[MG] New Content @ Metapolitik - The Missing Link? (Re: Start Digest)

conan at metapolitik.org conan at metapolitik.org
Sat Dec 3 00:55:01 EST 2011


This might just be the 'missing link' to the Hex model.


...Also: a shout-out to Metagovernment.org


On Fri, 02 Dec 2011 06:27:08 -0500,
start-request at metagovernment.org wrote: 

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> 1. Re:
Approaching a Metapolitical Discourse (Steven Gans)

> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2011 04:26:54 -0700
> From: Steven Gans

> To: Metagovernment Project 
> Subject: Re: [MG] Approaching a
Metapolitical Discourse
> Message-ID:
> Content-Type: text/plain;
> Hi Conan and all,
> Please have a look at the
network one level standpoint as illustrated in
> this installation and
as expounded upon by Bruno Latour
> http://www.bruno-latour.fr/article
[177] as an alternative approach to thinking
> metapolitical
> All the best,
> Steve
> Images for *Art installation by
Tomas Saraceno, Venice
> *
> On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 11:04 AM,
>> ** [This is an HTML email sent to the Metagovernment
Mailing List. For the original article, visit:
http://metapolitik.org/article/approaching-metapolitical-discourse [1]]
Approaching a Metapolitical Discourse Conan Duke Mon, 06/21/2010 [*This
is a 'living document' and as such, is periodically updated, revised and
expanded.*] [image: RGB Political Spectrum] Table of Contents -
*Introduction * - *Open Source Democracy * - *Democracy 2.0 * -
*Hollywood Babylon * *Re-Examining the Red/Blue Orthodoxy* - *The
Radical Center - A Third Way* - *Social Threefolding* - *Joie de Vivre*
- *Synergetics* - *Resource Based Economics* - *Synergetic Economy* -
*The Myth of 'Rational Self Interest'* - *Mapping the Political
Spectrum* - *3-Axis Hexadecimal Mapping & Non-Linear Thinking* -
*Software* - *Direct Digital Democracy (D3GA)* - *Hexadecimal Mapping* -
*Spatial / Chromatic - Mapping* - *Lexical Mapping* - *VRDB* - *Software
Summary* - *Collaborative Effort* - *Copyleft* [image:
Metapolitik.org]Introduction *Metapolitics* [m?t? p?l?t?ks] (sometimes
written meta-politics) is metalinguistic talk about the analytic,
synthetic, and normative language of political inquiry and politics
itself. *In simple words, it is talk about the way we talk about
politics.* [image: RGB Economy]*Example:* If one studies, analyzes, and
describes a language, the language used for studying, analyzing, and
describing the object language is a *metalanguage*. In current usage and
praxis, the term metapolitics is often used in relation to postmodern
theories of the Subject and their relation to political theory. In its
broadest definition, metapolitics is a discipline that studies the
relationship between the State and the Individual.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metapolitics [25] *Metapolitik.org* grew
out of my strong desire to start a *'Deep Green Social Democratic
Revolution'*. As others have noted, Capitalism as we know it is no
longer sustainable and as such, cannot continue it's current trajectory
of greed, cronyism and environmental destruction. To quote Alex Knight :
*"Capitalism requires growth. A system that requires growth cannot last
forever on a planet that is defined by ecological and social limits.
Capitalism is therefore fundamentally unsustainable ? sooner or later it
will run up against those limits and the system will stop functioning.
At this moment we are in the midst of a crisis which is calling into
question the future of this system. Now is a perfect opportunity to
envision a new way of living in the world that can meet human needs
while also respecting the needs of the planet. It is time to build this
new world."* Thus, *Metapolitik * is based on the understanding that
modern 'Capitalism' (Corporate Socialism or Corporatocratic Fascism) is
what author Douglas Rushkoff would call *"legacy software"* -- that is
to say, an outdated, societal *'operating system'* that no longer
continues to serve it's intended purpose. While 'Capitalism' did great
things for us back in the 20th Century (helped defeat the Nazis and
rebuild Europe, etc...) ...It's pretty much out of steam. It cannot
continue on it's current trajectory without dire consequences -- both
ecological and economic. In many ways, it seems insulting to even call
it 'capitalism' any more. More like: *Corporate Socialism* a
quasi-fuedal, quasi-fascist corporatocracy in which the lobbyists who
spend the most get the legislation that they want passed and in which
dramatic condensation of wealth in the hands of a tiny minority of
people have rendered our economy completely dysfunctional and utterly
incapable of serving the needs of the body-politic. Not only is this a
thoroughly un-democratic situation, it is not in the spirit of true
capitalism. If it were pure capitalism -* free market capitalism* - we
would all be independent contractors. [image: Political Spectrum] *The
Body Politic*, in any developed country - tends to be a vibrant and
diverse mix of people, cultures, colors, creeds and ideas. While this
diversity makes the twenty-first century among the most interesting
times in history to be alive, it also makes open discussion and analysis
of our differing socio-political views incredibly challenging.
*Metapolitik.org* seeks to address this by formulating, exploring and
codifying new methods of charting, mapping and analyzing aggregated data
sources and displaying this political data at a glance in an easy to
read format. As well as to create a collaborative platform for
interaction that allows us to share, disseminate and decipher this data
in as holistic, non-authoritarian and thoroughly decentralized a manner
as possible. *'Deep':* is a reference to the term 'deep-democracy',
coined by psychiatrist *Arny Mindell* to describe a political system
that enables a deeper, more democratic level of socio-political
interaction. In a deep democracy, citizens will have direct influence
over public policy, without the need for the parasitic political class
that we have grown so accustomed to. It is now possible to achieve this
with the aid of the Internet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_democracy [31] *'Green':* of course,
refers to the concept of 'green politics' - which is to say - a
political ideology which places high importance on environmental goals,
while achieving these goals through broad-based, grassroots,
participatory democracy (thus, 'green politics' are inherently 'deep
democracy' politics by virtue of their grass-roots approach). Green
politics are advocated by supporters of the Green movement, which has
been active through Green parties in many nations since the early 1980s.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_politics [32] *Social:* simply
describes the inherently *social* aspects of *soc*iety. Though the term
*'socialism'* has been demonized and vilified by the right, we already
live in a socialist economy in many ways. All societies socialize some
resources and capitalize others depending on an essentially arbitrary
set of values that are ascribed to each respectively. In the US,
examples of socialized resources include *bailouts* for banking cartels,
*Social Security*, *Medicare*, *Medicaid*, *Workers Compensation* and
*Unemployment Insurance*. Just as communism is - at it's core - about
*commun*ity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism [33] ^ top ^ Open
Source Democracy The term 'open source' comes to us from the world of
software development and refers to a set of production and documentation
standards that promote access to the end product's source materials or
'code'. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a
pragmatic methodology. Before the term open source became widely
adopted, developers and producers used a variety of phrases to describe
the concept. 'Open source' eventually gained hold with the rise of the
Internet, and the corresponding need for a massive retooling of
computing source code. This in-turn enabled a self-enhancing diversity
of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities.
