Is it futile to un-Google?


I was watching Citizenfour the other day so you may understand my confusion.

I can say that I am privacy aware. On a high level, I understand how things work. I use a different strong password for everything, I have a GPG key and I opt for using open source services that make security a priority.

However I still use services that are not so privacy centric. I use Facebook and nearly all Google Services (Search, Gmail, Drive, Photos, etc.). These two alone can show you everything about me.

According to Edward Snowden’s revelations everything is busted. Dropbox, Google, Apple.. You are not safe.

On the bright side, Snowden notes that the big software companies are doing steps in the right direction.

But let’s say I stop using services from these companies and find alternatives. Am I really doing anything except dealing with bad UX experiences and beta software?

Continue reading “Is it futile to un-Google?”

Questions after No

That was little time to think about many things for me and for everyone.

However the million (Euro?) question was the following:

What is the plan?

Not the plan of the government, not the plan of the people and not even the plan of the rest European leaders.

What is the grand plan? Is there any?

Nobody really knows but I write this trying to put my thoughts and mental simulations in order. I believe I will fail but it would be interesting. Let’s calmly answer some questions.

What was the question/intention?

As the question was anything but clear, through the week we had many different scenarios for this.

  • The official one was that Syriza wanted to push Europe for a better deal.
  • The other was that Syriza was aiming to reduce the political cost of making a high austerity deal.
  • Another was that Syriza was tricking people to answer if they prefer to be in or out of the Eurozone and to gain time.

What is the clearer message we can get from the result?

That is a difficult one. Because of the unclear nature of the question, people answered to the version of the question they understood.

People and especially young ones (75% of them) voted No. At the same time75% of all people answered to polls that they wanted to stay in the Eurozone.

My interpretation is that this means out with the old and in with the new. Not just the old and the new of Greece but the old of Europe too.

At the same time people threw the ball back at Alexis Tsipras.

Why so loudly?

The result got me by surprise. No won by something more that 60/30 and in Athens there was a 70/30 ratio. We should examine why.

Yes was represented (maybe deliberately) in Greece by the people that run Greece after its big political reform in 1974 and in Europe by anyone who has been austere to Greece in the past 5 years. Also almost all private media were channeling people to vote Yes. That pretty much erased chances for aYes because Greek people hate all or some of the above categories.

However polls and even Twitter stats showed that people changed their minds at the last time.

People are angry with the situation. The last week helped to that. An hour a day in queue while in fear and uncertainty was an optimistic day plan. Angry people don’t choose positively.

At the same time the government strongly supported that there is no danger in choosing No. It seems like people believed them.

What happens now?

Nobody knows for sure. We still have to find out what we voted for.

The Prime Minister is ready to get again in negotiations and for the first time in these 5 months, Alexis Tsipras will make a move to form a united front for Greece with the help of the rest Greek leaders.

This could help Greece in the negotiations or if things go sideways Alexis Tsipras political cost would be highly reduced.

Many believe that this was the plan all along. That governing is too much for Syriza and they prefer to get back at the opposition where they feel comfortable and let the others take the blame of anything inevitable that will happen. It makes sense if you think how easy this gets with the referendum.

Now that we are here, let’s note that ex Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stepped down last night as a party leader meaning that the New Democracy party is going to get through (likely massive) reforms to become relevant and avoid the fate of Pasok.

At the same time Greece is divided. Many Syriza voters voted Yes because they feel betrayed by Syriza and many voters of other parties that were pro-Yes voted No. The thing is not party related and the word traitor gets thrown around a lot. People are afraid and uncertain. At least I am a little (less than last Friday I must say). This must be fixed really soon.

What can we do?

I am on a bus to Patras. A woman next to me is on the phone organising a play and her contact on the phone is anxious about what would happen. But the show must go on.

Be optimistic, hope for the best, continue our lives and search for ways to produce wealth in Greece. Armageddon is not coming and this will not be the end of everything. However things can still go bad or really bad but they can also go better.

Only time will tell…

Ας μην ξανακολλάμε

Όσο άσχετο και να είναι το δημοψήφισμα ως προς το ερώτημά του πλέον, σαν Έλληνες έχουμε πάρει θέσεις ηχηρά και οπαδικά ως συνήθως. Αναπόφευκτα λοιπόν τσακωνόμαστε και ξεκατινιαζόμαστε. Άριστοι σε αυτό από τα βάθη της ιστορίας.

Είμαι 22. Στη δύσκολη αρχή της κρίσης πήγαινα ακόμη σχολειο. Μικρές οι απαιτήσεις μου και χωρίς ρωγμές η φυσαλίδα μου.

