MetaReciclagem FAQ (English)

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What is MetaReciclagem

MetaReciclagem is mostly an idea. An idea about the appropriation
of technology for social transformation. The concept encompasses
various forms of action: the rebirth of donated computers into recycled
labs using free software and the creation of environments through the
Internet where information circulates freely, as well as every type of
experimentation and strategic and operational support for socially
engaged projects.

I got it. MetaReciclagem is a nonprofit organization?

Not really. MetaReciclagem is not an NGO. At the end of 2003, when
the actions of MetaReciclagem started to gather pace, we thought about
creating an NGO. However the
obligation to take collective decisions, giving everyone equal voting
rights and the right to veto whatever their level of participation in
the project, the need to give a 'proper name' to everyone and the
requirements to document every little thing we wanted to do made us
lose the desire to go formal. Another doubt we had was how could we use
a name created collectively by tens of people that did not necessarily
want to become formally involved in a organised institution without
losing the support of those whose only participation in the project was
to send a link a month. The long discussion on this subject was one of
the main reasons Projeto Meta:Fora got emptied, and we gave up

So you're an "independent collective"?

At the beginning, we thought we could be classified as an independent
collective. But later we saw independent, anarchist, libertarian
collectives, reproduce that typical 20th Century behavior: people
uniting around a name and using that name to separate the "us" from
"them". The result was the continuation of competitiveness and a
political game in a form that is not like us. We rejected this
classification also.

So, you are, actually, a group that defends digital inclusion!

This is contraversial. I personally, disapprove the concept
of digital inclusion. But, ok, many MetaReciclagem actions can be
placed in the context of digital inclusion. However, I don´t think we
can state this as our objective. Our objective is the reappropriation of technology for social transformation.
This is so vague that it perhaps cannot be called an objective in
reality. But that´s life, sometimes we don´t have names for things that
do exist.

But you do create telecenters, don't you?

One can say so. But since many telecentre projects can be defined as
joining up a load of computers, connecting them to the internet and
then thinking the work is done , we prefer to talk about the creation
of networks as part of what we've been calling ConecTAZes.

So, what the hell are you?

Actually, the problem lies in that question. It's not that we are MetaReciclagem. We are, instead, people that do MetaReciclagem. This group emerged in a decentralized way from
the net. It wasn't like a gathering of wise people that created a
group, but people that got together because they had interests and
perspectives alike. I mean, MetaReciclagem is a methodology, a name
that some people use to define and identify a
way of handling technology, and that aims re-appropriation of
technology for social transformation. MetaReciclagem, structurally, is
more of a 'bottom-up' movement, which means it is open for whoever
wants to take part. For this reason MetaReciclagemdoes not have a
headquarters, but spores:
people who do MetaReciclagemin a place. Other people come to know
MetaReciclagem and decide to do it in some another place. It is not
necessary to pass through a long process of approval for this, its
enough to talk with everyone on the mailing list and you are ready.

Hmm... think I get it. But how do I become a MetaRecycler?

If you are sufficiently interested to have read up to here, it is
well possible that you already are a metarecycler. You only need to
call the things you do MetaRecycling and tell us. The traditional way of doing this is to subscribe to the mailing list. If you want to go further and create a spore of MetaReciclagem, have a look at the script. That's it.