13. Excerpt from the indie lens manifesto

Courtesy of the Museum of the Before.

Over the last decade, lenses have become a ubiquitous part of the human experience. Vendors like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and the Menlo Park Corporation have all produced their own entrants into the market, but it is ultimately the latter that has taken hold. With its seamless ease of use and lightning fast cloud architecture, it’s easier to think with a lens than without it.

However, while the concept of the lens has transformed how we live and do business, we believe this centralized architecture for lenses is deeply problematic. The Menlo Park Corporation essentially knows the whereabouts of every person on earth. Furthermore, only they are privy to the source code that powers the lens, and therefore are the only entity that understands the full working of devices directly fused to the brains of 87% of adults in the United States alone.

The indie lens movement suggests another way. We want a world where we retain the full utility of the lens but control every aspect of its use; where each lens can be audited for security and privacy. We want full ownership of the devices grafted to our brains, rather than ceding control of our frontal cortex to a multinational corporation. Our thought processes should not be subjugated to business strategies or profits. We, as humans, deserve to have full domain over our bodies, our thoughts, and our reasoning.

We are not alone. Our research indicates that the vast majority of lens users are worried about the privacy and sovereignty of their thought processes. The headlines indicate that society is indelibly moving in a direction of true openness. The indie lens movement seeks to create cohesive action and provide a focal point for these energies.

We demand cognitive software and hardware that adheres to the following freedoms:

The freedom to build and run a lens for any purpose.

The freedom to fully understand how a lens, its underlying software, and its supporting services work - and to modify it however you see fit.

The freedom to distribute copies of the original, and of your modifications.

In tandem with this manifesto, we are releasing the first truly decentralized, private lens. It will be owned by nobody. It will be profited from by nobody. Its plans will be open sourced, so it can be manufactured, installed, and supported by anybody. There will be no boards or management or shareholders. It will simply be built by a co-operative collective in service of the public good.

This is the first day of the open, decentralized lens. This is the first day of a move away from corporate power over our brains and towards a world bound together by co-operative thought. This is the first day of true freedom in the cognitive computing era.

We’re excited for you to join us on our journey.

~ Let X