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Station 太空站

一個推動開放文化的宇宙太空站 An inter-galaxial space station that enhances open cultures
Holok

Speech of Chief on 28 May 2020

Dear friends,

Never Feel Hopeless: An underdog’s perspective

We are in a catastrophe. Fear can paralyze action. People with acrophobia cannot move at heights. Fear can stop you from doing anything. Here I would like to share how to carry on from an underdog’s perspective. 

Now some of you may not know what to do next and may have mixed feelings. Some may feel very calm as they have long expected this. But you may also have both kinds of feelings. 

I am a pessimist, but I feel optimistic because the current situation is much better than what it could have been. 

In 2047, you will probably just reach the retirement age. You will be getting old. You will see the young suffer, but you can do nothing about it but shout slogans on the street occasionally. Your physical strength is not as good as it used to be. 

Imagine in 2047, you are still young and can make a difference, instead of feeling anxious as you see the young suffer. Yes, you are rejuvenated right now. 

Now you still have the energy to organize things. You and those around you can still support each other. Everyone is not old yet. Even if you want to leave, you still have enough time to settle in and get yourself prepared step by step. You still have the power.

Plan your next step after trauma

Take some time to feel yourself. What do you pursue? What are you worried about? You can tell the difference if you describe them in your own words.

Let us consider the following quotes taken from people who attended the meeting:

“I want make contributions. I am worried about my academic future. No one has ever taught me how to deal with such a catastrophe.” 

“I want to have more space for self-reflection. I am worried about the future of Hong Kong, what about the future of the students? What is the point of reading?

“I am confused about the situation. I am worried about myself. I see injustice every day. Police often stops and searches people arbitrarily and rudely. I am worried about my relationships with others, as I fear that I may bring troubles to people around me, or their problems will affect me. I am afraid of losing the trust bestowed on me. I look forward to ‘bottom up’ collaborations. I am afraid that my work and life will become meaningless if the situation worsens.”

“I want security. I want to be a useful person. I want a future. I fear that I can no longer express myself. I fear that there will be fewer opportunities than before. I worry about money.”

“I am worried about the personal safety of those around me. I am glad that people now understand that life is all about politics. Now I pay more attention to the people and things around me.”

During the meeting, we analysed the possible social impacts of the national security law.

Economically, liquidity and cash flow may be restricted. The biggest impact could be the cancellation of the linked exchange rate system. Then the Hong Kong dollar may become wastepaper. A new wave of unemployment will take place. Many office workers will lose their jobs. Their life will be affected. On the contrary, there are still opportunities in sectors, like handicraft and manual labour, which focus on domestic demand and consumption. 

We can expect a new wave of emigration. Many Hong Kong people who have foreign passports will leave Hong Kong when their assets depreciate. Internet servers will also move out of Hong Kong. 

Politically, the movement will be radicalized, but simultaneously, the pro-Beijing camp may set up paramilitary vigilante groups like the “White Skulls” in South Korea many years ago. 

(The above analysis is not comprehensive, but may serve as a reference for future discussions)

Departure, return and re-formation

Mutual support from the community

The initial response of the space station is to create a space for recovery from the disaster, and a circle of trust.

We are a network. At the same time, we are one of the many nodes in the society. Sometimes we are stronger, but sometimes we are not. There is a principle of "achieve what you want to achieve and establish what you want to establish". Cooperate with the others. If they get stronger, we get stronger, too. 

We should conduct risk evaluations for the future. We should study the regulations on all aspects of the operation which may cause problems. We will design ways to assess our relations with different partners under a “gravity” model. In the worst case, we may have no alternatives but to cut our ties with them to avoid domino effect. 

Settle your life. Make the following preparations:

Economic preparations (Exchange HKD for USD; offshore accounts)

1. Withdrawal of funds in US dollars (Cash)

(Some people hold opposing views. See: https://bit.ly/3er6baV)

2. Opening offshore USD accounts

https://bit.ly/3emItMU

Offshore debit cards

https://youtu.be/9g7Mn8MqcOo

3. Use secure cryptocurrencies pegged to USD (e.g. USDC) 

See: https://youtu.be/wY7uXzIn_zY

Network Security

“Cybersecurity is always exposed in the weakest places,” so there is no one-and-done tool. Most importantly, stay vigilant and ask more questions.

Safer communication tools can only work if the entire community uses them and is willing to bear the inconvenience that comes with switching to a new tool. 

You may do the following: 

Use Protonmail

Use Signal 

Use second-hand cell phones and anonymous prepaid SIM cards

(Again, it takes a group upgrade to be effective.) 

In the future, we can offer safety upgrade workshops for people with different skills to enhance their data safety.

Survive – not die – in totalitarianism 

The following two articles are worth re-reading.

立場新聞的《極權求生錄》系列 https://bit.ly/2Ab8f8c

極權臨近,再讀二十個歷史教訓https://bit.ly/36DpCut

Make a wish for those in the future. Young people may cross our mind when we plan for a more distant future. Set up scholarships or parenting funds for community members with a second generation. Aid in education and parenting. 

The power of the Self-Makers and the Open Source communities allows us to make changes to the world step by step by working together with our own hands. No matter whether you are a skilled tech geek or not, I hope the spirit can carry us through the stormy days.

Remember that in every seemingly cynical person lives an idealist. Keep your faith in people.

omnia mea mecum porto

Per Aspera Ad Astra

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