14 Memories from my ICANN Fellowship Experience

P.S: Allow sometime for the Gif to Load 🙂 

1. My reaction when I finally made it to the Fellowship List! anigif_enhanced-buzz-14062-1386449562-12Source: gifmeuppp.tumblr.com

It was not Singapore, It was not London but it was Los Angeles!

2. First, Thanks to Joseph for the support and BCD travel for booking window seats in Emirates.anigif_enhanced-buzz-13421-1374711194-0Source: ladydean82.tumblr.com

And for Coordinating and managing all our travel trips!

3. And Thanks to Jet Lag. ErrGIF-Wake-up-earlySource: gifsec.com

4. Kidding, The first day morning I  was like..tumblr_inline_nbyydqRHOn1ss32phSource: whatshouldamigoscallme.tumblr.com

5. And when Fadi Chehade delivered his opening ceremony speech to an audience of over 2000 it was WOW!Goose_BumpsSource: kidsdiscover.com

6. When everyone said the ICANN ecosystem is complex and it takes New comers sometime to get used to it, I was confident of proving everyone wrong. 20Source: weheartit.com

7. At the end of a long day, when we finally understood something.anigif_enhanced-buzz-12150-1386451785-18Source: gifbay.com

Oh Yes, This is Impressive!

8. Finally! Music Night happened and Mama J set the floor on Fire!anigif_enhanced-buzz-31573-1414781263-19Source: Youtube.com


9. The next day morning! 355Source: replygif.net

10. Guided by our level headed mentor Sarah, Who kept us “Sane”, We all bonded together and formed a formidable force called SMACK. 549477756_188721Source: blingee.com

From Left to Right: Marilia, Carlton, Osama, Sarah, Krishna, Aida and Random Penguin.

11. We were tired but we were determined and passionate to learn more from the sessions.  11Source: tumblr.com

12. And on the last day I was like,

8_8Source: giphy.com

Naah, I am not emotional.

13. ICANN is a Family            output_re50YSSource: Omars Cam and Credits to the humble soul who clicked this moment

(Moving on to some serious stuff) Having been a beneficiary of the open internet, My primary motive to attend an ICANN Fellowship meeting was because I believe in the concept of one Internet and wanted to get a firsthand experience on how the medium I love functions with its unique Multistakeholder model. To me, the Multistakeholder model is the logical enhancement to any democratic society. I see it as the next step to evolve from the age-old top-down decision making process that has consciously kept people away while making key decisions that affect everyone. Looking back, the first thing I remember is the Ice breaker mail from Janice and warm wishes from the ICANN returning fellows into the community which I found very welcoming. I got free consultation from alumnus Edwin (ICANN 50) and Zakir (ICANN 49) on what to expect and how to prepare for the fellowship. When I had no clue on filling the bank forms and other details, Kwasi immediately sent a mail and helped me with it. Once I got introduced to my mentor and team, there was no looking back. We were able to collaborate via mail and discuss on issues and our expectations from the ICANN meet. Our Mentor Sarah constantly sent us mails with links to study materials to ensure we weren’t getting laid back in our approach.

When I had to figure out my stay for the additional day, Valentina pitched in with airbnb suggestions and Seun with his own room. However, I landed 8 hours earlier than Seun and still had to find a place to hangout. I met Sonam when he was going through the Hotel address in Super Shuttle and that was enough for us to get acquainted. He offered me his room for the time being, which I accepted with no second thoughts. Here I am talking about people with whom I had no previous interaction and had no time to build any form of trust but the fact that I have been chosen for this fellowship was sufficient enough for them to trust and help me. It was a reflection of trust that they have on ICANN, more than me, which I found beautiful.

Over the week, right from the Hotel staff who helped me find my way each time I was lost to Steve Crocker, who was kind enough to answer our questions and pose multiple times to our photo requests, I met humble people who were willing to spend time and share their knowledge with the community. I was left overwhelmed by the amount of effort that every member has put in from their free time to participate and keep the Internet together, Very much in line with the ethos of Internet that has fueled its growth so far. I feel the ICANN Fellowship is an opportunity that was presented to me at the right time that has not only broadened my understanding on how the Internet functions but has also helped me figure out on where I would fit in and how I can contribute back to the community.

To sum it up, my first ICANN meeting was all about the wonderful people I got to meet from all around the world. Be it the long walk to Beverly Hills or drinking Pumpkin beer and uttering sentence that made no sense or the wonderful book that I got as gift or Visiting Bj’s frequently and nagging their staff for a separate bill for everyone or the secret lunch that was arranged by our anonymous friend or winning the Foosball game during Music night or the random moment when I ended up throwing Ice cubes on a bowl of fire, There was never a second I regretted during the ICANN meet. We bonded and made wonderful memories together, hence I stand firm with my heading – ICANN is a family. Like every family, ICANN too is not perfect, it is complicated. However, it has people who understand Internet, who love Internet, who have worked for Internet all their lives and people who will pass on that knowledge to us to Keep the Internet as One and that is what I believe powers the whole Multistakeholder model which I am proud to be a part of.

Note: I did attend the scheduled sessions based on my interest from 7 AM – 6 PM, details of which are still being processed inside my head and kept confidential 😉

14. This post is dedicated to our wonderful Mama J. MAMA J Credits: Omar (Our unofficial Photographer!)

Thank you so much for taking care of us and this wonderful Experience!