A new, three-word phrase: *"open source software* " was born to describe
the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer
issues created. Douglas Rushkoff defines an open source democracyas
'what happens when the open source development model is applied to the
economy'. In 'Applying the Theory' he observes: *"...It would mean
coming to appreciate the rules of the economic game for what they are:
[arbitrary] rules. Operating in a closed source fashion, the right to
actually produce currency is held exclusively by the Federal Reserve.
Quietly removed from any relationship to real money such as gold or
silver by Richard Nixon in the early 1970s, US currency now finds its
value in pure social construction.* ***"Whether or not we know it, we
all participate in the creation of its value by competing for dollars
against one another. For example, when a people or businesses borrows
money from the bank (an agent, in a sense, of the Federal Reserve) in
the form of a mortgage they must eventually pay the bank back two or
three times the original borrowed amount. These additional funds are not
printed into existence, but must be won from others in the closed source
system. Likewise, every time a student wants to buy one of my books, he
must go out into the economy and earn or win some of these arbitrarily
concocted tokens, US currency, in order to do it. Our transaction is
brokered by the Federal Reserve, who has a monopoly on this closed
source currency.* *"Meanwhile, the actual value of this currency, and
the effort required to obtain it, is decided much more by market
speculators than its actual users. Speculation accounts for over 90
percent of US currency transactions in any given day. By this measure,
real spending and the real economy are a tiny and secondary function of
money: the dog is being wagged by its tail. * *"What if currency were to
become open source? In some communities it already is. They are not
printing counterfeit bills but catalyzing regional economies through the
use of local currencies, locally created 'scrip' that can be exchanged
throughout a particular region in lieu of Federal Reserve notes or real
cash. The use of these currencies, as promoted by organizations such as
the E.F. Schumacher Society, has been shown to accelerate the exchange
of goods and services in a region by increasing the purchasing power of
its members. There is no Federal Reserve surcharge on the creation and
maintenance of cash, and no danger of government currency depreciation
due to matters that have nothing to do with actual production and
consumption.* *"Like any other bottom-up system, the creation of local
currency develops transactional models appropriate to the scale of the
actual transactions and the communities in which they occur. While
Federal notes, or Euros for that matter, might be appropriate for a
merchant to use across state or national boundaries, local currencies
make for greater fluidity and accountability between members of the same
community.* *"Thanks to the dynamic relationships permitted in a
networked society, we need not choose between local and closed
currencies. A post-renaissance perspective on economic issues has room
for both to exist, simultaneously functioning on different orders of
magnitude.* *"In a society modeled on open source ideals, 'think
globally, act locally' becomes more than just a catch phrase. The
relationship of an individual or local community's action to the whole
system can be experienced quite readily. For example, an open source
software developer who writes just a few useful lines of code, say the
protocol for enabling infrared communications to work on the Linux
operating system, will see his or her contribution interpolated into the
kernel of the operating system and then spread to everyone who uses it.
He has done more than distributed a line of computer code. He has also
enabled thousands of people using Linux to connect cell phones, PDA's
and other devices to their computers for the first time. And he did it
from his home, in his spare time.* *"Likewise, a developer who leaves a
security hole open in a piece of software quite dramatically sees the
results of his action when a software 'worm', written by a computer
criminal, penetrates the mail files of thousands of users, sending
replicates of itself throughout the internet, sometimes for years to
come.09* *"Members of an open source community are able to experience
how their actions affect the whole. As a result, they become more
conscious of how their moment-to-moment decisions can be better aligned
with the larger issues with which they are concerned. A programmer
concerned with energy consumption and the environment might take time to
consider how a particular screen-saver routine impacts the total energy
consumption pattern of a particular monitor. The programmer already
understands that if the code is used on millions of machines, each
effort to reduce energy consumption by a minuscule amount can amplify
into tremendous energy savings. (Indeed, it has been calculated that the
energy required to power all the televisions and computers in America
that are currently in sleep mode equals the output of an entire
average-size power plant.)* *"The experience of open source development,
or even just the acceptance of its value as a model for others, provides
real-life practice for the deeper change in perspective required of us
if we are to move into a more networked and emergent understanding of
our world. The local community must be experienced as a place to
implement policies, incrementally, that will eventually have an effect
on the whole. For example, the environmental advocate who worries about
the Brazilian rainforest will quit smoking himself before racing off to
the next rally held to save the lungs of the planet. The woman
organizing against genetic engineering in agriculture will refuse to let
her children eat at McDonalds, even if it requires them to bring their
own lunch to a friend's birthday party. A consistency between belief and
behavior becomes the only way to make our designs on reality real.*
*"Closed source: no justice, no power* *"An open source model for
participatory, bottom-up and emergent policy will force us, or allow us,
to confront the issues of our time more directly. Using the logic of a
computer programmer, when we find we can't solve a problem by attacking
one level of societal software, we proceed to the next level down. If
necessary we dig all the way down to the machine language. * *"For
instance, today's misunderstood energy crisis provides a glaring example
of the liability of closed source policy-making. The Western World is
unnecessarily addicted to fossil fuels and other energy commodities not
because alternative energy sources are unavailable, but because
alternative business models for energy production cannot be fully
considered without disrupting the world's most powerful corporations and
economies.* *"It really is as simple as that."* *Meanwhile, Kevin Kelly
of Wiredwrites: * *"Rather than viewing technological socialism as one
side of a zero-sum trade-off between free-market individualism and
centralized authority, it can be seen as a cultural OS that elevates
both the individual and the group at once. The largely unarticulated but
intuitively understood goal of communitarian technology is this: to
maximize both individual autonomy and the power of people working
together. Thus, digital socialism can be viewed as a third way that
renders irrelevant the old debates."* *Thus,* In a true, 'free-market'
economy (just like in a true democracy) all participants would be given
equal legal protections and equal access to information and resources.