Από τότε σπούδασα σε άλλη πόλη, ταξίδεψα, δούλεψα, πήρα μια μικρή ιδέα από δημόσιες υπηρεσίες και ενήλικες διαδικασίες και λίγο πολύ είδα μια πιθαμή πράγματα από τον κόσμο και την Ελλάδα.

Ταυτόχρονα ζω στο ίντερνετ. Το ίντερνετ είναι ένα άγριο μέρος όταν ο κόσμος είναι μπερδεμένος και πορωμένος όπως τώρα. Να χτυπάς με κακία ένα πληκτρολόγιο είναι αρκετά εύκολη και γρήγορη ευχαρίστηση. Τα αποτελέσματα στην προκειμένη περίπτωση ήταν αναμενόμενα.

Το λιγότερο αναμενόμενο για μένα ήταν το ότι βρίζαμε και υποβιβάζαμε τον Πύρρο Δήμα όταν πήρε θέση στην τηλεόραση. Έναν άνθρωπο που ο παππούς μου με φώναζε από μικρός που ήμουν να δω να σηκώνει τα βάρη, τον δοξάζαμε σαν έθνος για χρόνια και ανέβαζε την εθνική μας υπερηφάνεια με κάθε αρασέ και ζετέ. Και τώρα είναι οΑλβανός, ο αγράμματος και βολεμένος.

Αφού βρέθηκα αναπόφευκτα και σε ένα ΑΤΜ κατέληξα ότι για ακόμη μία φορά δεν έχουμε κοινό στόχο. Μόνο χωριζόμαστε ανάλογα με τους κοινούς μας εχθρούς.

Ο κόσμος κοιτάει το κενό λες και έχει φάει μία σφαλιάρα και δεν έχει ακόμη συνέλθει. Στο δρόμο οι οδηγοί είναι νευρικοί. Άκουσα στο ραδιόφωνο κόσμο να πλακώνεται στην ουρά στο πεζοδρόμιο για το ποιός φταίει.

– Ο δικός σου ρε μαλακα!
– Γιατί, ο δικός σου καλύτερος ήταν ρε προδότη;

Τους χώρισε ένας ηλικιωμένος. Κάποιου άλλου του έσπασαν το μαγαζί επειδή είχε μία σημαία της Ευρώπης έξω.

Ήδη νομίζω ότι χτίζουμε μόνοι μας ένα εμφύλιο. Πολλές οι φωτογραφίες από τον εφοδιασμό μας για πυρηνικό πόλεμο.

Ας μην πάει μακρυά αυτή η βαλίτσα.

Ό, τι και να βγει από αυτό το “δημοψήφισμα” τη Δευτέρα θα πρέπει να χτίσουμε μαζί τη χώρα και να βοηθήσουμε όποιον το χρειάζεται. Το ΝΑΙ και το ΟΧΙ είναι μία προτίμηση σε ένα ερώτημα που δεν υπάρχει πια. Είναι μία δήλωση. Πόσο καλό ή κακό μπορεί να κάνει αυτή η δήλωση μένει να φανεί. Δεν παίζουμε μπάλα και δεν υπάρχει κύπελλο για το νικητή.

Συζητήστε μεταξύ σας με ανοιχτό μυαλό και χωρίς μνησικακίες. Σεβαστείτε τον άλλο και καταλάβετέ τον. Αυτό είναι αναγκαίο.

Αν δεν αντέχουμε ο ένας τον άλλο τη Δευτέρα το παιχνίδι έχει ήδη χαθεί.

No drama please

Yesterday I realised that an acquaintance unfriended me on Facebook due to a certain political post I suppose.

I would lie if I said that his profile did not stood up on my feed. He is a very loud supporter of the Syriza government and I have read in the past many of his rage posts. I did not agree but I really evaluated them without being biased.

I don’t have any close ties to the guy. We met at a Startup Weekend, we share interest for certain technologies and comment on each others technical blogs from time to time.

But when I realised that I don’t see the raging posts anymore, for a moment I felt sad.

Then I read something from a friend:

Same thing there and I suppose there are more examples out there.

So, Greek people are diminished to fiercely choosing sides. We are choosing sides on a question we don’t understand and we refuse to even see people with different opinions that may make us rethink ours. All this with 6 days in front of us and without an official statement on what the question will be or if there is a secret question to find between the lines.

Yeah, Facebook is not real life except when it is. People are putting opinions up there and evaluate other people opinions. So right now Facebook and Twitter, are the broadest means of conversation.

I know it is hard when you have been dragged around so much and I strongly believe that this choice should not have fallen on our backs.

However this is the situation now and until Sunday you better spend your time free of drama and dogma, getting as much opinions as possible and demand calm voices from people around you.

Just don’t think about your self and make the choice you believe is better for your children.

Whatever that is, if you really believe it, I am confident it is the right one.