Two Asian scam artists who have gone into hiding, promoted nepotism, insider trading, and false grants via the Ethereum Community Fund, and hide in the depths of Asia as they systematically defrauded people globally. Keep spreading awareness, submit claims to both the Singapore and Thai equivalents of the SEC, and bring these slimy fucks into the spotlight so law enforcement can get these cockroaches to society out of the picture and behind bars.
Also, where's Poon, the supposed co-author of plasma in all of this? He's already onto his next project, Handshake, in which a bunch of bad actors from Cosmos, another shady company in the Ethereum Community Fund
, publicly advertises as the "next bitcoin". Is this what all that ERC20 projects really were? How can you call yourself an advisor for a project based on decentralization, which has very obviously been used as a marketing ploy?
Jun and the core team, along with confirmed secretary banging, no tech background, token dumping, power pod vaporware bullshit, $30mm ICO heist, Martin Lam are nothing but embezzling , insider trading snake oil salesmen with no value to society, just like the sea of 99% ERC-20 tokens out there. The Ethereum Community Fund is also a fraternity of bad actors, which was even called out yesterday by the Auger founder as being a beacon for nepotism and foul play. Given Jun Scamegawa's involvement in this, its no surprise Electrify Asia has been a sponsor at previous events and received free marketing via their involvement.
https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/fit/t/1600/480/1*msuH9R8zRDzr57kHA1JnmQ.jpeg The three scammers sitting together earlier this year.
the_martinator electrifyasia We all know and this won't end well for you
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