In a truly democratic society (a deep democracy) the corporation is
replaced by the community and members of that community are permitted to
contract with one another for the goods and services that they need to
prosper. Thus, Capital is itself, a social construct. [image: Wired] *In
the same issue of Wired, *Chris Anderson *writes:* "Imagine an AT&T that
breaks up into not two or three different companies but two or three
hundred thousand different companies," Malone told Wiredin a July 1998
interview. "This sort of voluntary, radical disaggregation is an
attractive alternative for some large organizations." ^ top ^ Democracy
2.0 In April of 2010 - while mourning my father's death and in the midst
of deep personal crisis - I envisioned *Metapolitik.org*, an open,
transparent framework for 'deep democratic dialogue'. The idea was
simple, to create an accessible, inclusive, online-forum and
polling-system where real working people could determine the issues and
view opinions of their peers in a real-time manner, similar to Facebook
or Google Analytics. The vision was to create a viable alternative to
the skewed two-party media debate as well as an online voting framework
that would call into question the basic assumptions underlying our
two-party electoral system, the electoral college and perhaps even the
assumed need for 'representatives', who of course, only seem to ever
represent their own interests. I for one, have always questioned
'representational' government and have always wondered what the world
might be like if we could represent ourselves in politics the way we do
on our Facebook pages and our blogs? Imagine what our democracy might
look like if it were designed today using modern technology and security
safeguards: No electoral college, no closed primaries forcing candidates
to bend to powerful special interests, no antiquated voting booths and
arcane mechanical devices, no long lines at the polls, instead of
talking heads backed by powerful media corporations putting their spin
on things in a top-down, one-way dialogue aimed more at spreading
corporate propaganda than at telling the truth, we would all chime-in on
the issues of the day via video, blogs, and powerful, secure-polling
software that all of us carried in the palm of our hands. Modern
defenders of pluralist government would no doubt devise a process that
was open, citizen-driven, and capable of producing policy that truly
reflected the Will of The People. Like most simple ideas however, this
one was a lot easier to dream up than it was to implement. Building the
software and the proper secure server environment for an actual
techno-democracy had (to the best of my knowledge) never been done
before and all sorts of difficult questions had to be answered first
like: Who would host it? Who would administer the server? How would we
insure against hacking and virus-based attempts to defraud the system?
How would we insure against a technocracy run by system administrators?
In other words, how could we ensure that we did not recreate the very
problems that we sought to solve in the first place? These are important
questions for any thinking person to ask themselves, much less anyone
engaged in any level of civic discourse or in developing a next
generation voting engine. For as any historian can tell you, as cultures
evolve and the meanings of words change, a political system set up to
nurture people's liberty may one day later be subverted to take those
liberties away. This meant, that in order for me to responsibly pursue
such an endeavor I was going to need to do a lot of research first.
Perhaps more importantly, I would need to know if anyone had already
tried anything similar or was already thinking along these lines. This
led me to the rediscovery of Rushkoff's work in promoting what he calls
'Open Source Democracy', a real-time, networked democratic process which
is both thoroughly transparent and thoroughly inclusive across
boundaries of class and race. ^ top ^ Hollywood Babylon - Re-Examining
the Red / Blue Orthodoxy Even a cursory examination of American politics
immediately reveals the bizarre red/blue color-coding and groupings used
to discuss the issues and to push people into positions along
party-lines. While analyzing these red/blue, conservative/liberal
dichotomies that the entire debate seems inevitably framed in, I
eventually came to the observation that our 2 1/2 party political
system, in which one party - the party of the rich - always manages to
get it's way, is in it's essence a deliberate cybernetic mechanism which
is systematically used to undermine and short circuit the democratic
process in various, nefarious ways. [image: No-3D]Like an old set of
1950's red & blue 3D-glasses stuck over our eyes, we are expected to
believe that one of these two puppet-parties have our interests
at-heart, when in-fact, they are both funded by Madison Ave., Wall
Street, Hollywood and the criminal Drug/Oil/Military/Industrial Cartels.
They are more interested in promoting Globalism, exploiting cheap
foreign-labor and busting unions than they are in protecting the
American people. And much like the visual-effect that one gets using a
pair of 3D glasses, this stilted red/blue debate is really an illusion
designed by wealthy political think tanks to take our attention away
from the most important issues in this country, which of course, are
those of unemployment, class-warfare and the horribly uneven
distribution of wealth. Issues which go hand-in-hand with the equally
important issues of the environment, our dependence on foreign oil, our
truly, unapologetic imperialist foreign-policy and our economic
dependence on China. The US seems hell-bent on destroying itself with
outmoded economic and military policies that have absolutely no place in
the civilized world. The cognitive dissonance is beyond schizophrenic:
We claim to be against slavery when we tolerate and support a corporate
culture of wage slavery in our workplaces every day. We claim to be
against totalitarian dictatorships but we tolerate and support
totalitarianism in third world countries and prop-up foreign dictators
with frightening regularity. Rick Moody of the Guardian.ukinforms us -
in spite of Hollywood's reputation for being a largely 'liberal'
industry - in reality, the entertainment industry is an increasingly
crypto-fascist propaganda mill. Ultimately, as Michael Moore, Alex
Knight and (many) others have repeatedly observed, what really is called
into question is the economic system of capitalism and what it needs to
be replaced with is a system that is truly democratic. Just as the
slavery so common in the early Americas needed to be replaced, yet still
echoes throughout our society in the form of poverty and ravaged
communities. But what does a true democracy look like? Especially in a
networked world where entire social movements like the Egyptian uprising
can happen in a matter of days or even hours with the help of web
technology? And what shape does this democracy take? If a two-party
electoral system isn't working, then what sort of system would? And of
course, in order for all of this to be* truly democratic*, won't *'The
People'* have to answer these questions themselves? *Well, first we've
got to get them talking to each other.* [image: People who like Venn
Diagrams] All people (unless they suffer from severe emotional damage)
want essentially the same things for themselves and their fellow humans:
peace and prosperity. However, different political parties and
ideologies have very differing ideas about how to achieve these goals.
>From a "conservative" (red/republican/libertarian) perspective, the
economy is a zero-sum game in which we all must compete against each
other for resources. Whereas from a "liberal" (blue / democrat)
perspective, the economy is a state-administered zero-sum game in which
order must be maintained via the rule of law. In the US, these two polar
economic views monopolize the debate and make it nearly impossible for
creative, divergent viewpoints to get involved in the political process.
Thus, the green party is currently atrophied and desperately in need of
an influx of political capital (people. not money). The map below is a
"cartograph", or visualization of the political maps of the US, based on
the 2008 Presidential election. Notice that all of the color fields are
entire districts and that all districts are filled with completely solid
colors. While it may not be obvious to the casual observer, this map is
actually lacking in a great deal of statistical data to the extent that
it does not have a high degree of granularity. By applying the
winner-take-all effect of the map to show which parties won which
districts, the map fails to reveal an accurate picture of the public's
leanings, in that the map gives the visual impression that a district
won by a Republican Party candidate has no Democratic Party or Green
Party voters. The cartographs below on the other hand, were published by
Mark Newman, from the University of Michigan. These visualizations
provide more accuracy than the traditional red-state/blue-state mapping
system, this is done by county, using Red, Blue or shades of Purple,
based on their percentage of vote. The Map on the right uses the same
color scheme, but with each of the counties scaled to visually show
their population size. The idea is to help us see the voter breakdown by
population more accurately. Producing an oddly shaped but recognizable
map. ^ top ^ The Radical Center - A Third Way The *Third Way* refers to
various political positions which try to reconcile right-wing and
left-wing politics by advocating a varying synthesis of right-wing
economic and left-wing social policies. Third Way approaches are
commonly viewed from within the first- and second-way perspectives as
representing a centristreconciliation between capitalism and state
socialist command economy . Less often, the phrase *"Third Way"* is used
to refer to Distributism. or similar Populist or Progressivepolicies
such as FDR's New Deal or (more recently) ideas such as Resource Based
Economics (RBE) . Another example of Third Way politics would be the
"Radical Center" - or: a philosophy as well as an associated political
movementand position on the political spectrum. Adherents of this
philosophy claim to improve policy and general politics by not harboring
a bias toward the precedence of either markets or the state, as can be
characterized of right-wing politics and left-wing politics
respectively. Various groups have adopted *radical center* as a term to
describe a philosophy which includes their belief that, in affirming the
core principles involved on both sides of a dilemma, the dilemma or
disagreement can be rendered moot . The terms *radical center* and
*radical middle* are often used interchangeably, although the former
more often refers to a political movement or current and the latter to a
political philosophy. The latter use reflects an emphasis on epistemic
virtue, by resolving false dilemmas , finding the *excluded middle*. As
a relatively grassrootsmovement, especially in the United States , there
is no definitive statement of radical middle politics. A primary
recurring theme, however, might be the idea of "sustainably improving
choices." As is often the case with centrism , it can be said that the
radical middle or center is an ideology broadly analogous with the
ideas, principles and values of progressivism . ^ top ^ Social
Threefolding *[image: Steiner] * *Social Threefolding* is a sociological
theory that suggests increasing the independence of society's three
primary realms ( economy , politicsand culture ) in such a way that
those three realms can mutually correct each other in an ongoing
process. The movement aims for equality of rights in political life,
freedom in cultural life, and associative cooperation in economic life.
