[HacktionLab] A small hackers event in Croatia ...

Patrice Riemens patrice at xs4all.nl
Thu Jan 4 12:31:59 UTC 2018

Nisi Se Nece Dogoditi - Nothing Will Happen Here
Moravice (.hr), December 22-24, 2017.

NSND is the name of a small hackers meet happening every year since 2006 
just before Christmas, in Moravice, something of a ghost town 90 km 
North-east of Rijeka in Croatia.

NSND is typical of the sort of gathering I prefer to attend these days, 
like HacktionLab's BarnCamp or an upcoming TransHackMeeting - I don't 
want to go to big events anymore.

The attendance at a NSND meet hovers between 25 and 40, and this year it 
was on the low end. People come from all over former Yugoslavia (still a 
majority Croatian, and not all former republics are represented), plus a 
few incidental foreigners, like me. The brain behind is is Marcell 
'kiber komunist' Mars, but it is in fact a very informal and horizontal 

It is also very informally organized. There is no schedule prepared in 
advance and also no sessions, workshops, lectures and the such. Just 
kinds of morning and afternoon get-together around a theme selected out 
of proposals put forward, with people free to attend - or not.

There was for instance an interesting American itinerant hacker, vaguely 
based in NYC, who treated us on a much simpler world without Java [1] - 
and without mouse for good measure [2]. Marcell spoke at length about an 
interesting library (?) project, one making use of (rewritten) Java this 
time, but it was in Croatian, so I didn't get it. From another 
participants I learned interesting things about psychiatry (he was what 
the Dutch call 'an expert out of experience' - on both sides of the 
divan) Main point was that any psychiatric 'problem' to be treated 
without drugs, the latter being for the benefit of society, not for that 
of the patient. I could not agree more.

My own proposal for some exchange of viewpoints around the current 
cryptos/blockchain hype was shelved, thanks G..., as it had been a 
recurrent theme at previous meetings, and there was a consensus of sorts 
that the whole affair was built on hot air (what the French would call 
'une usine a gaz'). I showed Ine Poppe's 'Hippies from Hell' 2003 
documentary instead - kinda 'when we were young' nostalgia excursion.

Digs were in the dorms of the local technical college, as usual - in 
double rooms, but they let me alone to nurture a severe cold. Which was 
vanquished in two (long) nights by the soviet-style heating system. I'm 
afraid it must have absorbed the major part of the 13€ a night each of 
us paid for the accommodation.

When we were not assembled in the big 'conference' attic, socializing, 
and eating/drinking, took place in the strangely named cafe restaurant 
'Ramayana'. There is nothing Indian about the joint, only an owner who 
was at lost for a sufficiently long name. The food was tasty and dirt 
cheap (somehow Croatia produces the best vegetarian meat substitute), 
and so was the beer - though the true drink of record at NSNDs is 
home-brew Schnapps, supplied every year by a local participant in one 
liter mineral water bottles.

So it was a very pleasant winter break again, my second attendance of 
NSND, the previous one was three or four years ago in my remembrance, 
but rather anything between seven and ten according to a few seasoned 
participants. Enyvej, now that I live in Italy, i.e. next door (580 km, 
total travel costs by train+bus+train  from Firenze € 42 each way) I 
will - insha'allah - certainly attend to go next year!

Two mild points of criticism. Bad gender ratio, and (as a consequence?) 
women not coming forward to speak; and people arriving till quite far in 
the event (say on Saturday afternoon) with others leaving early (on 
Saturday evening).

But for sure nothing may happen at NSNDs [3], yet there is never a 
boring moment! (one can always take a walk on the 'woutside' of this 
demoted railway town, whose majority Serbian population 'left' during 
the last phase of the break-up of Yugoslavia ...)

[1] thomaslevine.com
[2] 'keynav'
[3] Every now and then a few more NSNDs have been held, and possibly 
will be held in future, in other parts of ex-YU, mostly in Macedonia (on 
the shores of Lake Ohrid).

Fiesole December 4, 2017

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