In the age of Transhumanism, Giving up your data is giving up your Mind

We are perhaps the last generation of humans standing on the boundary drawn between humans and their upgraded versions, analyzing and debating on how we make a successful and ethical transition to our upgraded version “the H+”. While many ethical questions remain on dehumanizing the human race, it is good to take care of our available rights from the beginning to avoid absolute submission when the transition takes place.

Our lives are digitized, what we type, what we speak, what we read, what we shop, every minute detail gets digitized and stored forever, with companies creating more and more variations of handheld personal assistants, voice assistants and wearable gadgets that can monitor our interactions, health and enhance our thinking capabilities, It is imperative that we keep a track of what we share on these proprietary platforms that give complete control to its creator, irrespective of the amount that we pay to own them.

Source: http://we-are-star-stuff.tumblr.com/post/67421764327/outreachscience-what-is-transhumanism

In the age of transhumanism, giving up your data is giving up your mind, When Eric Schmidt, proudly says,

We can suggest what you should do next, what you care about. Imagine: We know where you are, we know what you like

he means the unquestioned submission by the human race under the false perception of control over themselves and their devices. As the convergence of humans, internet and electronics take place, it is this exclusive access to our mind, taken out through the Internet and passed on to authority that is of serious concern.

With no laws to govern the Internet, no rights to be protected, the internet leaves its users more vulnerable than ever, to be plundered by data miners, big data analysts, government spy agencies and MNCs that for now play by the line of doing good. In the age of Transhumanism, when our digital profiles across platforms get consolidated, we are at the risk of allowing ourselves to be governed by one mind that takes control of all these developments.

As Bruce Schneier puts it,

For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.

Take Control. Share Wisely.

Top Three Favourite speeches

Carl Sagan: You Are Here

In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

Mario Savio: Operation of the machine

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel! Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

Internet is the new Oil; Your Liberty is its payment.

Dear People,

Even before we realize the power of Internet, It is being usurped by various interest groups that never project themselves in the mainstream. Be it the ITU, Independent UN body, Individual governments etc. the main focus is on who gets to control the Internet.
As we share our contents everyday, “like” our friends statuses and comment on photographs, there are organizations that project themselves as saviors of internet and get support from similar organizations and form a network within themselves. They then negotiate with governments across the world to push for their policies. It gets deeper and more sophisticated every year as we turn a blind eye to whats happening around us.

Everything happens secretly and without considering public opinion. They don’t consider public opinion because it has been that way all the time. They are pretty sure that we will accept everything in the name of law and act civilized within the set of rules framed by them. Which in other words is “Liberty” in real world.  The freedom that we enjoy in the virtual medium is slowly but skillfully being pushed in to a closed cage by projecting  “terrorism” “cyber war” “abuse” etc. as our immediate threats.


Too soon, we will have balloons flying over our heads, white spaces penetrating trees and mountains, providing seamless connectivity, access, interactions, etc. Everything at the cost of our “Liberty”.

The dark age for internet is over. The Internet experiment is now moving to its next phase and it can be even more darker if we don’t act now.
The real concern is in allowing people to handle power by themselves.
Let us do something. 


“How long do we expect rational people to accept using terrorism to justify and excuse endless executive and state power?”- Actor John Cusack

“Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.”
– Noam Chomsky

Survival of the Fittest and Chronic Capitalism

The theory in question is a famous one, taught in schools, colleges, portrayed in movies, at work places and everywhere where there is cut throat competition. Interestingly, in many cases it has been associated with violence, merciless behavior and racist activities.
But can that be the only interpretation of a theory that was based on evolution and not extinction ?


Well, It could have had other interpretations as well, had a group of people who identified themselves as “Social Darwinist” in the early 1900s not force-fitted it to suit their arguments.  The Social Darwinist used this to support their argument on eugenics, which meant weaker races will be eliminated to make way for races which they presumed to be stronger.  In the days that followed, the usage of phrase “Survival of the fittest” increased together with chronic capitalism which then went on to enslave every continent by demolishing all morals and suffocating other smaller businesses till they gave up.  Diversity lost its respect and indigenous groups were marginalized, world over fashion, design, art, movies, music etc started to have the same definition with the shining symbol of capitalism on top of them.


Further looking back, Humans have always been entertained by sides which fight or compete with each other in wars, sports, work etc.. where people, divided by belief systems support their teams that is part of their ideologies and test their strength. Again the phrase “Survival of the fittest” was force-fitted to suit these adrenaline bursts. We still see such statements floating round during football, cricket and other major tournaments were teams with conflicting belief systems compete.

There has never been a major sporting event were people irrespective of race, color, country, play as humans together, cooperate and complete a task. What will happen if we replace competition with cooperation ?
What will happen if all space agencies from around the world work together on a space exploration program instead of working separately as NASA, ISRO, CNSA, DLR and etc…? What will happen if all scientists cooperate and work together to answer all the humanities grave questions ? What will happen if all countries irrespective of borders cooperate and share resources equally and help each other ?

Will we be extinct ? Will we be losing our natural resources? Will it be hard to sustain humans in this planet?

For sure, The interpretation of the phrase “Survival of the fittest” will lose its meaning and get a new one which would emphasis on Co-Existence. Co-Existence of  people who respect each others differences, embrace nature, animals and promote peace. “Survival of the fittest” would mean the person who can cooperate and co-exist , the one who is mentally “fit” to let go of violence, to further the existence of human race and mother nature, together.

What will be extinct are the Numerous wars, Ideas of Imperialism, Racism, Ideas of Eugenics and finally Capitalism.

Let it crumble – peacefully.

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.
Charles Darwin

Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off. — Franklin D. Roosevelt