Date archives "December 2013"

The time has come to socialize social media as the public utilities that they are!

Social media services can ultimately be run as public utilities, ad-free, at cost, in a democratic spirit and for social ends, in their enormous variety—or else digital society can become ever more subservient to the single end of the accumulation of private capital. The choice is between social life as an advertising platform and socialized… Continue reading

Project of the Day: Buerger Energie Berlin (Berlin Energy Co-op)

Buerger Energie Berlin (Berlin Energy Co-op) [link above in German] Buerger Energie Berlin is a citizen run cooperative project to take the operation of the Berlin electricity grid under citizen control. The Guardian, Suzanne Goldberg writes: “Arwen Colell was cycling down a Berlin street one afternoon when a friend from her choir group called her… Continue reading

Essay of the Day: The Problem of Economic Calculability

* Essay: The Functionalist Theory of Society and the Problem of Socialist Economic Calculability. (A Rejoinder to Professor L. von Mises and Dr. Feliz Weil). By Karl Polanyi. Archiv fur Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, Vol. LII, 1924, pp. 218-227. Market, planning or mutual coordination? An early classic on the topic. This goes back to the time… Continue reading

Project of the Day: Rosetta Languages Preservation Project

Rosetta Languages Preservation Project By Michele Lent Hirsch: “Several people-powered efforts come out of the Long Now Foundation’s Rosetta Project (which is not related to the Rosetta Stone software, though that company does have an endangered languages program). One is called a Record-a-Thon. In this grassroots series of events, community members gather together to record the… Continue reading

How Communitarian Culture Changes the World: the example of Co-Housing

Cohousing community today is the best example of a successful cultural innovation developed through the intentional communities movement Excerpted from Allen Butcher: “Developing a process for creating intentional community, whether from no pre-existing organization or by transforming an existing religious or any social organization, is the process called in this writing, “intentioneering.” People simply come… Continue reading

The Problem of Cars

The automobile: Kills street life Damages the social fabric of communities Isolates people Fosters suburban sprawl Occupies common land with parking lots Endangers other street users Blots the city’s beauty Disturbs people with its noise Dazzles people with its lights Causes air pollution Slaughters thousands every year Destroys nature Exacerbates global warming Wastes energy and natural… Continue reading

Trend of the Day: Renewable Energy Exporting Local Communities

Excerpted from John Robb: “There’s a small city in California called Lancaster. They’ve got a dynamic mayor that’s geared up to do something to reverse his community’s slide into economic oblivion (a trend across the US and Europe). To do that, he’s turning Lancaster into an energy exporter. They are installing inexpensive solar panel systems… Continue reading

Occupy as Mutual Recognition

the history of all hitherto existing revolutions is the history of struggles over recognition * Article: Occupy as Mutual Recognition. By Richard Gunn and Adrian Wilding From the abstract: “Recent waves of revolutionary struggle – the Occupy movement in New York and elsewhere, London on the steps of St. Pauls, Cairo at the time of… Continue reading

Big Data, Communities and Ethical Resilience

* White Paper: Big Data, Communities and Ethical Resilience: A Framework for Action . By 2013 Bellagio/PopTech Fellows Kate Crawford, Gustavo Faleiros, Amy Luers, Patrick Meier, Claudia Perlich and Jer Thorp; Draft Date: Oct. 24, 2013 Summary via Poptech: “In August 2013, a multidisciplinary group gathered at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center to address the… Continue reading

Project of the Day: Open Steps

Open Steps = global journey amongst open knowledge initiatives, which started in July 2013 “Starting in July 2013 and for one year, we will travel through South-East Europe, Turkey, India, South-East Asia, Japan and South-America. We are going to take advantage of this opportunity and meet people, collectives and organisations actively working on making information,… Continue reading

Podcast of the Day: Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’. An Interview With Michel Bauwens

A very special interview between sustainable community expert and “business provocateur” John Thackaray and our very own Michel Bauwens. From the shownotes to the episode: “The global economy treats nature and material resources as if they were infinite, and knowledge as if it was scarce. We have to swap those two around”. (Michel Bauwens) Having enshrined the rights… Continue reading

Massively Distributed Authorship of Academic Papers

* Article: Massively Distributed Authorship of Academic Papers. CHI 2012, May 5–10, 2012, Austin, Texas, USA From the abstract: “Wiki-like or crowdsourcing models of collaboration can provide a number of benefits to academic work. These techniques may engage expertise from different disciplines, and potentially increase productivity. This paper presents a model of massively distributed collaborative… Continue reading

Essay of the Day: Open Source Capitalism

* Essay: Nic Wistreich. Open Source Capitalism. (Winner of the ‘Co-operative Alternatives to Capitalism’ essay prize.) Summary “The co-operative movement and the open source movement both create complex, world-class organisations motivated by social rather than financial goals. From Wikipedia and Linux to Mondragon and the Co-operative Bank, both movements offer coherent alternatives to the kind… Continue reading

Reframing the Commonwealth (3): Commercial or Civic ?

* Article: Reframing the Commonwealth: Commercial or Civic. By Marvin T. Brown. (This essay is now available in Michael Boylan, editor, Business Ethics, 2nd Edition (Wiley/Blackwell, 2013) Part 3 of an important essay from Marvin Brown: * Dealing with disagreements “Would it not be nice if some “invisible hand” or “divine providence” took care of… Continue reading