Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).
In 1968, Stewart Brand founded an alternative information service and distribution system within a single publication, called the Whole Earth Catalog. Influenced by the work of Buckminster Fuller, the catalog developed into an extensive reference tool for designing the environment, living spaces, and new media practices. In sections titled “Understanding Whole Systems,” “Shelter and Land Use,” “Communications,” “Community,” and “Nomadics,” the catalog publicized a compendium of useful resources, with a primary focus on books. Drawing from the holdings of the MoMA Library, this exhibition surveys many of these publications and gives a history of the catalog itself.
Is there a new anti-intellectualism? I mean one that is advocated by Internet geeks and some of the digerati. I think so: more and more mavens of the Internet are coming out firmly against academic knowledge in all its forms. This might sound outrageous to say, but it is sadly true.
Robert David STEELE Vivas: Digerati are not geeks. They are adept at social media, a process, rather than the substance of any discipline. Their scorn for the mandarins of knowledge would not be possible if academia had not lost its soul, sanctioned massive intellectual corruption, and fragmented itself to the point of irrelevance. The serious educational literature (not something the digerati read) is clear: inspiration and innovation
emerge faster, better, and cheaper from minds that are prepared, to include a foundation of memorization and a deep familiarity with the thinking of those who have come before. The digerati point of view half-right and is embodied in Smart Mobs, Wisdom of the Crowd, Everything is Miscellaneous, and Maria Popova's latest thought, that “information curation is the new authorship.” The digerati approach splits the roles of originator of an idea and connector of an idea down, and assumes that “the collective” can replicate and even surpass the individual human brain, without recognizing that the whole is only as good as the sum of the part foundation plus whatever the collective adds. My own finding re Wikipedia is that the mob destroys intellectuals. My own efforts to enhance the Open Source Intelligence page there were destroyed by idiots that “assumed” that because I pointed to oss.net so much (to many of the 800 people whose work is there including the 144 that received Golden Candle Awards) I was “self-promoting.” The digerati are fragile and very shallow, and by Larry Sanger's very interesting account, a new form of neo-Luddite. The academy is corrupt and fragmented–we are in an era where all forms of organization have lost their soul and whatever semblance of philosophical context they may once have possessed. We are suffering from the Paradigms of Failure that I discussed in the pre-amble to ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (EIN, 2008). There is only one option leading to stabilization & reconstruction: INTEGRITY. The digerati aren't–as a general rule–very appreciative of holistic thinking or in-depth expertise–they are a spoiled generation badly in need of some personal suffering and exposure to global reality–IMHO.
“The nature of cyberspace is borderless and anonymous,” R. Chandrasekhara, secretary of India's telecommunications department, told a cyber security conference in London last week organised by a U.S.-based think tank, the EastWest Institute. “Governments, countries and law — all are linked to territory. There is a fundamental contradiction.”
Phi Beta Iota: The national secret intelligence communities mean well, but they are cognitively and culturally incapacitated in relation to both the global threats and the global infomation sharing and sense-making possibilities. It may just be that the solution has to come from a private sector service of common concern that can provide the integrity now lacking in governments and most corporation. Scary thought. M4IS2 is inevitable….delay is costing trillions.
Speaking at the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum, Doc talks about how power relationships work in markets vs how they should and could work. Markets are conversations, and they should be symmetrical conversations. Note his bit about how the language of marketing parallels the language of slavery….and the part where all their cookies end up giving them 50% completely wrong information.
The following thoughts were inspired by one of Zeynep Tufekci’s recent posts entitled “Faster is Different” on her Technosociology blog. Zeynep argues “against the misconception that acceleration in the information cycle means would simply mean same things will happen as would have before, but merely at a more rapid pace. So, you can’t just say, hey, people communicated before, it was just slower. That is wrong. Faster is different.”
I think she’s spot on and the reason why goes to the heart of complex systems behavior and network science. “Combined with the reshaping of networks of connectivity from one/few-to-one/few (interpersonal) and one-to-many (broadcast) into many-to-many, we encounter qualitatively different dynamics,” writes Zeynep. In a very neat move, she draws upon “epidemiology and quarantine models to explain why resource-constrained actors, states, can deal with slower diffusion of protests using ‘whack-a-protest’ method whereas they can be overwhelmed by simultaneous and multi-channel uprisings which spread rapidly and ‘virally.’
Phi Beta Iota: Concentrations of power create preconditions for revolution. Precipitants (such as burning monks or fruit vendors) ignite masses. The public is a power no government can repress forever. Howard Zinn (RIP) knew the public is a power government cannot repress; Vaclav Havel spoke to this (power of the powerless); Jonathan Schell documented it most ably (unconquerable world). Bottom line: With a tiny handful of exceptions, all governments have lost legitimacy and capability at the same time that the public is increasingly aware of the shocking injustices by banks and predatory corporations that have been legalized by governments. Patrick Meier's discussion is a significant contribution to our understanding of why a global revolution is inevitable and panarchy will replace “sovereignty” as the primary operating principle for Earth.