Some links I thought worth reading the past few days

  • Peter Rukavina pointed me to this excellent posting on voting, in the context of violence as a state monopoly and how that vote contributes to violence. It’s this type of long form blogging that I often find so valuable as it shows you the detailed reasoning of the author. Where on FB or Twitter would you find such argumentation, and how would it ever surface in a algorithmic timeline? Added Edward Hasbrouck to my feedreader : The Practical Nomad blog: To vote, or not to vote?
  • This quote is very interesting. Earlier in the conversation Stephen Downes mentions “networks are grown, not constructed”. (true for communities too). Tanya Dorey adds how from a perspective of indigenous or other marginalised groups ‘facts’ my be different, and that arriving a truth therefore is a process: “For me, “truth growing” needs to involve systems, opportunities, communities, networks, etc. that cause critical engagement with ideas, beliefs and ways of thinking that are foreign, perhaps even contrary to our own. And not just on the content level, but embedded within the fabric of the system et al itself.“: A conversation during on truth, data, networks and graphs.
  • This article has a ‘but’ title, but actually is a ‘yes, and’. Saying ethics isn’t enough because we also need “A society-wide debate on values and on how we want to live in the digital age” is saying the same thing. The real money quote though is “political parties should be able to review technology through the lens of their specific world-views and formulate political positions accordingly. A party that has no position on how their values relate to digital technology or the environment cannot be expected to develop any useful agenda for the challenges we are facing in the 21st century.” : Gartner calls Digital Ethics a strategic trend for 2019 – but ethics are not enough
  • A Dutch essay on post-truth. Says it’s not the end of truth that’s at issue but rather that everyone claims it for themselves. Pits Foucault’s parrhesia, speaking truth to power against the populists : Waarheidsspreken in tijden van ‘post-truth’: Foucault, ‘parrèsia’ en populisme
  • When talking about networked agency and specifically resilience, increasingly addressing infrastructure dependencies gets important. When you run decentralised tools so that your instance is still useful when others are down, then all of a sudden your ISP and energy supplier are a potential risk too: | a disaster-resilient communications network powered by the sun
  • On the amplification of hate speech. It’s not about the speech to me, but about the amplification and the societal acceptability that signals, and illusion of being mainstream it creates: Opinion | I Thought the Web Would Stop Hate, Not Spread It
  • One of the essential elements of the EU GDPR is that it applies to anyone having data about EU citizens. As such it can set a de facto standard globally. As with environmental standards market players will tend to use one standard, not multiple for their products, and so the most stringent one is top of the list. It’s an element in how data is of geopolitical importance these days. This link is an example how GDPR is being adopted in South-Africa : Four essential pillars of GDPR compliance
  • A great story how open source tools played a key role in dealing with the Sierra Leone Ebola crisis a few years ago: How Open Source Software Helped End Ebola – iDT Labs – Medium
  • This seems like a platform of groups working towards their own networked agency, solving issues for their own context and then pushing them into the network: GIG – we are what we create together
  • An article on the limits on current AI, and the elusiveness of meaning: Opinion | Artificial Intelligence Hits the Barrier of Meaning

Local resilience against system failure is a matter of how well local networks (individual, household, immediate social surroundings and neighbourhood, town) can go on doing what they’re doing when the wider network fails to deliver. When power fails, or transport is interrupted to bring supplies, for instance. Or when the financial sector collapses around you.
Local resilience is increasingly important in our very connected and therefore increasingly complex world. Our complex world is a boon when it comes to the exchange of ideas and information, the richness of global human culture, and empathy for others. It’s the great feat of our time, primarily made possible by our new communication infrastructures internet and mobile communications. At the same time complexity also can mean you’re vulnerable to things happening somewhere else outside your scope of influence that propagate very quickly to you through the myriad of connections between you and the rest of the world. All our actions are both local (doing what we do where we are) and at the same time hyperlocal (because of our connectedness).

All this is visible if you look at the systems that surround us in our everyday lives. Power, water, fuel, food, all are delivered to us through large internationally and globally connected systems. How to build resilience on those fronts to counteract potential negative fall-out of our complex world?

This weekend I came across this interesting diagram (pdf) depicting the six general ways we have to die: too hot, too cold (both about shelter), hunger, thirst (about supply), illness and injury (about safety). It then plots a number of infrastructures and systems on that map. The result is a quick overview of how different things impact different dangers to us. A good starting point to think about local resilience on town,household and personal level. Right now the papers are full of a threat in the illness category, swine flu, that within 2 days spread from Mexico and US to Australia and Europe. What options do you have locally to counteract it, if needs be?

More pdf files, presenting the same notions in different forms are available.
All are by the Hexayurt project and public domain.

After the great and fun Unconference in honour of Elmine’s birthday last Friday and Saturday, bringing me new insights and ideas, this week too will be stuffed with learning.

Today and tomorrow I will participate in Dave Snowden’s Cognitive Edge course on complexity, embracing uncertainty, business narratives, and sense making through human networked information filtering. I have been looking forward to this a lot. Ever since 2003 I have been using bits and pieces of Dave Snowden’s work in my take on knowledge work, learning and innovation, after hearing him speak at a KM conference. But it would be useful to hear a more complete story from Dave Snowden and see how his thinking as evolved, as well as what kind of tool set he has build around it.

Next week will see the start of George Siemens and Stephen Downes‘s on-line course on Connectivism. Both George Siemens and Stephen Downes have been part of my on-line neighbourhood for a long time, and their views on learning resonate with me very much. Connectivism makes up a big part of how I have constructed my basic information gathering and sense making process through social filtering. Now they are doing an on-line course, as part of the curriculum of the University of Manitoba. It seems already more than 1600 people from around the globe have signed up for it. Check the course blog and course wiki for more info. This course will run almost until December, and promises to be very exciting. Both Elmine and I will be taking part, and it will be fun to see our different routes and takes on this as the course develops over the coming 12 weeks.