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

Harnessing Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies to empower co-operatives

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018, 6:30 PM

Space4
149 Fonthill Rd, 1st Floor, N4 3HF London, GB

75 Members Attending

• What we'll do During this event we will be discussing the potential of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain to benefit the co-operative movement and social causes, and help us move away from an exploitative economic system. We will have presentations from: Jaya Klara Brekke speaks, writes and does research on authority and power in decentralised syste...

Check out this Meetup →

Chapter 2: The Commons: From Tragedy to Triumph

The chapter starts by outlining Garret Hardin’s tragedy of the commons argument.  In short, my understanding of the argument is that due to the inherent selfishness of individuals the commons are doomed to overuse — unless they are turned into private property, or turned over to the state, and unless the users of a resource are regulated through coercion. Hardin’s paper is more generally about population limits and his views appear quite bluntly Malthusian.

Having seen functioning commons, Ostrom disagreed with Hardin’s analysis.  She studied commons that worked (and also those that didn’t), and captured her analysis of what made a commons sustainable in her work “Governing the Commons.”

Continue reading

This chapter starts out with a brief biography of Ostrom and her work, providing some context. I think it’s the right amount – the ideas are more important, but it is interesting to get some biographical context. The patriarchal system she faced early on is pretty galling – difficulties in getting where she got to, just by virtue of being a woman.

Ostrom doesn’t slot into a particular predefined school of thought, with some ties to some conservative right thinkers, yet some radical views. I like that Wall approaches it not so much trying to pin her ideas down to any particular ideology, but looking at what practical effects the ideas have had (and can have).

Continue reading

"The current market for electronic products depends on planned obsolescence: old products quickly become outdated and unfashionable. But extending the life of our electronic devices helps to address the e-waste problem. Project Cybersyn showed that it is possible to create a cutting-edge system using technologies that are not state-of-the-art. It demonstrates that the future can be tied to the technological past."
-- The Cybersyn Revolution (jacobinmag.com)

[read]

Next, the Internet: Building a Cooperative Digital Space

by Nathan Schneider(The Internet of Ownership)
Cooperatives brought electricity to rural America when no one else would, and they’ve given Main Street a fighting chance against the big boxes. They help millions buy homes. They pioneered the local, organic revival and the means of delivering fair-trade products from across the planet. Next, the internet. We have done this already, and we can do it again, even better than before.

Really nice article by @ntnsndr on the possibilities of coops in the digital space (and what they’re already achieving).  Quality rather than unnecessary growth; data privacy; federation rather than centralization; harnessing ideas like blockchain for trust; and funding new ventures through cooperative means. Exciting times. (h/t @Matt_Noyes)

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:
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Jeremy Corbyn pledges rebirth of 'municipal socialism' in the UK

(The Guardian)
Labour leader urges councils to reverse privatisation of public services while defending party’s intervention in Haringey

Interesting to see a reference to “municipal” socialism from JC. Also interesting to see the top-level intervention when a local authority is doing something dodgy. I agree with the sentiment of the intervention but how municipalist is it?

Attending Race & The New Economy: STIR Magazine Winter Launch
Marginalised workers and particularly those within Black, Asian and Latino communities, are most likely to fall into precarious work and the first to be left behind by the rise of automation and the gig-economy. We’ll be asking: “Can current projects that aim to work as alternatives to neoliberalism also work for racial justice? And how can we mitigate the racialised impact of the precarious work through the way we organise?”
[read]

When Workers Takeover: From Redundancy to Ri-Maflow

(workerscontrol.net)
Italian workers occupy the factory where they used to work and run it as a cooperative recycling electronic components.

It’s from 2013, but it is a positive story of workers taking over the factory and turning it into something with positive environmental and social impact.  And while I can’t read Italian from what I can understand they are still active, despite some attempts to shut them down.  http://rimaflow.it/

In case it helps anyone, here are the steps I needed to take to get geben working in spacemacs in order to debug local web apps (this in Ubuntu 16.04):

  • Add geben package to .spacemacs and reload
 dotspacemacs-additional-packages '(some-other-package geben)

  • Assuming you have xdebug installed, add the following to your php.ini file in /etc/php/7.1/apache2/php.ini
[xdebug]

xdebug.remote_enable=On

xdebug.remote_host=localhost

xdebug.idekey=geben

xdebug.remote_autostart=On
  • Open the file you’re interested in debugging
  • Start geben in spacemacs with M-x geben
  • Navigate to localhost/some-app.php in a browser

That should trigger geben. Debugging time!

A bonus note: I didn’t have any luck with geben-find-file when trying to add breakpoints to other files in the project, but using geben-open-file worked (just a little bit more cumbersome.)

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.

https://social.coop/web/statuses/99324980275573606

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.