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Really interesting, I had not heard of the theory of collective action, another debunkable so-called ‘tragedy’ of the commons.

“Ostrom noted that Olson’s model of collective action[…] is another model which predicts that the commons will be ruined. Olson (1965) examined political and social movements and was critical of the idea that support for a particular ideology or set of policy demands was sufficient to persuade individuals to become politically active in a group.”


“Often it is asserted that human nature shows we are intrinsically competitive by those on the right, or intrinsically cooperative by those on the left. Ostrom’s approach was to reject such broad generalisations and her anti-essentialism made her suspicious of unchanging foundations of human behaviour.” — Derek Wall, #Ostrom‘s Rules for Radicals

Important point. To hope that everyone would be naturally predisposed to cooperation is naive.


Labour’s report on Alternative Models of Ownership.  Not yet read it, but it’s exciting that a major political party is giving such thought to cooperative and municipal models of ownership.

To support the expansion of cooperatives in the UK it is necessary to improve their access to finance, and examples from Italy and Spain point in the direction necessary to achieve this. Cooperatives can further be supported by national legislation and a re-worked government procurement policy.

How can we support the transition to a solar/renewable energy infrastructure?

My energy provider (in the UK) is currently one which guarantees buy back of renewables for all energy used.  I don’t have enough money to invest in renewable companies.  What else should I do?  Petition? Protest?  Get involved with local community? What else?

#solar #energy

Had an idea for a cooperatively-run indieweb hosting platform.  We would help set up and / or host WordPress-based indieweb sites.  Preconfigured to interact with both the silos and the fediverse.  For mainly Gen 3/Gen 4 of indieweb, to coincide (/precipitate) the (surely) upcoming exodus from sites like Facebook.

without close attention to how to construct new structures, aspiration is unlikely to be translated into effective workable systems.

I do like how Ostrom’s views could be used as a different tack to organising in socialism. Locally focused but also recognises need for institutional superstructures. However, these made through rules and constitutions of diverse groups, not ideology and party apparatus.

Dunno if it’s reformist or revolutionary tho yet. Probs reformist.
#Ostrom #readinggroup

In politics we pick a side; in contrast, for Ostrom the main emphasis was to participate in creating rules and, in effect, constitutions. — Derek Wall

If I’m understanding Ostrom’s views so far, I’d say the emphasis there is on ‘participate in’, such that rule making is at a local level. Rules and constitutions will vary from region to region (and over time too presumably.)

#Ostrom #readinggroup

Questions raised as to why there is a prevailing whiteness in the workers co-ops movement. One suggestion was that those from black and minority ethnic groups are hesitant to enter a suspiciously white space. A bit of a Catch 22 that needs concerted effort to be overcome. Important to do so though especially given the structural potential for coops to empower.

Interesting point made as to the demonization made of the white working class as being the racists in society, when in fact there is much subtle and potentially more damaging racism perpetrated by the white middle class.

Really interesting talks at the Stir to Action event tonight on racial justice and the new economy. Moving to a new socio-economic paradigm won’t automatically remove systemic racial biases. We should address them head on to avoid repeating them in our new structures.

Interesting to see the links (perhaps only nominal…) between #Ostrom’s social-ecological systems and #Bookchin’s social ecology.

Bookchin says that environmental degradation is rooted firmly in patterns of society such as hierarchy and domination. Ostrom with SES says that in making environmental policy, we can only do so by taking into account how it will affect groups in society.

Both recognition that ecological problems can’t be resolved without studying social structure. #readinggroup

On cornucopianism vs the Jevons paradox and the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate (love these names) – I’m not a techno-optimist, in the sense of thinking that technology will provide limitless efficiencies and allow for limitless growth, but I am optimistic that given the right societal structure it can be harnessed to bring about abundance.

The Earth was made a common treasury for all!

I grew up in Wigan, and sadly this part of its history was lost on me at the time.  Good to rediscover it.

The Diggers were a group of Protestant radicals in England, sometimes seen as forerunners of modern anarchism, and also associated with agrarian socialism and Georgism. — Wikipedia

I find Project Cybersyn fascinating as a piece of history of how one country tried to use advanced technology to solve the problem of socialist central planning.

Are there any good histories (or thought experiments) of the advanced use of technology for more anarchist, less hierarchical (non-market, non-state) organisation?

Also on:

We need to figure out (or someone needs to introduce me to..) a good alternative to Facebook Events ASAP.  I briefly reactivated my account (because reasons) and stumbled across a public lecture about Thomas Sankara, and an event put on by the Chilean embassy about Project Cybersyn.  And it’s an absolute crime that Facebook is the only way to discover these.

Just signed up for Berlin Marathon in September 2018. Really excited. Not so much for the challenge, I’m not a big believer in the whole personal ‘individual’ challenge thing. It’s more I recognise the huge positive link between regular exercise and my mental health, and past evidence shows I need a big looming event to make me get out regularly. (And well plus – Berlin is awesome.)

Hope I can find some training buddies.

Fascinating sprawling discussion on counter anti-disintermediation, decentralized social media, decentralized infrastructure, politics of coops, mesh networking.

Two thoughts spring to mind:

  • Mastodon isn’t great for reading a threaded discussion
  • Seems a shame all this great discourse is destined to just eventually slide off a timeline, what’s to be done about that?

The First Things First manifesto from 1964.  Graphic designers advocating for a use of their trade that has more benefit to the social good.

“In common with an increasing number of the general public, we have reached a saturation point at which the high pitched scream of consumer selling is no more than sheer noise.”

Just to repeat, that’s over 50 years ago. It sure as hell hasn’t gotten any better.

Finding a replacement laptop battery is not an easy task. Most retailers get 1 out of 5, ‘do not buy!!!’ reviews on trustpilot. The best one selling my part averages 3 out of 5, with reviews like ‘first one I received was faulty, but customer service was OK and they sent out one that worked.’ Doesn’t inspire confidence. Oh well, time to gamble £30…

Rather than sexual relationships and reproductive organs, humbly suggesting the use of more genuinely offensive phrases for times of anger, e.g.

– you’re a total archon
– what an utter sultan
– oh put a crown on
– why don’t you go and abdicate you absolute monarch