Tuesday, February 25, 2003

People are not ants. We don't always separate our garbage and our dead.

Recalled while reading Joi Ito's recent article, Emergent Democracy ...

"The consensus myth of an egalitarian, chaotic system, ruled by self-governing users with the help of artificial life and friendly bots, is now crushed by the take-over of telecom giants, venture capital and banks and the sharp rise in regulatory efforts by governments. (Geert Lovink, Dark Fiber)

"Not many attempts at building alternative networks ever really embraced a participatory democracy that included its users. With roots in artist's collaborations or activist projects, the problem is often a lack of formal structure, which could lead all too easily to a management takeover or privatization. There's a lot still to be written about the experiments of the 80s and 90s in alterative networked economies, polities and cultures. There's a taste here of European experiments to set alongside experiments more familiar in the US such as The Well and Lamdamoo. (McKenzie Wark, Review of Dark Fiber)

**

"Emergence is above all a product of coupled, context-dependent interactions. Technically these interactions, and the resulting system, are nonlinear: The behavior of the overall system cannot be obtained by summing the behaviors of its constituent parts. We can no more truly understand strategies in a board game by compiling statistics of the movements of its pieces than we can understand the behavior of an ant colony in terms of averages... [All agents] are described in terms of rules or laws that determine their behavior in a larger context... [and] we can talk of an input state being processed to produce an output state. (John Holland, Emergence)

So where can we go if we believe there are no rules or laws that determine people's behaviour?

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