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1. Abstract

Social Geometry Experiment 2008/11/13
Questions :
- Can the network and pervasive communication technologies (internet, RFID, internet of things...) bring a positive change to democracry, and perhaps take us to the next political system?
- Can science thinking (cybernetics, actor network theory ...) can be a reliable intellectual basis for the conceptualization of a panarchy while protecting individual freedom and security?


Participants
Jorge Guberte : Graphic designer, programmer, militant, young father.
Rui Guerra : Artist, programmer, art activist and event organiser.
Adam Weymouth : Human Ecologist, sociologist.
Ben Lesur : Writer
Cesar Harada : Designer
you, please join the conversation.


Random conversations.
Adam Weymouth to Cesar
open architecture isn’t a term i have come across before, but it very much fits in with my areas of interest, and the practice of human ecology. like human ecology, open architecture seems to be something so complex in it’s holistic approach, yet so simple that really we knew it all along. that it is coming full circle to relearn how it is to interact with the world in a truly human way.

the paradox you speak of – yearning for a community coupled with unprecedented social mobility – is something that fascinates me. it seems increasingly necessary to think about new ways of defining and structuring community in our world. this is what interests me about the fluid community of journeys – can be defined as communitas – a community without a connection to place. new ways of structuring community are increasingly vital as we prepare to adapt to the changes that the world is going to undergo. this is the ethos of the transition towns movement, and of human ecology. i’m excited to explore how open sailing facilitates the construction of such a
community.

when nikloos talks about ‘a true public space, or more precisely a private space that is shared’, i’m interested to see also how such a builing (if i can call it that?) as open sailing with become a public space. how can it interact not just with those who live in it, but everyone that interacts with it on it’s journey. like i disussed in my previous email, this is where previous journeys like the climate caravan that i was on failed – we considered only our own private community. i think it’s vital to explore how the project can engage those that it passes. my vision would be a series of popular education workshops (popular education being founded on similar principles, whereby there are only teacher-students and student-teachers, who learn together in an iterative process. rather than the dominant person filling the heads of his students with knowledge, they develop and create something together that is not determined at the outset of the education – very much in line with open architecture).

you ask if i’d be interested in inventing a social model for you. i feel this is not in the spirit of either open architecture or human ecology. i do have experience in facilitating community development, and i’m sure this could be useful, but i think the ways of interacting would evolve organically. most of my work has been done around non-hierarchical methods of organising, and working on consensus decision making. i can explain this way of working if it’s not familiar to you, and i think it can be extremely beneficial in forming well connected groups, dealing with problems of power, and getting everyone’s voice heard. however, beyond that i think any way of interacting will develop as the journey progresses. the best thing we can do is be open to it, observe it, and then think what we might alter for the next time. any documenting of the community on the boat would take this sort of direction, i think.

i’m attaching my dissertation – i guess you don’t have much time for reading but have a look through if you get the chance – it should give you an idea about human ecology, and about my interest in the importance of journeys and the communities they form. (ir’s saved as a word doc so i hope it opens ok - i don’t have the pdf on this computer. let me know if you can’t open it and i’ll resend it later)
http://www.opensailing.net/download/20090713protest_as_pilgrimage/

so yes, i think it sounds extremely exciting, and a great way to explore the areas that i’m interested in. logistically, i’m fairly
busy until the end of august, so wouldn’t be able to get out to austria until the start of september. does that sound ok? if you’re
interested in talking about how we can work together and take this further, then drop me an email and we can discuss ideas.

Rui Guerra to Cesar about Multitude, Agonistic model
You are probably right when you say that my background is based on a “monotheist culture.” Indeed, one theory or methodology that englobes different people with different opinions does appeal to me. Why do we need such theory (”philosophy”)? Well maybe we don’t. Probably is possible and desirable to realize projects based on a multitude of theories. Although, I must admit that is extremely difficult to describe such projects to other people. Maybe the necessity for an englobing theory is related with the need to verbalize and communicate your ideas and methodologies.I must reiterate that by no means I believe to be possible to have any pure  system of whatsoever. Purely distributed, purely open, purely democratic, etc, those are the utopias that both of us are eager to avoid. That said, there is a need to find terms to describe the social structures that arise from distributed froms of collaborations. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri use the term “Multitute” to name these emerging forms of social organization (think of open source for example) and they describe it as “different people who act in common and collaborate, without denying their differences, freedom or autonomy.”I’m also interested in the “agonistic model” as described by Chantal Mouffe, where “the public space is the battleground where different hegemonic projects are confronted, without any possibility of final reconciliation.” While describing collaborations it is common to fall into harmonious exchanges where all disagreements are resolved. The reality is often very different. Conflict is an indicator of a diversity of opinions which when accepted, they can be channelled positively. In open events and in some open source projects (think git) agreements are not necessary for the development of the project. Participants do not have to agree and in fact their different approaches leads to a diversity that is essential for a dynamic system.I’m mentioning these concepts because I believe that open sailing is in its very nature an open collaborative social effort. Sooner or later, questions will arise and it is important to fundament your methodology not only with your personal experience but also with relevant political/philosophical theories.
You are probably right when you say that my background is based on a “monotheist culture.” Indeed, one theory or methodology that englobes different people with different opinions does appeal to me. Why do we need such theory (”philosophy”)? Well maybe we don’t. Probably is possible and desirable to realize projects based on a multitude of theories. Although, I must admit that is extremely difficult to describe such projects to other people. Maybe the necessity for an englobing theory is related with the need to verbalize and communicate your ideas and methodologies.

