So hacker-philanthropist Pilgrim spent a week in Uganda evaluating the charitable efficacy of Johnny Long's Hackers for Charity. The evaluation is hugely positive, and HFC is an excellent target for those of you who believe humanitarian efforts in Africa are a good philanthropic effort.
I personally could not care less about humanitarian efforts in Africa, but I still think the hacking community should heavily support Johnny's charity work. The reason for this is of strategic importance for hackers. Equatorial nations are going to skyrocket in importance with some upcoming developments in materials science. It is of the upmost importance to the community that it maintains a presence in equatorial Africa that is well-liked by the local populace, particularly in the nations of Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia.
Even if APM (atomically precise manufacturing) does not appear in our lifetimes (it almost certainly will) vapor phase deposition processes are improving to the point where soon we will be able to make carbon nanotubes of an arbitrary length. When this happens it is only a matter of time before someone uses them to connect objects in space to the Earth. This is called a space elevator. Space elevators have to be placed perfectly at the equator, or the wobble introduced from the centripetal force of the Earth's rotation will destroy whatever is at the upper end of the cable.
There are 14 countries along the equator. Some of these nations are architecturally bad choices. For example, the Maldives are coral islands and would eventually break under the stress of the pull of an elevator. Some of these nations are bad candidates for subversion. Brazil, as the Earth's 7th largest economy, is too big to sufficiently influence in our favor. It will build its own space elevator, and eventually become a global superpower as a result. Gabon has already been brought under the influence of a group of venture capitalists (given which group it is, probably for the same purpose I am thinking of here) with far more resources and political power than we will be able to muster. After examining the political and economic realities of equatorial nations, the only ones that seem reasonable for us to build influence in are the three I named above.
I have for years been speaking of the need for a hacker state. Hackers are the most persecuted people on the planet. The United Kingdom is now upping sentences for computer crime to life. Many hackers have been forced into suicide or murdered by state authorities. As the global population of hackers is really quite small, realistic estimates are that we are talking a casualty rate of 0.1%, and between two and three percent of us have been wrongfully imprisoned. If hackers were an ethnic group, the UN would be declaring a humanitarian crisis. Hackers are a nation unto themselves, and the world powers are unwilling to respect our liberties. It is time for an organized exodus to new territories.
In my private speeches on this issue I have repeatedly highlighted the importance of an equatorial location. The reason is that with the advent of APM, physical structures become merely an echo of data structures. Certain things are possible on the equator that are not possible elsewhere. Not just space elevators, but OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion). When APM is a reality, constructing these things will be a dirt-cheap software engineering problem. The hacking community must begin placing communities in equatorial nations immediately.
Johnny Long's presence in Uganda is buying our community a lot of goodwill among the Ugandan people. His compound is located by Jinja, on the shore of Lake Victoria, meaning you can swim south from his house to get to the equator. This is an ideal strategic location for hackers to develop a presence. The other place we really need to be is in coastal Somalia, between Jamaame and Kismaayo. HFC is a charity that urgently needs a lot of assistance. Those hackers that hold jobs at major technology and financial firms should encourage their corporate entities to cut much larger checks.