In IT, we’re living in a bubble. Compared to others we have good working conditions. We learned to complain about tiny things. We’re running disputes on which framework is better or worse. We even do heated discussions around new language syntax. It’s a gigantic bubble. Bubbles tend to burst.
We believe that technology is objective. AI and Machine learning will serve us only good and won’t gather our biases, right? I’m afraid that’s not the case.
Some of us believe that we can create a safe zone in our work without politics. We think we’re building the World Wide Web without boundaries and national prejudices. Globalisation unifies us. You can buy iPhones around the world.
Unfortunately, it’s only wishful thinking. It’s easier to build a bubble and ignore what’s outside. It’s comfortable to forget that world is changing, and those changes will get us all.
Last week brutal attack from Russia came to Ukraine. A country that, step by step, was evolving and building its independence painstakingly. They have a strong IT industry with a lot of talented people. It’s hard to give any pragmatic reason for such a cruel move besides creating war games to hide internal Russian issues. Unfortunately, this is not a game. It’s also not a movie, even though that may look like from the comfortable couch. This madness needs to stop, and we need to do it now. Living in Poland, I know that we can be next if Putin won’t be stopped.
Of course, life has different shades of grey. For instance, our Polish-Ukraine relations went through extreme ups and downs. My grandparents were born where now is Ukraine and previously was Polish territory. Ukraine was on the wrong side of WWII. My family suffered. Yet, do I have doubts that we should help Ukraine? No, I’m 100% sure that we should do everything we can to help as much as possible. Sometimes the only way to fight with the bully is to “outbully” them.
How can you help?
- You can make donations, even without getting up from your couch. Most humanitarian organisations are gathering help, e.g. Red Cross or Ukrainian organisation. Refugees are lacking even basic stuff like food, blankets, etc. You can find organisations gathering all of that and bringing it to them.
- A patient drop cuts through the rock. Put pressure on your company (or those that you’re a customer) to drop any connection to Russian money. You can always ask how they’re planning to react and if they’re aligned with sanctions. Don’t be afraid to stand up.
- If you know Ukrainian people, ask if you could help. If not, then ask your friends if they know someone. We have to be united.
It will be a long run. Ukraine will need continuous help for a long time. So prepare yourself.
It’s also important to watch carefully, as our world is changing. I wrote some time ago that the split for IT and business is obsolete, as now IT is business. The same applies to war. IT is an important aspect here. Weapons are already filled with chips and software. Two hundred years ago, Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote that “The pen is mightier than the sword”. IT may be already mightier than a rocket. Cambridge Analytica already impacted the USA president’s elections and Brexit. And that’s just a proven case. Have you heard about the geopolitics issue with processors production? Do you remember that a single company (Cloudflare) created that Internet was practically not working for a few hours? Luckily Anonymous decided to be on the right side, but will they always be like that? Beware of the fake news and misinformation. They’re also weapons now. Don’t reshare what you see on the Internet without verification, as this may help Russians.
And lastly, if you don’t stand up, then who will? We don’t always can do much, I’m also feeling powerless, but even a small impact is an impact.
Last but not least.
Russia, shame on you! The world will remember that.
Ukraine, stay strong! Слава Україні!