Posted by The Happy Tutor
Welcome Banff Conventioneers! Got a nice note from Sara Diamond saying that a prior post would be included in "the heart of our conference." Please make yourselves at home. Beer is cold, the band is warming up, and we do not stand much on ceremony. The two recent posts that are most on topic for your conference might be Winning the Game of Tit for Tat and What Hitler could Learn From Me. The long time favorite is, Bound, Beaten, and Branded, Selected Aphorisms of the Happy Tutor. Don't be put off by the little photos by the posts. We all wear masks here, as if Wealth Bondage were not a Big Business, owned by Mistress Candidia Cruikshanks, but a Carnival, or Mardi Gras. We lie a lot here, some as artists others as marketers or politicians, and some like children, for the sheer joy of it. Please be sure to read our Disclaimer. A real work of art. We in Wealth Bondage look forward to interacting in whatever way we can with you freedom-loving people in Banff. I am old enough to remember Freedom, and I liked it.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
Tom Matrullo, homeless after the Hurricanes in FL, on the commons, zocalo, prose style, and the Dumpster of broken lives. I, fed up with Wealth Bondage, hold out for the commons; Tom, with better taste, deromanticizes even that. He's right about the town greens not being all they are cracked up to be. He is probably thinking of the time we got rousted from the New Haven Town Green for chanting Edmund Spenser's Mutabilitie Cantos, buck naked at four am. At least we agree on subversion, Tom and I, having so little left to lose. Our dignity, Tom? Surely we have not lost that!
Posted at 10:31 PM | Permalink
Posted by The Happy Tutor
What is the commons?, asked my friend, and friend of giving, Tom Munnecke on his givingspace email list.
Where to Advocate for the Commons?
Tom liked my response, cited below, and asked me to post it on Omidyar.net where we have been discussing the "Constitution" of that community, wholly owned by the Omidyars as "Omidyar.net Commons, LLC." Instead, in what might be considered a Dumpster Dweller's act of insurbordination to Wealth and Power and to their many Faithful Stewards (but is actually all in fun), I am posting my reply here, on Wealth Bondage, in the wild internet commons.
Also, I am posting my reply to Tom here to bridge to a wider conversation. This week, from the 30th of Sept through the second of October, a group of academics, literary and artistic people, technologists and citizens, under the direction of Sara Diamond, Director of Research, and Artistic Director, at the Banff New Media Center are meeting to discuss the topics listed in a later section below. I have been asked by Jon Husband, who is a panelist with Jan Hauser and Ken Jordon, on Saturday, in Session 9, on "Democratic Systems for Collaboration," to see if we can stir up an online conversation to amplify the themes of the conference. I hope, then, that those of us who care about these issues from Tom Munneke's list, Omidyar.net, the Open Space Giving Conference, and around the web, will share ideas as you see fit - where you see fit, here in Wealth Bondage, at Omidyar.net, on Tom's list, or elsewhere, as a living model for the "wild" and energizing democracy of the web.
What is the Commons?
The commons, Tom, is owned by all, rather than a few. Folklore as opposed to Disney, air as opposed to bottled water, the town green as opposed to a mall. My genes as opposed to the intellectual property of Monsanto. Theorists of the commons include, of course, Larry Lessig, and also David Bollier. Perhaps the best paper on preserving the internet commons is "Augmented Social Network" by Ken Jordon, Jan Hauser, and Steven Foster. Some of us see civil society as carving out a space, an open space, for community, for giving, and for a commons, distinct from business. We see it as the most direct and rooted level of democracy, and as the staging area for a more genuinely democratic America, one whose politicians of both parties are less in thrall to corporations and the wealthy. When business preempts the commons and privatizes it to create a branded surrogate it makes us nervous. (The Bill Gates Pacific Ocean LLC.) At some point we have to ask about the limits of private ownership as a model for organizing society, community, government, and civic exchange.
Tom, your question is symptomatic of the way the discussion and legislation has been going - towards more ownership, concentrated control, and fewer public goods. You see it on Omidyar.net, devoted to the conversations around giving, not just in the legal set up (Omidyar.net Commons, LLC), but in the vocabulary of the best posts. Many brilliant MBAs and entrepreneurs. No poets. Few if any theologians. Little impassioned discourse. No satire, unless my posts are considered satirical. The language of value, the language of love, the languages of art have been reduced to the language of commerce, ownership, and that of an educated managerial elite. Heather Wood Ion is an exception. Lenore Ealy (who also blogs here)is trying valiantly to combine Hayek and the Bible. Ted Ernst (who also blogs here) talks from his experience as an organizer. But the bulk of posts are in the high dry style of the MBA, the manager, the venturer. People on O.net write like Dick Minim and are proud of it! Maybe it is the Omidayar money, or the reputation system, but people there are always on their best behavior. No irreverence or bad language on that site. To hold out for the commons is to hold out for traditions, including literary, philosophical, religious, and democratic traditions, of giving and "being in the world." These traditions include Mardi Gras, The Feast of Fools, and the Carnivalesque world of Rabelais. We forget the commons at our peril. That amnesia is lethal. The soul (or what was meant by that) is what is lost. The holy spirit is owned by no one. May that wind rise. Let us say "we" and "ours" rather than mine and thine, and join as brothers and sisters, or as citizens, in spaces that are open and public, our shared patrimony. (Take it from a Fool.)
Banff Conference on Collaboration, Technology, the Arts and Democracy
(Those reading this from the Conference, please respond, or intervene, or ignore, as you see fit.)
