The Land of Conservatives


Slovenia is the land of extreme conservatism. I was reminded of this fact by the on-going debate about the imminent closure of a local hacker space Kiberpipa. I was never intimately involved with Kiberpipa, but I was close enough to observe its development over the years. More so because both founders and most early members of Zemanta stem from its circle. Kiberpipa started as initiative of twenty-somethings in 2000, but in the last thirteen years, these twenty-somethings grew bellies, beards, and bitterness, only to become thirty-somethings with jobs and families, ... and fond memories about their youthful activism. Unfortunately (and as it's so often the case in Slovenia) they could never let go of their creation and let younger generations take over. Each time I attended an event at Kiberpipa over the past couple of years, I had a great time and I'm very grateful to all the volunteers for the experience. But I couldn't help myself noticing that students are not in attendance and that audience is getting older with each passing year. We, the old people, like to spend our time with people younger than us. They invigorate us and keep us youthful. But young people, they are suppressed by our sheer presence. If we want them to take over responsibility for our society, we shouldn't just step away, we should go away! Kiberpipa had its space in a student community center. With its allure to students fading, it was about last time for the student community to throw the Kiberpipa out and make room for something new. I'm pretty sure this push will be beneficial to Kiberpipa and its followers, too. Either Kiberpipa will transform to something new or its followers will be finally forced to admit they've become old and mainstream.

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