It originated out of the philosophy of Anthroposophyfounded by Rudolf
Steiner . Steiner held that it is socially destructive when one of the
three spheres attempts to dominate the others; for example, theocracy
means a cultural impulse dominates economy and politics; conventional
shareholder capitalism means economic life dominates the polity and
culture; and state socialism means government dominates culture and
economy. A more specific example: Arthur Salter, 1st Baron Salterhas
suggested that governments frequently fail when they begin to give
"discretionary, particularly preferential privileges to competitive
industry." Steiner said the three social spheres had very gradually,
over thousands of years, been growing independent of each other, and
would naturally tend to continue to do so. Consciously effecting stages
of this independence thus works in accordance with society's natural
evolution, and gradually leads society beyond the three forms of
domination mentioned. Steiner distinguished three realms of society: -
the economy ; - politics and human rights; and - cultural institutions ,
including science, education, arts and religion. He suggested that the
three would only function together harmoniously when each was granted
sufficient independence. This has become known as "social threefolding".
Many institutions have striven to realize a relative independence of the
three spheres within their own structures; the Waldorf schoolsdeserve
special mention in this regard. Another application has been the
creation of various socially-responsible banks and foundations. Though
many concrete reform proposals to advance a "threefold social order" at
various scales have been advanced, Steiner emphasized that the specifics
of how this could best be done are contingent on the particular
situation. Bernard Lievegoed incorporated significant aspects of social
threefolding in his work on organizational development . ^ top ^ Joie de
Vivre Jason Farago over at The Guardian UK has written a salient post
regardingthe strategically brilliant location chosen for the protests:
[image: The man behind life?s joy]"As many as 2,000 people have attended
the twice-daily general assemblies, and thousands upon thousands of
passers-by have read the cardboard signs ? many eloquent, some bonkers ?
lining the entrance on Broadway. But nobody has craned his neck upward:
the entire protestis going down under a 20-ton steel sculpture that
reaches 70ft in the air and, by the way, is painted a *bright
proletarianred *. Even in New York, that should be hard to miss. The
sculpture is "Joie de Vivre", by Mark di Suvero, and its simultaneous
predominance and invisibility at Occupy Wall Street carries a biting
irony. Di Suvero is one of the great artists of the American left, a
member of the city's crane operators' union, who went into exile to
protest the Vietnam war. Its irrelevance to the young folks down at
Occupy Wall Street may be of a piece with their chant on the Brooklyn
Bridge last weekend that "the whole world is watching" ? a phrase that a
few of them must realise dates all the way back to the demonstrations at
the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Or the sculpture's erasure
may have a darker meaning: high capital has already absorbed one
generation of protesters into its logic, and this one probably won't
fare much better."
[94] ^ top ^ Synergetics But whether Jerry Tallmer, Jason Farago, or
the other 99% know it, this sculpture has stronger, deeper and more
meaningful connotations than any of them seem to be aware. I'm pretty
sure that the artist, Mark di Suvero, understands these implications
perfectly well... But alas, he doesn't seem to be talking. That is,
except for this single paragraph in the interview: *?It?s not an X,? the
sculptor no less genially- explosively corrected this writer during a
telephone interview. ?There?s no X in it! It?s a series of tetrahedrons
that are open at the ends. Yes, of course I call it a piece. A
sculpture. Yes, of course it can be taken apart and put back together.
That?s what?s unique about these pieces [his life?s work]: They can be
disassembled.? *[emphasis mine] *Tetrahedral Modularity**. *Sounds like
the work of the late *Mr. R. Buckiminster Fuller* (*July 12, 1895 ? July
1, 1983*), or *"Bucky"* as he's known to his fans and friends. Bucky, as
some of you may know - was responsible for a grand and brilliant body of
work and a very unique legacy. Like his contemporary, *Jaques Fresco*,
he was a champion of ideas addressing the needs of* all people *and was
an engineering pioneer in his day with 28 US patents bearing his name.
The most famous of these is perhaps the 'geodesic dome' or 'geodesic
sphere' like the one seen at *Disneys Epcot Center*in south Florida.
[image: Epcot Center 1982] But what is less well know is that - much
like Jaques Fresco's 'Venus Project' and 'resource Based Economy', Bucky
had his own body of work known as *" Synergetics "* - a
cross-disciplinary approach to systems thinking and as such: a
metaphoric language for communicating experiences using geometric
concepts. More specifically, a tool used to reference the empirical
study of systems in transformation, with an emphasis on total system
behavior unpredicted by the behavior of any isolated components. Fuller
coined this term long before the term *'synergy '* became popular in
corporate jargon.] *[image: Sphere Packing] **" Synergetics is the
empirical study of systems in transformation, with an emphasis on total
system behavior unpredicted by the behavior of any isolated components,
including humanity?s role as both participant and observer. Since
systems are identifiable at every scale from the quantum level to the
cosmic, and humanity both articulates the behavior of these systems and
is composed of these systems, synergetics is a very broad discipline,
and embraces a broad range of scientific and philosophical studies
including tetrahedral and close-packed-sphere geometries,
thermodynamics, chemistry, psychology, biochemistry, economics,
philosophy and theology."* [image: Tetrahedron] ...Thus, Synergetics is
a legitimate branch of Cybernetics. , also known as Generalized Systems
Theory. Synergetics defines the primary unit of space as a tetrahedron
(as opposed to the cube) and - in Design Science - is more oriented
toward round, circular, spherical enclosures. This is in direct contrast
and opposition to much of so-called 'civilized society' which by and
large prefers the cube as it's basic unit of enclosing space. (This is
evident when looking at the way that city streets are typically
laid-out, how buildings are typically constructed and how much of our
society is - in general - based on squares, cubes and right-angles).
