from the raising-visibility dept
I've discovered that people who have never met Peter tend to be very quick to jump to conclusions about him -- almost always entirely incorrect. Amusingly, when I first met him, a few years back in Berlin, he and I were sitting in "the green room" of a conference right before a panel that he was supposed to be on. All of the other panelists on his panel had entered the room and were discussing the panel across the room, without knowing that Peter was sitting right there talking to me. So they started talking about him, and someone explained that "the pirates now hate Peter, because he switched to the other side with Flattr." Of course, nothing is further from the truth. This was never about "sides" but about reality. Peter has always been incredibly focused on recognizing what reality is and trying to respond to reality -- rather than making up artificial boundaries and pretending a fake world must exist where it does not. I'm not sure how well that will play in actual political situations, but it would be great to see what would happen.
The one bit that surprises me, frankly, about the decision to do this via the Pirate Party is that, in the past, Peter has actually distanced himself from The Pirate Party in the past, saying that he preferred other parties, such as the Swedish Green Party. Either way, in my limited experience with him, Peter has always been one of the most perceptive and thoughtful commenters on the state of technology and its impact on society and culture. I've come away from our conversations feeling like I understood a lot more about the world than when the talks started. I recognize that for many who come with pre-conceived notions, it will be easy to try to dismiss him, but for those willing to take a chance and see what he actually has to say, there is tremendous value in hearing what he has to say -- and in a political world, it would be great to see what he could accomplish.
That said, there is the outstanding matter of the ruling against him -- and the fact that he's been sentenced to jail, though it's still never been made clear when or how he will be expected to serve that sentence. I would imagine that somehow, that issue would need to be clarified if his candidacy actually gets any real momentum.