I must reiterate that by no means I believe to be possible to have any pure  system of whatsoever. Purely distributed, purely open, purely democratic, etc, those are the utopias that both of us are eager to avoid. That said, there is a need to find terms to describe the social structures that arise from distributed froms of collaborations. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri use the term “Multitute” to name these emerging forms of social organization (think of open source for example) and they describe it as “different people who act in common and collaborate, without denying their differences, freedom or autonomy.”

I’m also interested in the “agonistic model” as described by Chantal Mouffe, where “the public space is the battleground where different hegemonic projects are confronted, without any possibility of final reconciliation.” While describing collaborations it is common to fall into harmonious exchanges where all disagreements are resolved. The reality is often very different. Conflict is an indicator of a diversity of opinions which when accepted, they can be channelled positively. In open events and in some open source projects (think git) agreements are not necessary for the development of the project. Participants do not have to agree and in fact their different approaches leads to a diversity that is essential for a dynamic system.

I’m mentioning these concepts because I believe that open sailing is in its very nature an open collaborative social effort. Sooner or later, questions will arise and it is important to fundament your methodology not only with your personal experience but also with relevant political/philosophical theories.

Jorge Guberte
Hiromi Ozaki about Dingpolitiks
Object Oriented Politics
Hi-ve.net

Cesar Harada about  Liquid Economy
References
Liquid modernity : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zygmunt_Bauman#Liquid_Modernity
Cryptoanarchism : http://www.activism.net/cypherpunk/crypto-anarchy.html
Redefinition of property  : http://www.renegademedia.info/books/hernando-desoto.html
Micro contract and semantics : Promiserver
Liquid economy : Cesar Harada

Cesar Harada about  open_architecture & Thermodynamics

http://www.openarchitecture.cc

Benjamin  Lesur about “the coming insurection”
To be absolutely honest, I have to say that I was waiting for this lab since the beginning…So now we have it, and I m not even sure of what I would like to say…

I´m as well very afraid of not choosing the right word to explain a situation (I´m french ), And I consider politic as a science more than a philosophy… So not being a scientist, and not having the apropriate language are two probability to look ridiculous by giving my positions. Even more when I read your dissertations guys! I guess we have some interresting people to dicuss with!

I absolutely agree with what says adam about the fact that it would be unappropriate to “inventing a social model”,

firstly because of “models” we have enough! there s no point to invent new ones, let s start to mix and apply existing ideas (correctly) in staid of dividing a bit more populations by giving them philosophical arms to disagree…and even more because the differnces that we could create would be focus on details (being french give me a sad objectivity about divisions on details , we have a perfect exemple in left side )

Im a little bit an extremist in practice but i still agree on the point that reflexion is important and that it could be dangerous to say “don t create, aply!!” But I m a wild enemy of capitalism,  libertarianismand lobbyism and i guess that more we think about new arguments, more we loose time and opportunity to give a balance (i don t even speak about remplace). Sorry but I m a manual, and there a lot of people to dream about new society , i prefer to dream about new tools.

In this way I ll join the point of Adam about “communitas”  The fact that with a constant moving community , there is a constant moving point of view, is a thruth that I would like to protect. I think that it would be strange to say”we gonna do this like this! ” in staid of “I don t know this situation, so i will try to compare it to an existing one before making a choice” That s pragmatism, and i m sure that it can only be an advantage to be pragmatic (bieng a scientist, not a philosoph again). I just would like to say that this situation can not be considered as an “unprecedented social mobility” and by not studying other system related we would loose arguments or comparative points.

Speaking about “the coming insurrection” on this website is a kind of difficult choice, but I think that anyone who wants to debate about politic today have to reserve a comment about it in his development.  and more in this blog because the first commun point of everyone involve in opensailing is to be a part of a community,and in this book, there is major argument about supporting creation of communities. I suggest everyone to download it, it s very easy to find and i leave you the work to find the language adaptated, it s starting to be traduce everywhere and it s such a simple book that even in english, if you undrestand me, you will understand easyly.

there is a lot of point that I would like to develop, but I need to prepare myself, and my dictionary, so I hope  that this is a helping comment,I just would like to answer Cesar to this question :

dont remain calm, this is where the (R -) evolution happens. I believe it is a slow process, a progressive change, i think you disagree on that, can you explain why and how change can happen in our context. Why do you think a radical change is necessary? what are the forces?

I don t think that revolution is a possibility… I think that chaos is a possibility, and I don t WANT chaos…but if this chaos happen, it s very important to be prepared, to take advantage of it.That s what I would call a “radical change” . I m really sad of it, but pragmaticly, this is necessary. Related to this point will come a lot of questions: violence? cataclism? war? What do I wait for precisely?

Of course I don´t want to see people dying, suffering, be separated! of course I wouldn t consider a cataclism or a major event like the 9/11 as a good opportunity! but I will keep on this point, let´s  compare with existing situations and adapt experience  before trying to create a idealistic solution… Revolution happen in russia because the circumpstances of revolution were present, not because the people did want a revolution. Comunism was not an answer to the russian revolution, it was an answer to russian situation. So in relief of our situation, we have to adapt our knowledge to choose what  COULD be an evolution, in staid of what we want it to be.

I can t wait to get answer, even if I m still affraid to be misunderstud, whatever, the LAB 9 is my favorite one already…

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