reflections on where, how and who we meet in a modern world


the new ‘safe sex’

i grew up in the decade that saw the rise of the AIDS epidemic. the concept of safe sex was drilled in my head by parents who had known the “good ol’ days” of peace & love gatherings and all. while it is true that AIDS still represents a very serious threat, the dawn of the information age has brought on a new generation of sometimes life-threatening dangers. before cellphones and the internet became household commodities, “evil forces” had to plant spies everywhere, at a very high cost, to monitor every move of what they identified as potential troublemakers. today, they need only need a few geeks in a dark basement to know where you are, who you talk to and what your cousin’s baby had for breakfast.

for all the beauty of life 2.0, there are also serious pitfalls. they can be avoided, of course, but not without taking some serious precautions in the way you share thing on the web. on the second day of the tenth civicus world assembly, in montreal, i attended a workshop by freedom house‘s internet freedom project director, robert guerra, and carmen algeciras, of the development research center, where i learned that there are many steps to be taken if you want your ride on the information superhighway to be as safe as possible.

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people of the world unite

i am currently volunteering at the tenth civicus world assembly, held for the second time in montreal. civicus is sort of an worldwide umbrella and forum for civil society organisations (CSOs) working to give a voice to populations around the globe. i joined a team of young rapporteurs, bloggers and microbloggers (tweeps!) who are divided to attend the various workshops and report on what they hear, learn, think — either instantly through twitter, or by writing reports or posts that get posted on the blog later in the day. i can’t help but be impressed by the diversity of backgrounds, origins and interests of these young people. they are all extremely curious about the world, open to new ideas and willing to learn.

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why am i (not) here?

this blog is still under heavy construction. i would even say that construction has barely started and that we are still at the blueprint stage. the thing is, wordpress takes a little more getting used to than facebook or tumblr. but the complexity of the tool itself cannot be solely blamed for this delay in producing an actual discussion space. the fact of the matter is, i am juggling with complex ideas here and, while the purpose of this site is to provide a window into my thought process, i am still a little shy about the embryonic nature of it at this point and therefore feel some reluctance to expose naked self to the cold wide web. so please bear with me for a little while…