The following is my translation of Juan Freire’s post “Declaration of Independence of the Blogosphere: Promoting Hacker-Citizens” and is posted with his permission.

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The internet is an opportunity. Weblogs are, within the network, another opportunity to recuperate the power that is proportioned between the synergy of individual identity and the collaboration of many. But to achieve it, hacker citizens are needed to actively construct an ethical code for their actions online and in the real world. Does the opportunity to succeed exist? It all depends on how the future is constructed. Let’s put ourselves to work:

– Break the closed code of elitism and of fundamentalism of any type. Open the code of the conversation and intellectual plurality.

– Be inquisitive. Break with the ideas that are accepted without critique. Ask for available data and remix the information to observe reality from other points of view.

– The internet offers a virtual space of liberty, autonomous of the authorities of the physical world. But this independence will always be temporal; in any moment it is susceptible to ending or reinventing itself. So, take intense advantage of this transitory independence.

– Write what you wish; about your life or about the world. Everything is useful, nothing impedes what exists on the net. Only those who are interested (if these hypothetical people exist) will read what you write.

– Learn “languages,” discover people and ideas far away from your geographic and cultural surroundings. Construct new maps with your explorations and share them with your “neighbors”.

– Move your ethics and your intellectual attitude online to your “physical” life. Become a citizen hacker. But, take precautions; in the “real world” there are more forces and powers that can impede your actions.

– Protect yourself with anonymity if you believe it necessary to avoid legal or social censures. Maintain and promote your virtual identity even though it doesn’t correspond visibly to your “real” identity. Guide yourself with honesty. Produce your own ethics of behavior.

– Collaborate with the networks. But don’t allow yourself to become generic and disposable. Your strength, and the strength of everyone, is to unite the power of many to the value of the individual. Connect yourself intensely with the rest and with the net, but do it freely.

– Link, link, link.

– Take pride in not including publicity on your blog … or include advertisements on your blog and make money if you can. Both options are valid if they are done with honesty and transparency. It’s not so important what you do as how you do it.

And above all, don’t pay too much attention to everything said in this post.

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I’m in a cafe right now in Chacao, waiting for Luis Carlos to come join me. Spanish readers should check out his blog … it’s impressive. On the flat screen TV’s they’re showing “La Avalancha de Caracas” – the big opposition march on Avenida Libertador in support of Manuel Rosales. I wonder if “A.M. Mora y Leon” will post a series of “Babes of Politics” pictures or whatever it is he/she likes to call them. I always laugh at the concept that conservative women are more attractive than their liberal counterparts. Even HP would agree with me on that one. But Rosales seems to do alright. Hopefully there won’t be any incidents of violence at the march. Traffic is nuts today.

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