[MG] Tunisia and activism in general

conseo 4consensus at web.de
Tue Jan 25 18:01:48 EST 2011

Hey Ed,

> This thread is turning into somewhat of a wall of text. I have to
> admit, some parts I only skimmed. But I think I can make two general
> comments...
> I am pretty leery of even thinking about implementing any of our
> solutions in a place like Tunisia. They are in turmoil, and they need
> help bad. I think they are in desperate need of freedom from the
> tyranny of leaders, but I don't think there exists any tool that can
> give them governance good enough to work today. If we managed to get
> something in place there, I fear it would end up being a catastrophe
> and turn people off to us for a very, very long time.

Well, I don't think we have anything to lose. There are likely thousands of 
hackers in Tunesia who would be willing to help us, since they have already 
teamed up with Anonymous to get that far. We also don't need to get them 
organizing things like state power, but their problems start even with simple 
stuff like distributional or organizational or even security issues on a house 
block level. Since our tools can be deployed in a distributed fashion and we 
are atm. mostly interested in building a network on top of it, I don't think 
we can't team up with them.
The bigger problem that I see is that I waste my time in contacting them, 
because they might have different needs atm. But this is always a risk.
At least on the Anonymous server I have got some positivie feedback though. 
They are very thankful for any help they can get. Revolutions always come too 
early ;-) and I don't think they will harm us if we fail to deliver the 
solutions they need in the first place.

> When I'm arguing for collaborative governance, the only scenario that
> consistently works is one where it grows naturally from small
> communities up to larger and larger scales. If a nation tried to
> implement it without any surrounding context, they would likely be
> devoured by their neighbors and enemies, and/or descend into a
> terrible kind of anarchy. Just my opinion.

Ok, but is this really "natural"? Sure this is where we discuss our solutions, 
but to really grow a community around it, we have to target users who really 
want to do the things we try to target, not only some people who are already 
theoretically interested in e-dem.

> If we are looking for groups to implement anything of ours now, I
> think the best candidates are start-up groups, especially non-profits.
> Even with them, we face the same hurdle that Metagovernment itself has
> been unable to address: is there a way to gain recognition as a formal
> organization without having designated, empowered leaders? Until we
> can figure that one out, then good targets might be unconferences and
> informal interest groups.

Hmm, non-profits might be better of with something like bettermeans.com if they 
are just about organizing themselves. If we can find a non-profit organization 
with a user community interested in consensus building or maybe even only with 
openly consensus building with some other organization that would help. But 
then it is very likely that they fear losing control of their position as a 
organization and lose power to their users/partners. Real openess is something 
really radical which can be broken by only slightly moving the focus imo.
> Concerning messaging, that is the general point behind the homepage
> redesign:
> http://www.metagovernment.org/wiki/Main_Page/2010-redesign
> I haven't been promoting it recently because I don't want to detract
> from all the other active threads, but this is a great start in the
> right direction of making our message more readily approachable. I'm
> still leaning toward #8, but I think all of them could use the help of
> some graphics to make them both more appealing and to have a better
> immediate impact.
Cool, I'll have a look. 


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