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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  March 2007

UCD-STAFFORDBEER March 2007

Subject:

Re: Experimenting democracy and participation

From:

"Johnson, Mark" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 22 Mar 2007 09:19:14 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (216 lines)

Maybe a wiki would serve a useful purpose here...

I've recently set up a wiki for the critical realism community using the wikispaces service. This is *very* easy to do, and can provide a resource which would allow the growth of particular topic areas as well as acting as a focal point for the community and an open forum for participation (bit of variety management, really!). Wikispaces are on http://www.wikispaces.com and it's free. This might give you what you want.

Mark Johnson

ps. the critical realism site is http://criticalrealism.wikispaces.com



-----Original Message-----
From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer on behalf of Susan Jones
Sent: Thu 3/22/2007 12:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Experimenting democracy and participation
 
Hi Paul

Following from your last comments, although conversations/discussions 
on this listserv can be intermittent, once they do start the volume of 
email, the length of the discussions and in some cases the 'heavy' 
nature of the content is difficult for me to keep up with.  Bearing in 
mind that I get a lot of email through my job - and I know that pretty 
much everyone will be the same - I quickly give up trying to follow 
what's happening.  I then store the email locally - with the intention 
to read it when I have time - which of course never happens.  I can of 
course re-route this email, so that it goes into one place anyway, but 
this doesn't deal with the problem really.  Given that I want to 
understand more about cybernetics this gives me a problem, in that I 
want to be part of the list, but there is big gap between what I 
currently get out of it and the actual potential there is to learn - 
given the conversations that go on.

I can't help thinking that this needs a more more visual and 
interactive approach to handle the 'variety' - for example, some kind 
of interactive interface developed in an application such as Flash 
which is easily delivered on the web.  The flash interface, could be 
designed to communicate areas of discussion using images/graphics of 
some kind which the user could then quickly drill down to relevant 
places where discussions are happening.  New or ongoing conversations 
could simply be communicated via a link [via email] - but the link 
would automatically take users in the context that you described by 
Luc below - where participation and representation were handled 
visually first, but with access by some back-end database to relevant 
content. Discussions that have dried up could be progammed to archive 
off, such that the interface was only populated by live discussions 
and the whole system could be driven by simple administrative systems 
which members could use to add new issues and develop new visual 
objects which encapsulated the discussions. 

A system like this would make it much easier for members to 'see' what 
was happening in terms of ongoing discussions at any one time and the 
interface could be colour coded to indicate levels of activity.

I have no idea whether systems like this exist, but this would 
visualise what's happening rather than having a continuous stream of 
email that is unsorted. Such that 

Just a thought!  We have digital media students who can program in 
Flash, work with applications such as Cold Fusion and who could 
probably come up with some kind of working prototype - could be a 
student project next year.

Kind regards

Susan



Dr. Susan J. Jones
Senior Lecturer in Digital Media
School of Computing & Technology
Digital Media Centre
University of Sunderland
SR6 0DD
Tel:  +44 191 5153863
Fax: +44 191 5153752



----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stokes <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 8:43 pm
Subject: Re: Experimenting democracy and participation

> As someone who is literally just catching up on some of these 
> conversations,I would like to very much voice my support fro Luc's 
> proposal.
> However I am not happy with what appears to be a resounding 
> silence on the
> part of the membership. The listserv seems to be an ideal medium of
> dissemination but seems lacking in the ability to mobilise people 
> around a
> focal topic or task. In other words we seem to be lacking a means of
> organizing around the virtual tasks that Luc has proposed.  
> 
> Any ideas, anyone?
> 
> Paul
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Luc Hoebeke
> Sent: 13 March 2007 08:53
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Experimenting democracy and participation
> 
> Dear All,
> 
> 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 
> startourselves 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 
> tensionbetween 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 
> Statementsof 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 
> participatingin 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 
> metaphorumgroupmembers 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 
> tensionbetween 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 in 
> politics.
> I am curious to some of your reactions.
> 
> Kind regards,
> 
> Luc
> 
> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org For the Metaphorum
> Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  
> www.platformforchange.org
> For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
> For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to: 
> www.platformforchange.org
> 

For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org

For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org

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