Here are two views on this subject:

We have Phil Windley who thinks the open internet was a historical fluke http://www.windley.com/archives/2016/02/decentralization_is_hard_maybe_too_hard.shtml here he is talking about the very real view that the internet is finished, that the commons have been enclosed by the dotcon silos and what remains outside are terminally withered and dieing.

Then Dave Winer http://scripting.com/liveblog/users/davewiner/2016/01/26/0936.html who argues that the open web comes in waves and what Phil Windley is arguing is but the drawing back of the water before the next wave of open washes in.

My point of view is that both are right, the open internet was a historical “mistake” and with Winer that the are a few waves left, the storm is not over yet. The is a logic to the digitisation of everything and the web was a living example of this let loss, it was a tsunamis that crashed over every part of our cultures and the storm is not over yet.

The commons opened up by the early web are enclosed by dotcons, but their sea defences are low and weak and the digitisation storm still rages.

 

To illustrate what a mess we are currently in. Solar power over the last 10 years has plummeted in cost and crept up in efficacy, leading to a shift to sustainable energy in many western country’s. This decrease in cost had nothing to do do with western entrepreneur and the capitalist path. The funding (huge subsidy) was paid by the Chinese government (and the people it taxes). It was a state planed and funded attempt by the chines communist party to gain dominance in this new era, they did this by top down building of huge solar power factory and infrastructure, the plan was to bankrupt the western producers by swamping them with cheap products and then profit from cornering this global future industry.

This seceded up to a point but they over steeped the production so were caught in a spiralling decrease in price that easily swept away the nebulous western solar industry. But also run away and undermined their own economic base, central planing in a “capitalistic” hybrid system is hard to control. So, we have a moment of hugely under priced solar flooding the world market. This has been proven to be very challenging to our existing energy monopoly’s. With no indigenous solar industry left the is nobody to lobby our legislators any more to keep the market open. Our monopolist are putting legislative blocks on solar roll-out in place to prop up their old industry’s and apart from some green’s the is little standing in their way.

China inadvertently doing evil dose the would a huge favour, but the “evil” in the end taints the “favour”. Its clearly a mess and if we still had a grown up politics maybe we could do something to mediate this mess.

 

At the end of the 20th century we had a forceful right wing ideological push to reshape western society’s. The Thatcher/Ragion years started the push to create a world were “There's no such thing as society”, as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared "There are individual men and women and there are families.”

30 years latter we now live in this world. This idealogical world-view is deeply embed in nearly every part of western cultures and is still pushing to powerfully shape the wider globe. This ideological push was a reaction to/consciously against a 20th century “social liberal” ideologue that had grown from the destruction of 2 world wars in the 20th century.

Were are we now? The enlightening thinking form this is that conscious pushing of ideology has the power to shift society and define what it is to be human. The is proven power in “thought and action” on “human nature” and our social lives are continuously shifting to this “power”. The issue we face today is that we have a denial of this power from both the right and the left which highlights the deepness of the right world view.

Food for thought, can we escape, were is the ideology of the liberal/left?

The Hive Dalston - big society community centre a product of voluntarism and activist fashion with dose of hipster. Started out as an exciting project between radical (free party/activist) squatters and a more mainstream arts groups. The idea was to take up and use the Tory “big society” legalisation that had been pushed though at the start of the Cameroon government but has been lieing fallow since.

The is a incentive for the social use of empty property, that landlords could get local tax exceptions for their empty buildings if these buildings were put into local community use. As with most Tory ideas this was actually a direct attack on locale democracy, by starving it of the tax revenue and potently replacing its core social services with volunteers rather than paid professionals. Any use of this “legislation” would have to walk a tipe rope to stay within the system, to sustain the project, while not falling into the trap of pushing the Tory agenda of privatisation and NGO thinking that are core to the ideas of a “big society”.

The Hive soon failed this tightrope walk and fell into the direct Tory project, the fragile radicalism pushed aside and the space filled with wannabe “arts” and NGO spiritual fashion, it became a scruffy “community centre” on the cheap. If it survives and spreads its a viable model for replacing what’s left of the pail shades of the bureaucratic “pay your way” centres that are left over from the more rigid social justice/culture as social good of the 1970's heydays.

The resulting burn out and walk away has left the Hive project less than shiny, its make or brake for it to find the next space. Can projects like this walk a tipe rope to stay sustainable while remaining relevant is the question. And do people care unuf for this question. to actually matter is the root of the issue of this post.

Am writing this for people who are actively leave the mainstream 9-5 society and move into disrepute subcultures to live their  lifes.

Issues of group organisation crop up reugally and are generally badly resolved leading to a consistent life sapping churning of bad will and trails of failed groups.

For most people directly in these subcultures this is not an important issue as the majority just dip in and out of this shifting social soup for them the mainstream is a easy fall-back. They are less likely to notice and by the time they do notice the churning of growth and decay, they are ready to leave back to the (dulling) safety of the mainstream. Rinse and repeat is a apt description of the passing of each short generation, and the a causation of alt-culture haveing a bad reputation in the mainstream.

Over the next few posts am hoping to have a look at a few different groups am involved in that are at different stages of “crises”. Lets look at two concepts from the 19-20th century first:

Small groups of a less radical nature tend to use one of these organising structures for their spaces (the wikipedia links need filling out)

A village hall, is a non commercial space for community events that is a open space for for all the social/political/cultural activity a community holds in common. Its a “neutral” space for groups to build community cohesion. It will generally be run by a elected community of members of an active and open local group.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village_hall

A church hall will share many of the same uses and structures but will have a tendency to be more narrowly focused in the areas the church has negative attitude. Ie. a Catholic church would probably not host a meeting of groups supporting abortion issues, more conservative churches would not host the young socialists or the anerakist black flag legal support etc they may have issues with other religions usesing the space. In general the would be “moralistic and idealogical” restrictions on the open use of the community space that would highlight some parts of the commnerty and disadvantage others. The final arbiter would probably be a the head of the local management committy reporting to the vicar would would be sacturned by the church hiracky.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_hall

The recsion we have overlapping Village Halls and Church Halls in most villages should be obvious for these two short paragraphs. In the 20th century both of these older institutions were supplemented by a third more modern institution that directly replaced the church focus and expanded on the role of the village hall in larger urban arrears.

The community centres grow out of the spread of ideas about social justice and the value of couture in the middle of the 20th century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_centre (this link is more filled out and worth a read)

In the late 20th century these areas were then degraded by commercialisation, their community empowerment focus becoming lost (must pay way).

They also suffered from the suffocation of bureaucratisation with was a produced of mid 20th century thinking and organising.

We have 3 of the more traditinal mainstream approaches to a “space for the community” with the “romanisations of the past” thinking we are currently rebooting older ideas, the idea of a village hall is coming back (and in more conservative circles church halls are being re-introduced). Its good to think for a moment that they were products of their time and place and will need rebooting in a form that is appropriate for the different 21st century thinking/society we live in today.

 

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