i’ve been a member of the collective for over a year. When I found it I was sure it was what I was looking for. I tried to read what was going on and I promised to give feedback. I’ve tried a few times to work out whats happening in the collective, but it’s a long time since i made my promise…
Some part of the reason I can’t work out whether or not this is the group of people I was looking for is my mental health. After five years of persistence, I pesuaded a professional in the local health system that I’d benefit from professional help. I was told I’d probably have to wait six months for free treatment. That was a year ago.
When I’ve tried to work out what it is that you are doing as a collective, I found it difficult to figure it out from mattermost. That’s maybe because of the technology and maybe because of my crippling inability to use social platforms because i’m really fucking shy. I haven’t worked that out yet.
So when I try to work out what it is that you are doing, the evidence is cryptic and spread over loads of different places. I wonder about the way to interperet the collective’s activities. Here’s the shortlist:
I don’t know enough to know. I can’t work out what it is that I need to know to understand what’s going on.
The collective is focusing on problems that don’t seem important to me because I don’t understand enough about the technology or the politics to see how solving these problems is the what will allow the us to tackle important problems later. It’s like trying to understand why teaching a computer to win Go is important before you understand that teaching it to win Go is how you learn to teach it to do actual useful stuff.
The collective really doesn’t have a radical vision, although some members clearly do.
It’s hard to justify throwing number 3 at you, given that numbers one and two might be true. I definately get the feeling that what happens in the collective is aimed at being beneficial, but it is also clear that there is the normal sort of politicking going on that you get in any group of people. That stuff is sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes in between, but it always gets in the way of someone looking in.
Here’s what I want:
I’m after finding a group of people who are looking for real solutions, and who look to make changes at the very root of what’s wrong. The task in front of us is huge. Absolutely fucking massive. We need to find working models which provide what we need without destroying the planet. The solutions we seek have to put power at the fingertips of all the people, so that even the people who seem to break any kind of tech just by looking at it can use the tools that put their choices in their hands. We have to make a viable alternative to the status quo.
Remodelling the whole economic system is only one part of our task. Loads of really amazing work is going on to try out alternative models. Progress is going to take a lot of work and probably several sparks of genius/collaboration, some of which will hopefully take.
Conflict resolution is another thing we have to solve. I look at the network knowledge the big silos hold and imagine how you could use that to crowd-source conflict resolution. If the person you mutually trust is your mum’s auntie’s mate you might just be incentivised to put your point of view across in non-threatening terms. A scalable, decentralised justice system that non-techy people trust would solve problems right at their root.
I’m getting ahead of myself. There is a world of problems to solve. One of them is the problem that the IT solutions that are pushed on us are net problem-creators. There are technologies emerging to give us the connections we want without the specific problems the silos create but focusing on fixing those particular problems is only useful if it’s the thing that progeesses us towards being able to tackle the root problems. I don’t know how to evaluate that in this collective.
My questions to the reader are these:
Are the things that the collective is doing the things that it needs to be doing to progress towards finding radical solutions that address the problems at the roots of our world, or is the collective fucking around re-arranging the deckchairs on the titanic?
If the answer is the one I want it to be, how do I find the people in the collective who can help me to contribute? My tech skills extend to running stuff on a server and building websites, but maybe I can contribute in different ways. Any guidance appreciated.