[MG] Tunisia and activism in general

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Mon Jan 24 02:51:54 EST 2011


conseo wrote:
> I would like to try to reach interested groups in Tunesia to pull
> them in our projects and forums to help them organize
> themselves. They give a very interesting playground for our
> ideas. What do you think?

I think this is exactly the kind of thing we need to be discussing.
We have a fairly promising toolset (in prototype) but it's going
nowhere till we get it in people's hands.  I guess there are two ways
of accomplishing that (just briefly):

   1. Build it and they will come.

   2. Bring it to them.

The probability of (1) is extremely low (see ii and iii below).  That
leaves us with (2).  People aren't likely to come to the toolset, so
the toolset must go to them.  The immediate question is therefore,
"Where are these people located?"  Two things we know about this:

   i. Consensus-making is purely a communicative activity.  When you
      join a consensus-making effort, you are joining a "communication
      community".

  ii. It is exceedingly difficult to build a community from scratch
      (contra 1).

It follows that we're looking for established communities.  We're
looking for places where people are already talking to each other,
preferably with some hope of reaching consensus on issues of interest.
This leads us to the next practical question, "How do we introduce the
toolset into these communities?"

I think we have reasonable answers on the technical side of this
question (difference bridge + crossforum theatre), but we're short on
the political/social side.  I think we're especially short on
activism.  This is why I think Conseo is on the right track.

Maybe we only need 3 activists to seed a consensus-making effort:
http://u.zelea.com/w/User:Mike-ZeleaCom/Crossforum_ranging#Working_method
What do you think of that method?  It's poorly documented so I hope
you can follow the logic.  The crucial point is that consensus-making
must be seeded across multiple forums (communication communities).
That's the only way it is likely to grow (i, ii, iii).

 iii. People become attached to their communities.  They do not
      join/leave them lightly (contra 1).

Furthermore, it's doubtful the effort can be self-seeding (contra 1).
It will only take hold if people deliberately tend to it, especially
in the early, fragile stages.  It's a job for activists.

What do you think?

-- 
Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
http://zelea.com/


> Hi,
> 
> having said that about spigit in the other thread, we have a much more 
> intesting use case and potential going on at the moment. With the serious 
> struggle of political power and the revolutionary situation in Tunesia, we 
> might try to find users there.
> 
> I have already read that many Tunesians asked for open government alternatives 
> on Twitter and they are very happy with the help from groups like Anonymous to 
> open up their communicative medium (the internet). The Tunesian goverment has 
> already had to react and open up both the political landscape to forbidden 
> parties and the web for freedom of speech and they still cannot surpress the 
> revolution. Yet the Tunesians currently struggle to organize alternatives for 
> their government. This is not a single shot, but an ongoing struggle in most 
> arabic and islamic countries atm, so we don't even have to be ready to support 
> them now, but can help them find solutions and build our infrastructure up on 
> the way. In fact the reasons behind their action is the very high unemployment 
> rate and the serious increase in poverty, which we might be able to tackle 
> when we allow them to organize their own consensus-driven economical 
> structures.
> 
> I would like to try to reach interested groups in Tunesia to pull them in our 
> projects and forums to help them organize themselves. They give a very 
> interesting playground for our ideas. What do you think?
> 
> conseo



More information about the Start mailing list