Friday, January 20, 2012


"the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems" - in wikipedia
Something within me seems to be recognizing patterns, something seems to be trying to get my attention and I feel the need to share. After my last updated proposal for the Upgrade Democracy testing community, I read this post from Venessa Miemis where she says:
If we’re going to go beyond just sharing links with each other to actually *helping* each other, working together, experimenting, prototyping, and adapting to changing circumstances, *we* have to first change in order to make that possible.
I’m in the process of experimenting with this firsthand, bringing people togther into an online collaboratory space, and I’ll admit – it’s not easy. We’ve got a group of ‘change agents’ who want to do things together, to form ad-hoc teams around short-term projects, make something cool happen and improve our world and our lives — but how to begin?
Each of us is a free agent, delicately riding the edge of chaos and uncertainty as we try to pave our own path. Each of us likes the sound of a peer-to-peer culture, a transition from scarcity to abundance, a move from a transactional economy to a relational economy (ht jerry michalski), and a redefinition of value and wealth. Each of us sees the promise of a new way of working, living, and Being.

And yet there is still fear.
Are you gonna steal my idea? Are you gonna follow through with your commitments? Are you gonna take the credit? Am I gonna get screwed — yet again?

This is exactly what I feel...but I would dare to say this is how other millions of people's just my intuition here speaking. Venessa describes something that I see in a lot of people and blogs around: We all like the sound of...THE SAME THINGS!!. There is indeed something in common already within those of us, and it's not just that we like the same colours or style of clothes...there is something deeper in our beings that resonates in every project around. Think about what I understand of the Occupy movement: Each person was at the same place at the same time attracted by their own very different reason and in the end, those with similar motivations got together to "specialize" in groups. There was a general "something" in the Occupy idea, that fitted in the HEARTS of so many people around the planet. No political party could do that today because we feel indoctrinated by them, we feel constrained, limited by their expectations. Occupy and that which I'm talking about, allows us to be who we want to be and allow everyone else to be in the same place with us. 

The thing is, we haven't being able to summarized "that" into a set of words and we probably shouldn't try to. I don't think it is necessary, nor possible. The key to me is here: "Each of us is a free agent, delicately riding the edge of chaos and uncertainty as we try to pave our own path" ...our own path!! it is so true!! we all have an idea, and many of us are "alone" in the process and have been for long time. A friend recently told me that his project is not moving anywhere because everybody is trying to draw attention to their own projects...I agree. So the questions are, can we, should we, is it worth merging our ideas into something bigger?? 

I think it is definitely worth the experiment. If we all have projects that, because of our deep intentions, would fit into a common bigger scenario/picture/pattern/culture/story, then can we STOP for a second and pay attention to that bigger scenario that's forming around us?? To me, the scenario is the Upgraded Democracy. And the latest news that woke me up to that realization was what's happening in the USA with the SOPA legislation which to me, by affecting USA companies that operate massively and globally, would affect those millions of users registered in their sites. It is not only about affecting the industry, the economy and the jobs, or the privacy of the USA citizens. I feel that being a Colombian, leaving in Australia with accounts with all the subject companies, immediately puts me and my information exposed to their legislation effects. This makes it a global issue, it is a piece of legislation for the global population to vote on! 
SOPA, the disastrous Internet piracy bill that has been embraced by politicians because many of them simply don’t understand its technical implications. Or, as Thomas Friedman points out, consider the absence of any substantive topic relating to technology from the Republican presidential debates. - Slate Magazine
One valid approach is to vote against it when YOU can (I say YOU because only USAnians have the rights to do it). However, that's how it's always been done. It's not only that we want that specific piece of legislation not to go ahead, it is also that we want a different way to make those sort of decisions and consider that kind of legislation. Not because a group of politicians thought that it would be a good idea, means that it should go to congress and be voted on. Intuition tells me that if it was in the hands of the citizens, that legislation would've never been even suggested, at most it would've been recognized as the  unconstitutional idea that it seems to me, not worth putting it through. Another valid approach is to demonstrate the obsolescence of the current system by creating new one(s). I have the idea that when I get sick, part of my body is fighting the illness and another part is simultaneously recording details and generating code for the next time it appears. Well, that is how I see this situation too. We are fighting by voting and spreading the word but I don't see us recording the details and generating the new code. 

A lot of our projects require very different, if not completely new social, economic and political systems. Are we creating them?? Or are we just hoping that the current ones will give us some space?? 

It is and it isn't about a "unified mind". On the one hand, we want to keep everybody doing and working in whatever they feel like it. On the other hand, there is a foundation for those projects that needs to be built and I believe that all of us should be involved in one way or another. To establish future trading between us, we need to know that they way you "behave" matches the way I "behave" but we haven't created the foundation that allows us to look for those kind of behaviours we're looking for. 

I definitely believe that we should collectively and connected move towards an Upgraded Democracy and in the process I foresee both swift and deep trust  building. To me, that move is part of, if not the, foundation I'm looking for. Let's start with something small, anything. Anything that requires us to make decisions...literally anything. I have an idea/example: As a Colombian, I used to ignore the fact that USAnians are called, and call themselves Americans. Now, I can't ignore it any more. As another American I feel neglected. In a way, it translates to how I perceive the treatment that the US government gives to everything south from their borders. I assume that for most people that is just something they grew up with, they've been taught that way and never had the thought of ignoring and neglecting, it has happened unconsciously for many. Now I would like to ask you to make the conscious decision to acknowledge and recognize the presence of all other Americans by calling yourselves USAnians, or similar, and letting others know about your conscious decision. How do we go about something simple like that to make a decision and act upon it?? Regardless of whether you agree with me or not in the first place, I'm proposing this as piece of legislation. How do we go about it?? 

Even more basic question, if we agree on building that foundation where all of us and our projects would live, how do we decide on our first step? How do we decide if that foundation is Upgrade(d) Democracy or something else??

More to come....

No comments:

Post a Comment