Session 1 - What Is Collaboration? The Struggle Over Meaning:
Does methodology define how we understand collaboration ? How does collaboration differ from sociality? What is the relationship between process outcomes and process? What are the dark sides of collaborations? How does language become an issue in collaboration ?
Lynn Hughes - Research Chair, Assoc. Prof, Studio Arts department, Concordia University and Co-Director, Interstices Research Group, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, Montreal
Kim Sawchuck - Assoc. prof, Communications Studies, Concordia
Lyn Bartram - Network Manager, NSERC Research Network, Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC), University of British Columbia (UBC)
Sha Xin-Wei - Professor, School of Literature, Communication and Culture, Georgia Tech
Andrew Salway - Lecturer, Dept. of Computing, University of Surrey, Surrey, UK
Session 2 - What Tools Do We use Now? A Round Table on Taxonomies
Karen Parker, Collaboration Network Coordinator, The Banff Centre
Brian Fisher, Assoc. Prof., MAGIC, UBC
Session 3 - Building Cross-Disciplinary Collaborations: Working Labs and Systems
Dianne Domingues - Professor & Coordinator, University of caxias do Sol, brazil
Cathy King - Director of Member services, Netera Alliance
Rene Barsalo, Director, development and Strategies, Societe des arts technologiques, Montreal
Session 4 - Mobile Communications: Theory and Theorizing ... Mobile Space, Urban Culture and Mobility. The Mobile Digital Commons
What is the network? What are the principles? What are the research, questions? What are the projects?
Michael Longford, professor - Design Art, Concordia
Minna Tarkka, Director, M-cult Centre for New Media Culture, Helsinki
Drew hemment, Doctor, Futuresonic, University of Salford, Manchester, UK
Jurgen Scheible, project Coordinator and doctoral student, Media Lab/Mobile Hub, University of Art and Design, Helsinki
Friday October 1 .... 9.00 a.m.
Session 5 - Play, Pleasure, Games and the Collaborative Process
What is the role of play in building collaboration ? How does play relate to goal-oriented activity ? Performance theory, reception theory and collaboration studies...
Beryl Graham, Senior Research Fellow, New Media Art, School of Arts, Design, Media and Culture, University of Sunderland, Newcastle, UK
Magdalena Wesolkowoska, lecturer/researcher, Universite de Montreal, and Researcher, BNMI Collaboration Network
Jeff Mann, Independent Artist, Amsterdam
Michelle Teran, media Artist, Amsterdam
Robert Nideffer, Studio Art and Computer Science, dept of Studio Art, University of California Irvine
Session 6 - WESTGRID: A Networked grid computing project
Brian Corrie, Collaboration and Visualization coordinator, Dept. of Physics, Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Pierre Boulanger, Professor, Dept of Computing Science, University of Alberta
Maria Lantin - Visualization Researcher, BNMI
Session 7 - Participatory Design Methods: Trust, Inclusion, Context and Design Methods
Vera Roberts - Research Officer, Adaptive technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
Jose Marie Griffiths - Dean/Professor, University of North carolina School of Information & Library science
Kathryn Saunders - Chief Creative Director, and Coordinator, game design, Advanced Digital design, George brown college
Paul Bason - Development Producer, Culture Online, London, UK
Session 8 - How Do We Evaluate Collaboration ? What Can We Measure, and How? Usability and Tasks
Nigel Thrift - Head of the Life and Environmental Sciences Division, University of Bristol, UK
Session 9 - Democratic Systems For Collaboration: Public Projects, Building an Open Source Culture, Private Space and Access: Personal Tools and Collaborative Culture
Ken Jordan - Editor, Planetwork Journal, New York
Jan Hauser - Visiting professor, Naval Postgraduate School, Los Gatos, California
Hernani Dimantas - Independent Researcher and Consultant, Pontificia Universidade Catolica, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jon Husband - Founder of wirearchy
Session 10 - Visualizing, Sonifying and Representing Collaboration
Mark Resch - CEO, Onomy Labs, San Francisco
Sheelagh Carpendale - Asst Prof, Dept of Computer Science, University of calgary
Session 11 - Institutions and Collaboratio - Two Models: Education and Arts Organizations: Comparative Challenges and Lessons
David Geelan - Asst prof, Dept of secondary education, University of Alberta
Tom Choi - Digital Initiatives, Science Alberta Foundation
Nina Czegledy - Independent Artist, critical Media
Sarah cook - School of Arts, Design, Media and Culture, University of Sunderland, UK
Time, Scale and Space - Factors, Characteristics and Taxonomies Affecting Collaboration
co-moderated ... Sara Diamond and Beryl Graham
Posted at 09:22 PM | Permalink
Posted by The Happy Tutor
"To make fun of the King," said the Courtier, "is to defame your country; more than your life is worth, Sirrah." Hearing this the Fool lisped some crazy rubbish, took three majestic steps, fell upon his behind, shook his crown of bells and said, "But I am the King. Do you not recognize me?" And, indeed, the resemblence was striking.
Today, if we had a Fool in the Oval Office he would wear cowboy boots and blue jeans.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
We Fools are playing a game in which the forfeit is our own skin, and the jokes had better be funny. When we say, "We are Free and this is a Democracy," we shake the fool's bells, and hope that the king, or CEO will be amused. In short, Courtiers conspire; we Fools collaborate. The Courtier seeks power and preferement. We are grateful for another night in our Dumpster. For we have seen many a good man hanged. Times are hard. The streets are full of homeless people, many of them mad, for whom the Fool's rags would be an improvement. So who will compete for this crown of bells by speaking truth in riddles? The king and his henchmen are People of Compassion. You have nothing to fear.(Just joking.)