[post] Pirate comment on the coronavirus crisis

RVE Renaud Van Eeckhout Public Seen by 23

[en français plus bas]

I'd like to propose to write an article to make some comments about the current coronavirus crisis. The idea is NOT to judge the whole crisis and how it's being handled, because that's too soon, and it's NOT about reacting to every aspect of the crisis, but it IS about targetting some topics (more Pirate-related) and give a feedback about it.

I opened a pad for that : https://pad.parley.be/p/pirate-comment-on-coronavirus there is already a list of topics. I propose to write 1 paragraph +- for each topic.

This way, we let people hear about Pirates and Pirates issues, and we push some topics in the public discussion.

Please give a feedback about this idea, is it a good one? yes/no/why not/etc.

If you see a topic that interests you, please feel free to write that specific paragraph :)


J'aimerais vous proposer d'écrire un article pour faire quelques commentaires sur la crise actuelle du coronavirus.

L'idée n'est PAS de juger la crise dans son ensemble et la façon dont elle est gérée, parce que c'est trop tôt pour tirer les bilans, et il ne s'agit PAS de réagir à tous les aspects de la crise, mais de cibler certains sujets (plus liés aux pirates) et de donner un feedback à leur sujet.

J'ai ouvert un pad pour cela : https://pad.parley.be/p/pirate-comment-on-coronavirus il y a déjà une liste de sujets. Je propose d'écrire 1 paragraphe +- pour chaque sujet.

Ainsi, les gens entendront parler des Pirates et des sujets pirates, et on pousse (un peu) certains sujets dans le débat public.

N'hésitez pas à donner votre feedback sur cette idée, pourquoi vous pensez que c'est nul/super/etc.

Si vous voyez un sujet qui vous intéresse, n'hésitez pas à écrire ce paragraphe spécifique :)


Renaud Van Eeckhout Fri 17 Apr 2020 11:02AM

The current topics :

  • transparency about the epidemic (daily briefing, numbers publicly corrected and seem exhaustive)

  • open-data (many scientists complained about the lack of access to raw data); 

  • open science (medical research was made available thanks to piracy); 

  • medical devices could not be produced by makers because IP 

  • basic income seems to gain some traction; 

  • privacy concerns with personal data being shared by mobile providers ("why is that a problem? it's an urgent crisis that requires it!") (this is related to mass surveillance); 

  • data provided by mobile providers;

  • tracking apps are being discussed

  • online tools for communicating/working together that are not privacy invasive stuff like Zoom...;


Lander Meeusen Fri 17 Apr 2020 5:24PM

All for it, but it seems like a huge work. I put in a bit about basic income and tracking apps. I would urge contributors to keep it short and I would propose to come up with a timeline in order not to let this go on indefinitely.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Fri 17 Apr 2020 6:00PM

Thanks @Lander Meeusen for your input!

I agree with you, contributions should be short, as short as possible, so they can be corrected/removed more easily, and it avoids having a super long text.

I had put myself a deadline, the 25/04, as it is the Pirate Lab that day. But it's an online meeting, so if there is a need for an online meeting it can be set up quite quickly.

Right now I think already 50% of the content is there in the pad :)


Valerie D. Fri 17 Apr 2020 6:49PM

What about the need and the obvious lack of democracy? Shoudn't citizens be also able to take part in the debate and decisions on what is essential (and not) during the lockdown? (rather than experts/lobbyists)

And where is the demos in these times when we cannot even demonstrate? (e.g. against their tracking implementation plans, or Proximus who is just now starting its 5G tests?)


Lander Meeusen Fri 17 Apr 2020 8:23PM

About the lack of democracy there's something at the end. About tracking, see the bit about tracking apps.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Fri 17 Apr 2020 8:04PM

@Valerie D. I see an issue with this, it's the question of emergency. Is there time to organize numerous meetings including random citizens and have a whole process to decide on these issues? While there are already so many concertation groups, organizations representing different categories/groups of population, what would these citizens actually add? We can't go back in time 6 months ago to prepare such a crisis, it just happens and there needs a reaction now. But I'd love it if you added a section about democracy, obviously, and hope you can integrate the issue I just explained :)

(it reminds a bit of the captain on a pirate ship : the captain is not the boss, rather working to implement the decisions of the crew, but when there is a crisis (e.g. a fight with another ship), then the captain temporarily becomes the boss because it's a bad idea to start debating while you're being attacked 😆)


Lander Meeusen Fri 17 Apr 2020 8:29PM

There's a systemic flaw in our political system, but I agree in a storm it's important to bring your ship to safety. When you're in a calm waters, you can start fixing your ship. Two things we could say: 1)this storm clearly shows the weaknesses of our ship 2)and also history shows that farreaching measures, implemented in emergency situations, have the tendency to become permanent. For both transparency and citizen control is the best safeguard. Hopefully people will realise and remember this.


Valerie D. Sat 18 Apr 2020 3:23PM

Sure, I did not mean that they should have included a sorted citizen assembly now. I was not having in mind a criticism of how they are dealing with the crisis but of what it reveals and what should be considered as a focus point afterwards.


Lander Meeusen Mon 4 May 2020 6:42AM

Is something happening with this? I'd use it for an opinion piece myself, but haven't got the time.


Renaud Van Eeckhout Sat 30 May 2020 3:13PM

Hello, sorry about the very long delay as I couldn't find the energy to dig into it again.

But today we worked on it during the Lab, so many parts of the text have been changed : https://pad.parley.be/p/pirate-comment-on-coronavirus

A short summary of the changes :

The online tools section needs to be written around the elements already listed.

Topics about "basic income for the rich" and "supermarkets" seem irrelevant and/or about issues we never heard about, so we decided to remove them. New section about UBI has been added.

We added a section about democracy and how it is affected by this crisis.

We reworked the intro and conclusion also.

TODO : finish the democracy section + write the online tools section