MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award

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grants : MIT Media Lab

  • Brian Says: It seems like I am perfect for this award. I have broken away as far I I can from most all civilized systems, while carefully choosing which to use as I develop a whole new culture for us! I have hosted many people from around the world who learn to create direct change in their lives.
  • The Award recipient will be announced live on July 21, 2017.


How Brian Fey is disobedient

See video: Brian's experience of being a rebel

What was the turning point in the lives of various Quora users, and how has it turned them into the person they are today?

  • Brian Fey left the corporate world to create an alternative culture.
  • He is part of no groups and has no loyalty to any demographic.
  • Never married, no kids, vasectomy, owns no stocks, no savings, no insurance of any kind. Only valid ID is his Mexican resident visa.

How the Bosque Village project is "disobedient"

    • We teach people that they do not need to buy things to have value.
  • Support of Creative commons and Open source designs and giving knowledge away for free.
  • We are learning how to grow local food with low labor, no irrigation and no outside fertilizer.
  • We reject all technology, then slowly, with great caution, choose which technology to use. Extreme conservation.
  • We accept people of all demographics to come and help design and live a new culture for a sustainable planet.
    • Anti-consumerism, pro-conservation

Nomination note

  • Name
  • email
  • What disobedient work are they doing or have they recently done?
  • What is their email address?
  • How is their work making the world a better place?
  • Does this person or group have a website?
  • Can you provide us with public links to their social platform(s) and/or channels?

more about award

    • Hoffman announced plans to offer the so-called "Disobedience" award while speaking Thursday at a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The "Forbidden Research" symposium, held by M.I.T.'s Media Lab, brought together scientists, activists and inventors to discuss experimental research to promote justice in the U.S. and abroad.
    • The award "will go to a person or group engaged in what we believe is excellent disobedience for the benefit of society," said Joi Ito, the director of the M.I.T. Media Lab, in a blog post on Thursday. Ito did not immediately return a phone call from Inc. requesting comment.
    • One contender for the prize is Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency worker, who joined the conference via video connection from Russia, where he now lives in exile. Snowden said he's developing a safer iPhone for journalists working in dangerous parts of the world, which would detect electronic surveillance from third parties.
    • The move suggests that Snowden, who first rose to prominence in 2013 when he leaked classified NSA documents revealing global government surveillance programs, could be dipping a toe in entrepreneurship. Snowden is working with Andrew Huang, a computer hacker otherwise known as "Bunnie," to determine whether or not such a phone is feasible.

  • Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab (and a very sharp thinker on a variety of topics related to innovation) announced a really cool new award that the lab was putting together: a Rewarding Disobedience award, for $250,000, funded by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman:

This prize is a one-time experiment that, if successful, we will consider repeating in the future. It will go to a person or group engaged in what we believe is excellent disobedience for the benefit of society. The disobedience that we would like to call out is the kind that seeks to change society in a positive way, and is consistent with a set of key principles. The principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. The disobedience can be in — but is not limited to — the fields of scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate.

    • That's a pretty cool idea for a prize. And I particularly like Michael Petricone's suggestion that the award should be named after Aaron Swartz, who of course was engaged in a great number of civil disobedience projects. And, unfortunately, one of them involved MIT turning on him, leading him to getting arrested and charged with a variety of ridiculous charges. Since then, there has been a struggle among many at MIT to figure out how that happened and what the university should do to prevent similar things in the future. Naming this kind of award after him would be a great start.
    • We recently wrote about the book The Idealist, about Swartz and the world of free culture (and had the author, Justin Peters, appear on our podcast for an excellent two-part discussion about the book). One things that becomes clear from the book was the absolute disbelief by Swartz and his family of the fact that MIT refused to support Swartz after his arrest. The university basically turned its back on him completely. It's something that the university still ought to do something about, and naming this award after Swartz would be a step in the right direction.


See: Video: Rewarding Disobedience

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