Fuller also observed that the natural analytic geometry of the universe
-- which he termed 'synergetics' -- was invariably based on arrays of
tessellating, interlocking and nesting tetrahedra . He developed this
idea in several ways, from the idea of close-packing spheres (like cells
in an organism) to the number of compressive or tensile members required
to stabilize an object in space (spaceframe). This is an apt metaphor
for our interconnectedness on this planet - be it environmental or
economic. Buckminster Fuller was one of the first to propagate a
systemic worldview, exploring principles of energy and material
efficiency in the fields of architecture, engineering and design. He
cited geologist Fran?ois de Chardenedes' opinion that petroleum, from
the standpoint of its replacement cost out of our current energy
"budget" (essentially, the net incoming solar flux), had cost nature
"over a million dollars" per U.S. gallon (US $300,000 per liter) to
produce. From this point of view, its use as a transportation fuel by
people commuting to work represents a huge net loss compared to their
earnings. Sounding like a Zen master with a PhD, Fuller once wrote:
*"...I am not a thing -- a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary
process ? an integral function of the universe." *The ancient figure
below illustrates the timeless permanence of Fuller's insight. So called
primitive societies *intuitively* understood the interdependent, cyclic
nature of the Earth's ecology. How did we forget? Fuller was concerned
about sustainability and about human survival under the existing
socio-economic system, yet he remained optimistic about humanity's
future. Defining wealth in terms of knowledge, as the *"technological
ability to protect, nurture, support, and accommodate all growth needs
of life"*, his analysis of the condition of "Spaceship Earth" caused him
to conclude that at a certain time during the 1970s, humanity had
attained an unprecedented state. He was convinced that as a result of
our accumulated knowledge, combined with the vast quantities of
*recyclable* resources we had already extracted from the earth, we'd
attained a critical level of progress that rendered competition for
resources largely unnecessary. Cooperation had instead become the
optimum survival strategy. *"Selfishness,"* he declared, *"is
unnecessary and hence-forth unrationalizable.... War is obsolete."*
While this may sound overly idealistic or 'pie in the sky', it should be
noted that the corporations that succeed in today's economy, often do so
by virtue of their ability to cooperate with one another. ^ top ^
Resource Based Economics While Bucky Fuller was busy developing and
championing the philosophy of Synergetics, *Jaques Fresco* , was busy
dreaming up:* "The Venus Project ":* *"The Venus Project is an
organization that advocates American futurist Fresco's vision of the
future with the aim of improving society by moving towards a global
sustainable social design that they call a "resource-based economy ".
Such a system incorporates sustainable cities and values, energy
efficiency, collective farms, natural resource management and advanced
automation, focusing on the benefits that these developments will bring
to humanity. The name of the organization originates from Venus,
Florida, where its research center is located, near Lake Okeechobee.
Within the center are ten buildings, designed by Fresco, which showcase
the architecture of the project. Future by Design, a film about the life
and work of Jacque Fresco, was produced in 2006."* [image: Old Man
River's City]Interesting... "*sustainable social design" ...
"sustainable cities and values"..."energy efficiency" ... "collective
farms"... "natural resource management"... "advanced automation*"...
Sounds like if you combined these with *FDR's "Second Bill of Rights "*,
it might make a good list of *demands *for the protesters at Occupy Wall
St.. Also, by an interesting bit of synchronicity, Venus Florida is not
that far from Epcot Center. I wonder if that was a deliberate decision?
- *Taxing Wall Street Speculation* - *Stopping Off Shore Tax-Havens* -
*Taxing Multimillion Dollar Estates* - *Reducing Defense Spending* - *A
Green New Deal* - *Employ Every American* - *Address Climate Change* -
*Sustainable Energy Infrastructure * - *Sustainable Transportation
Infrastructure * - *Sustainable Production Infrastructure * - *Mass
Transit * - *Regional Food Distribution* - *Organic Agriculture* -
*Clean Manufacturing* In a 'resource-based economy', resources are held
in a public trust as the property of the people, moving beyond the need
for the artificial boundaries that separate individuals in a community.*
Ideally*, in a global, resource-based economy, all of the planet's
resources are held as the common heritage of Earth's people,
transcending the need for the artificial boundaries that separate all
individuals and cultures. This is the unifying imperative. The term
'*resource-based economy*' was originated by designer and futurist,
Jacque Fresco . It is a system in which all goods and services are
available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system
of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of
the inhabitants, *not just a select few.* A resource-based economy will
utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment,
industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In
an economy based on resources rather than money, we will easily produce
all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for
all while simultaneously reducing our levels of consumption and waste by
stream-lining the production, distribution and organization of
resources. Consider the following examples: At the beginning of World
War II the US had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We
rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000
planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: *Do we
have enough funds to produce the required implements of war?* The
answer:* No*, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold;
but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available
*resources* that enabled the US to achieve the high production and
efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this approach only
seems to be considered in times of war or national emergency. Between
the state of the economy and the current crisis in the Gulf, we'd say a
state of national emergency exists. A resource-based economy will
overcome scarcity by using renewable sources of energy, food and
materials, as well as computerized, semi-automated manufacturing and
inventory and the limitless resource of human potential and collective
will. It will maintain safe, energy-efficient cities featuring advanced,
ecologically-sound transportation systems, and will provide universal
health care, relevant education and universal access to employment. This
can be accomplished by creating a new set of economic incentives based
on *humane values* and environmental concerns and which negate the
shallow, self-centered goals of individual wealth, property, power and
privilege. As Comedian *Lewis Black *recently pointed out while
brandishing an iPhone: *"This thing has more power than a cold war
supercomputer and I can't have clean energy?!" *Black also thinks we
should *"Invade BP"*. Not a bad idea. They could use some
wealth-redistribution right about now. And they call themselves a
socialized industry. ^ top ^ Synergetic Economy Of course, the question
inevitably gets asked: *"Who will pay for it?"*...A question loaded with
so many false basic assumptions, so riddled with shaky logic and so
indicative of the complete cluelessness that capitalist society has
indoctrinated us with... That it hardly seems to warrant consideration.
However, since this is the first question the average US Citizen will
probably ask, I will spell it out for you: The entire premise of
currency or of *"money"* is a deeply flawed construct and a complete
legal fiction that enables a non-working leisure class to parasitically
feed off of the lower and middle class in our society. The institution
of our modern monetary system has been deliberately put in place to
ensure that those at the top stay at the top ( *as do their offspring*)
while everyone else gets the shaft. This spans the spectrum from the
(*privately-owned*) Federal Reserve Banking System to the fact that many
private bankers get cushy, powerful appointments in the Treasury
Department and various Federal economic oversight committees where they
proceed to further pillage our economic system with wild abandon.
