Referring to Vadian has trapped me in thinking more about the
initiative I proposed and which was responded to by some of you.
One of the themes that came up during our last Metaphorum meeting and
which in fact has been a constant in all meetings is the relation
between cybernetics and politics and the governance of the "city".
Why could it not be possible that we of the Metaphorum group don't
start ourselves to experiment with the tension between participation
and representation that underlies democratic political activities?
Naturally this leads me to think about the how? As nowadays the
tension between participation and representation is mediated
literally by the electronic media, by the tension between the virtual
and the real, the experiment should also include the use of these
media. The strength of a syntegration is that it is done by real
people in face to face debates, discussions and dialogues.
Syntegration sessions only can be partially "virtualized" when at
least the persons involved have had the experience of this live
encounter. But as one could look at the participants of the
syntegration as representatives of Statements of Importance,
virtuality can be used to come to the Statements of Importance and
their champions. Even the Topic Auction can be done virtually.
This as a background for the following proposal.
Let us start with a Problem Jostle using the Servlist. We have a
whole year to come to qualitatively very high Statements of
Importance. By qualitatively high, I mean that through the effort
that has been put in their elaboration, their meaning and their
relevance have been duly developed between the Metaphorum members
interested in it.
The measurement of this quality could be made available
electronically through a very simple "eudaemony" scale in which those
who are interested in the Statement of Importance indicate how high
they value their mutual contribution. The person who scores highest
on this scale becomes then the representative for that Statement of
Importance and shall be participating in the live syntegration. A
"real time" follow-up could be made available on the Metaphorum
website and Enrique Rivas may think how to contribute to it virtually
by means of the work he is doing in Chile.
The tension between participation and representation can then be
operationalized by having two Topic Auctions: a virtual one, let us
say about one month before the live syntegration by all the
metaphorumgroup members and a live one with the representatives, with
which the live syntegration could start. Naturally both will be
compared and the live one shall be influenced by the virtual one. In
this way some of the tension between participation and representation
can be operationalized.
Before the next Metaphorum meeting, the representatives can then
start the resonance sessions and come to the Outcome Resolves. I am
convinced that if the Statements of Importance are really represented
by their champions, they shall not bother to devote some time extra
to the syntegration.
The next Metaphorum meeting could then have two main agenda points:
reflecting on what has been learned doing this experiment
developing the Outcome Resolves.
Please, take this proposal as a very tentative one. My Statement of
Importance is already at the beginning of this mail:
what can Cybernetics contribute to the essential political tensions
between participation and representation and between virtual and real
I am curious to some of your reactions.
For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: www.platformforchange.org