[image: Occupy Together - Synergetic Economy] Unlike the hyperbolic
ravings from the right over the years about the *"Red Threat"* (*in the
1950's*) and *"Terrorists" *(*now*)... These ideas are not simply
ideological islands or the work of fringe thinkers - they are
thoughtful, deliberate attempts to solve very real, complex problems by
seasoned, articulate, educated people with concise goals and precise
objectives. *And we need them.* *Why? *Because between global warming
and the rapid expansion of the Earth's population - these ideas
constitute the best hope for survival that we have as a species. If we
don't stop collectively marshaling these insights as a culture, we
aren't going to make it into the *22nd Century or beyond*. [image: N55
Spaceframe]Much like *Nikola Tesla's* work nearly 100 years ago,
mavericks and brilliant, creative thinkers like Fuller and Fresco have
left an important body of (*largely unfinished*) work that is still
being studied, explored and modeled-after by creative thinkers to this
day. A great example is: *N55 *, an art collective in the Netherlands
the have adapted these ideas - Fuller's work in particular - to create a
variety of brilliant, minimalist conceptual frameworks and paradigms for
almost anything you can think of. From their *"Manuals "* on basic
concepts like *"Land ",* *"Work "* and *"Movement "* to more complex
projects like the *"N55 Spaceframe "* and the *"Floating Platform "*,
N55 has taken Fuller's 'Synergetic' ideas to their logical conclusion
and beyond. Developing sustainable, low-impact solutions for travel,
play, labor and life that could be deployed rapidly and cheaply to solve
many of the issues that are facing our society. *"[image:
Schopenhauer]All truth passes through three stages. First, it is
ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as
being self-evident."* *~Schopenhauer* ^ top ^ The Myth of 'Rational Self
Interest' [image: Synergetic Economy]In a society who's primary economic
philosophy consists of stating flatly: *"self interest is rational"*,
any form of altruism or desire to help others becomes ipso-facto:
*irr*ational. We nowknow that this somewhat bizarre line of reasoning
(known as: ' social-Darwinism') is a *deeply* flawed relic from some
former, harsher, more patriarchal period of history that we have
thankfully stepped out of. Clearly, markets* do not*, cannot and *will
not* regulate themselves effectively. On a small planet with finite
resources -- where we all breathe the same air, drink the same water and
eat the same food from the same oceans and farms -- there is simply no
logic in competitive behavior. Thus, the cultural meme of so-called
'rational self-interest' will be inoculated - as ignorance always is,
eventually - by a deep, shared understanding of 'Enlightened Self
Interest ' or: '*sustainable altruism*'. Examples of sustainable
altruism range from micro finance to crowd-sourcing and even include
collaborative technologies such as Wikipedia and Drupal . This will be a
difficult task, but worth it in every way. The real challenge comes from
our own cherished, unexamined beliefs about the world. We are
collectively inundated by the doctrine of rational self interest on a
daily basis by every pundit, politician, product placement and
PowerPoint presentation we come into contact with. The American
establishment spends billions of dollars keeping that steady drumbeat of
propaganda rhythmically and ceaselessly pounding into our collective
head. In order to effectively inoculate ourselves against this 'thought
virus' that has infected the body politic, we must learn to identify it
and attack it at every opportunity. It is a Jingoistic hook designed to
keep things exactly the way that they are... Until recently, it's worked
pretty well. We're talking about sacrificing principles based on greed,
waste and 'rational self interest' for principles based on efficiency
and shared resources, equality and rational fairness... What could be
any more "rational"or 'fiscally sound' than that? ^ top ^ Mapping the
Political Spectrum [image: Typical Political Chart] While analyzing the
problem of Red/Blue Orthodoxy in light of Buckminster Fuller's concept
of Synergetics: It became clear to me that the traditional 2-dimensional
/ 2-axis map of the political-spectrum (such as the Nolan Chart for
example) was insufficient for mapping the complex ways that people think
about and discuss politics. While it outlines the difference between
"authoritarianism" and "individualism" and attempts to show us where
these concepts seem to intersect with "progressive" and "conservative"
ideals, it does not address: corporatism, labor, or the staggering
impact of technology. Since just about everyone I have ever met
falls-into or defines themselves politically by one of several 'camps',
it seemed suitable *(for the time being at least)* to let the labels lay
where they may and to use the existing red/green/blue party-affiliation
labels to define where a person stood on any particular issue. [image:
RGB Political Spectrum]I envisioned a color-coding system, or
'color-wheel' ? utilizing a Venn diagramof the parties ? that would
allow a person to map their political 'colors' (above, left), based on
their stance on various issues ranging from health-care to the
environment, foreign-policy to economics, you name it. Based on their
answers to these questions, a person's 'political colors' would become
apparent and they could then use this information to find other people
in the network that they shared their values with and could then use the
platform as a communications-tool for open discussion with that person
or persons. Thus, 'greens' could network with other 'greens', 'blues'
with 'blues' and so on. More importantly, it would allow users to find
common-ground or areas of agreement with people in other parties based
on where their interests *intersected*. This could all be tied-in with
the Google Maps API so that geographic maps of public opinions could be
generated and people could finally get a handle on American politics
without the 'camera obscura' of mainstream media putting it's childish,
dualistic spin on everything. This three-party political map where
certain interests overlap is - in some respects - a lot easier to
communicate to someone than say, the Nolan Chart , which is basically
two-sided and thus, only reflective of the old red/blue dichotomy.
Ironically our only remotely viable third-party in this country happens
to be labeled 'green', which is about the same color as the money that
we collectively don't have to compete in Federal elections. Thus, a
democracy that truly respects the will of 'The People' will not be
controlled simply be red or blue interests at any one time, but will be
an open forum in-which red,green and blue perspectives all have an equal
voice and an equal-access to direct democracy through real-time
participation. The interesting thing about this approach is that by
sheer coincidence, the colors red, green and blue also happen to be the
three constituent-colors of all light that is visible to humans. This is
why color TVs and computer monitors were called 'RGB' for years *(Sony
branded theirs the 'Trinitron' but it was the same basic concept)*, as
they are capable of reproducing all three colors and thereby, the entire
visible spectrum. ^ top ^ 3-Axis Hexadecimal Mapping & Non-Linear
Thinking [image: Hexadecimal Political Spectrum] A more accurate mapping
of the body politic would probably more closely resemble a sphere, a
hexagon, or an isometrically-projected 3D-cube, depicted as a gradient
color-wheel - similar to what one sees when choosing a color in a
graphics program such as Photoshop or Gimp. This hexadecimal color-chart
that web-developers use to quickly find the color codes that they are
looking for is also a great example: The very word 'spectrum' evokes the
idea of linearity (lines). However, this one-dimensional approach leaves
a lot to be desired in that it polarizes all political discourse into
one of two competing groups and proceeds to ignore and marginalize
various viewpoints that do not necessarily fit into the red/blue framing
of the political debate. As observed elsewhere in this article, this is
not unlike looking at the world through a set of old 1950s 3D glasses
with their red and blue celluloid lenses. ^ top ^ Software *[Autor's
note: This is all very much in the 'vaporware' stages and many - if not
all - of the details have yet to be determined.]* [image: Model
1]*Metapolitik* is basically software designed to ascribe a hexadecimal
(RGB) additivecolor-value to various people, organizations, or ideas
based on their views on various social, economic and environmental
issues. These views are then expressed by an individual's level of "Red"
(Right, Republican, 'Conservative', etc...), "Green" (Green, Radical,
Anarchist, etc...) or "Blue" (Liberal, Democrat, etc...) ideals. In
so-doing, it creates corresponding 'value-categories' or
'collusion-factors' - colors that are ascribed to each group's bones of
contention. *Thus...* *"Reds"* correspond to the color: *Cyan* (labor /
worker's-rights) - since the Republican Party is so often opposed to
populist or progressive legislation or anything else that compromises
economic prosperity for the rich. *[ It should be noted that this map
pertains largely to US politics. For instance, this is the only country
on the planet** (that I know of) **were 'Red' has come to mean
Capitalist / Conservative instead of Communist / Socialist ]* *"Greens"*
are ascribed: *Magenta* (economy: state-power / monetary-control /
economic-regulation) for their opposition to what they perceive as
"fascist" (state-centered) political ideologies and/or: greed,
mercantilism and imperialism. *"Blues"* are assigned: *Yellow* (liberty:
personal-responsibility: individual autonomy, freedom, etc...) since
"Blues" are so often centered on expansion of government, legislation,
taxes, etc... and since they typically support limiting certain freedoms
such as gun ownership, etc... All of these secondary colors (*CM**Y**K*)
are - within this context also known as *'collusion-factors'* because -
in addition to illustrating contrast or conflict, they also constitute
areas where each camp finds the opportunity for common ground and as a
result - progressive policymaking. An area where everyone is in
agreement has no color and is considered 'clear'. If this is at all
confusing, please see the images below: [image: RGB Venn Diagram]
[image: Hexadecimal Color Chart] If you've forgotten how additive
colorworks ( *the **RGB **technology behind a TV set*), check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model [147]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additive_color [148] Thus, the basic
premise of Metapolitik is that the two-party red / blue politics in this
country (conservative / liberal, capitalist / socialist, privatized /
public, etc...) are hopelessly skewed without the influx of green ideas
and policies. [We are currently seeing these "Green" ideas expressed en
masse at the protests in New York and around the world ] Thus, a
balanced political discourse would be an RGB (red, green, blue)
political discourse. This makes sense from a socio-biological
perspective as-well. Humans are biologically programmed to see (and
probably even to think) in terms of red, green and blue as a direct
result of the red, green and blue photoreceptors in our eyes that allow
us to perceive the various colors in nature. The result will be a
dynamic, isometric, three-dimensional (four-dimensional, if you count
the forward motion of time) mapping of the political-spectrum in
real-time, as opposed to the traditional, static, two-dimensional
political maps such as the Nolan Chart, etc.... ^ top ^ Direct Digital
Democracy (D3GA) *An Online General Assembly and Transparent,
Open-Source, Online Voting and Policy Development Engine* Utilizing the
principles set-forth in the Occupy Wall St. General Assemblies (digital
hand signals, via keyboard shortcuts and flashing icons), participants
would be able to effect real-time Deep Democratic Dialogue (3D) via live
multicast General Assemblies replete with video feeds and a digital log
of participant's voting activity culminating in time-stamped line graphs
and pie-charts. Using streaming-video technology, participants would be
able to see each other and interact in real time video-conferences using
the same technology that powers Skype (picture a screen with lots of
little video windows - similar to 'Hollywood Squares') serving to the
public a sort of *Global Digital Roundtable.* The engine should be
capable of *both** mapping a users general political "color"**, as well
as** to map the user's political on a particular issue*. The user should
be able to view 3 maps (*or 3 versions / renderings of one map*): *1)*
How they (user/object) perceive their political leanings (chosen colors)
*2)* How other users perceive their political leanings (colors chosen by
other users) *3)* What their views on individual (subject) issues says
about their political leanings. Please excuse any vagueness on this. As
I stated previously, all of this is very much in the 'vaporware' stages.
While the tripartite political chart outlined here is already usable
as-is, the software version envisions several 'stages': *1)* [perceived
views - internal] User selects his or her 'camp' (red, green or blue)
based on political affiliation. In other words, if someone has always
voted Republican or typically considers themselves a "conservative",
they would choose 'red'. This doesn't really mean much, but provides an
idea of what the user considers his/her political leanings and as-such,
a statistical 'baseline' from which the software will attempt to
infer/ascertain certain things about them. *2) *[actual views] User
completes a questionnaire consisting of various multiple-choice
questions, which the software then uses to plot their actual views
against what it already knows about their political affiliation (from
#1, above). *3)* [perceived views - external] How other users perceive
your views. ^ top ^ Hexadecimal Mapping (*if you already understand
'hex' color-mapping, feel free to skip this*) In case you are unfamiliar
with 'Hex', it basically refers to a numbering system that uses 16 as
it's base (instead of 10, which would be decimal). It does this by
assigning a letter (A-F) to any number above 10. Example: 15 (in hex) =
1E. (*see attachment:* "Hex-Colorchart") This is how computers typically
communicate and store color-information, with 3 columns of 2-hex-digits
each (1 for each component color). *This is illustrated as follows:* 0 =
0 4 = 4 8 = 8 *12 = C* 1 = 1 5 = 5 9 = 9 *13 = D* 2 = 2 6 = 6 *10 = A 14
= E* 3 = 3 7 = 7 * 11 = B 15 = F* Thus, the Red, Green and Blue Values
of each color are mapped mathematically using three sets of two-digit
hexadecimal-values. *Examples:* *#FFFFFF =* White (*all maxed*)
*#000000* = Black (*no colors*) *#**FF**0000* = All *Red* (*no other
colors*) *#**00**FF**00* = All *Green *(*no other colors*) *#**0000**FF*
= All *Blue *(*no other colors*) *#**CC6600* = *This Color* (*parts red
and green with no blue*) *#**6600CC* = *This Color* (*parts red and blue
with no green*) ...Thus, there are a possible 256 colors (16x16) that
can define a person's political stance. Technically there are 4096
(16x16x16) - but that level of granularity seems like overkill. ^ top ^
Spatial / Chromatic - Mapping Colors attributions are as follows:
*Black* - *Anarchy *(Apolitical / Lack of Opinion / "Political
Agnosticism" / etc...) Motto: *"Let's keep politics out of this."* *Red
- **Conservative** *(Republican / Capitalist / Pro-Business / Anti-State
/ etc...) Motto: *"Fiscal Responsibility."* *Yellow* - *Libertarian
*(Individual Rights / Anti-Authoritarian / Anti-State / etc...) Motto:
*"Don't tread on me."* *Green* - *Green Party* (Grass-Roots* /
*Environment / Anti-Corporate / etc...) Motto: *"Earth First."* *Cyan* -
*Labor, *(Worker's Rights / Unions) Motto: *"People before profits."*
*Blue - **Democrat* (Pro-State / Pro-Regulation / etc...) Motto: *"The
rule of law."* *Magenta* - *Corporatist *(Pro-State/Corporate-Collusion
/ Entitlement / Ruling Class) Motto: *"Corporations create jobs."*
*White / "Clear" - **Synergy / Overlap *(a balanced perspective between
all 3/6 camps) Motto: *"Consensus."* The basic mechanism of the map lies
in the hexadecimal color-coding along three interdependent axis
as-follows. *Axis 1:* *Blue **/ **Yellow* (Govt. / State Interests *vs.*
Individual Liberties) *Axis 2:* *Green* */ **Magenta* (Ecological
Interests *vs.* Corporatist Interests) *Axis 3:* *Red* */ **Cyan*
(Private / Corporate Interests *vs.* Labor / Worker Interests) ^ top ^
Lexical Mapping Since all of this is mixed up in how we define words and
label concepts regarding our political leanings, the software should
furnish an array of words, laid-out on an RGB / CMYK map, that allows
the user to see at-a-glance which concepts are in-play at any given
time. (*see attachments:* "Model-1" & "Model-2"). The idea is that you
enter a word into a field and the software automatically generates
corresponding words that are 60, 120 and 180 degrees "away" from that
word: *Example:* If I typed "conservative" into the 'Red' field, the
software would automatically fill-in the other fields as follows:
*Conservative* *Progressive* *Liberal* *Employment* *Privilege*
*Freedom* One should be able to type-over any one of these words
in-order to re-populated the other fields with their corresponding
terms. Thus, if I replaced the word *"Liberal"* in the list above with
the word *"State"*, the software would re-populate the list as follows:
*Corporate* *Ecology* *State* *Labor* *Economy* *Individual* ... The
challenge here lies in organizing these terms into 'classes' that define
different vocabularies and what 'scope' those taxonomies refer-to. Since
the colors themselves are essentially *arbitrary - *and the true
distinction lies in their geospatial relationship to one-another - this
list cound just as easily come out like this: *State * *Corporate*
*Ecology* *Individual* *Labor* *Economy * ...Part of the purpose of all
this is to demonstrate that the colors (in-and-of-themselves) have no
*inherent *meaning, but rather are used to 'frame', 'label' and
communicate various concepts. ^ top ^ VRDB When discussing 'eDemocracy',
'voter registration databases' are an important consideration. These are
repositories used for identifying users and authenticating them as
voters. The distinction between voters and users and the ability to
authenticate them cannot be understated. Such a database requires a
framework defining things like registration and authentication in
electoral districts; proof of residence or organizational membership;
the compilation of voter lists; and so forth. It does not define
registration and authentication of users, as such. Thus, it is not
comparable to OpenID or OAuth. It seemed logical to me that there would
already be some sort of Open Source 'VRDB' (Voter Registration Database)
Software being used in various projects. Google begs to differ however -
informing me that VRDB is the acronym most commonly used for *''Variable
Rated Demand Bonds" *(a financial instrument) and to Avast Software's
*"Virus Repository Database" *. Only Wikipedia had ever heard of such a
thing, where it is referred-to simply as a *'Voter Database' *- a page
containing some surprising (and revealing) information on the subject:
*"The United States has no state or federal election agency, and thus no
central lists. In 2002, the United States Congress passed HAVA, the Help
America Vote Act. HAVA required that each state compile an official
state voter database by January 2006. Most states complied with HAVA by
gathering the voter files available from each individual county. States
decided what information to include, what restrictions to place on the
use of their voter database, and how much the database would cost. In
the United States, several companies have merged state voter information
with commercially obtained data to create comprehensive voter databases
that include a plethora of personal details on each voter. These
companies often provide United States Voter Files to statutorily
permitted or otherwise non-restricted users."* ...Thus, there are
numerous state-wide databases to be found, but no centralized repository
of voter data. At first glance this is kind of staggering to me
considering how vast the Federal Government is. But upon further
inspection, it makes perfect sense, as the potential for abuse of such a
repository would be so great, that mustering the political will to
create one would probably have been quite difficult. Thus, such a
resource has (apparently, ostensibly, "officially" and to the best of
our knowledge) never been built. - I qualified that statement as I am
almost willing to bet that *private *repositories have indeed been
secretly compile by the likes of *Diebold*, et al. The fact that this
has never been done is is a double edged sword with a lot of
implications. From a security / privacy-risk standpoint (concerns that
are not without precedent), it is encouraging in the sense that it
indicates our collective values in rejecting totalitarianism and abuse
of power. However, it is also a bit discouraging in the sense that it
seems to indicate a lack of cooperation or coordination in protecting
democratic freedoms. *So, from where I'm standing, the whole issue of
VRDBs is segmented thus:* * 1)* Ensuring a reliable, accurate means of
securing and authenticating voter identities. (*logistic*) * 2) *The
software that #1 (above) would need to run under (*technical*) My
thoughts on #1 are outlined above. As for #2, while there does not
appear to be an existing Open Source solution, there are numerous
commercial packages available. With politics these days being so
thoroughly clouded by money, special interests and lobbyists, it almost
goes without saying that a 'private' solution is the worst possible
approach. Here are the ones that I've unearthed: - *VoteBuilder* from:
*NGPVAN * - *AccuVote * from *Premier Election* (*front for Diebold*) -
*ES&S *from *Election Systems & Software Inc.* *...There are more, but I
don't feel like listing them because - as far as I'm concerned - they
are all part of the problem.* To sum all of this up, some sort of shared
/ collaborative *VRDB **will be required. The same goes for mirroring
and shared issue-identifiers.* *The biggest concern about any of this
would be the potential for developing another political 'monoculture'
such as the one we seem to have now. I personally believe that the best
hope for protecting democratic freedoms lies in nurturing debate and
offering a voice to divergent points of view.* ^ top ^ Software Summary
*As stated, *all of this is in the 'vaporware' stages. Also, I would
like to somehow *"crowd-source"* the development of this - thereby
making the development of it as open, inclusive and Democratic as
possible. I have set up an account on Sourceforge, but I am pretty new
to Github and SVG so it will take some time to get the development
rolling. http://sourceforge.net/projects/metapolitik/ [162] ^ top ^
Collaborative Effort Metapolitik is a collaborative effort. Which is to
say that the development of Metapolitik the software, will be
crowdsourced. While we are still working out how exactly this
crowdsourcing and collaboration will take place - an inclusive process
that is still being researched and discussed - expect to see more from
us in the very near future. *Any thoughts or feedback are welcome.*
Copyleft ? 2010 Conan Duke [image: Copyleft] ^ top ^
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[28] http://endofcapitalism.com/
[36] http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10753
[131] http://drupal.org/
[134] http://www.nolanchart.com/
[158] http://www.ngpvan.com/
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