Tracing the shift from "command and control" to "champion and channel."

Monday, December 30, 2002

vnunet.com When the web starts thinking for itself

Through enabling easy, widespread publishing the web has had enormous social consequences, dramatically altering human behaviour and expectations in information retrieval, knowledge sharing and collaborative working. However, the web as it currently exists makes searching and data exchange difficult.

In September 1998, Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the web, outlined a vision of how it could evolve to address this flaw.

A primer on the semantic web

posted by Unknown  # 4:11 AM

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

I recently spent three 10-hour days in Chapters, reading The Support Economy, a new book by Shoshana Zuboff and James Maxim.

It's an important book. It delves deeply into why and how "managerial capitalism" has run it's course, and is rapidly losing effectiveness as a fundamental assumption for how our economic system and society work. It also explores in depth why interconnectedness can be made to achieve support for people in our society while enabling capitalism to find its next evolutionary form.

According to Zuboff and Moxim, the outdated hierarchical structures and dynamics - of decision-making, heroic control, and success through workaholism - have lead to this:

Today people at every income level are increasingly frustrated and enraged that even the most basic customer service remains an empty promise. Consider the last time you approached your bank, insurance, HMO, computer or telecomm company with a problem. Recall the wasted hours, endless phone loops leading nowhere, and unresponsive untrained staff. Most people report feeling ignored, abused, and ripped-off. The self-interest of corporate management has created adversarial relationships not only with consumers but with shareholders and employees as well. Across the board, corporations are failing to meet the needs of anyone other than their own top managers.

With deep support as the purposeful focus for socio-economic activity, the authors argue that we can (and will?) usher in a dynamic new episode of capitalism, more focused on helping people build and lead better lives, rather than getting and accumulating mor ematerial goods.

Kinda the same argument, at a societal and economic level, as David Weinbereger's Small Pieces, Loosely Joined - the Web is about helping us express - and serve - ourselves into a more humane and connected sense of "being".

From hierarchy to wirearchy?

posted by Jon  # 3:32 PM

Monday, December 23, 2002

I was reminded of David Weinberger's astute observations about how leeway (having some slack with which to be human) is being encroached upon by everything Digital when I found this site outlining a new integrated platform for "Enterprise Performance Management"

I pointed David to it via e-mail. Here are his comments:

"Thanks. Not aware of it. Why do sites like this immediately knot my stomach? The magical belief in technology. Scary and depressing. Although I haven't look at it carefully. Maybe it's really really great shit.


I agree.
posted by Jon  # 1:35 PM

Thursday, December 19, 2002

religion - universal church of the interactive network

It was only a matter of time before there became a wirearchy religion.

posted by Unknown  # 3:44 AM

Monday, December 09, 2002

New Agoras of the 21st Century

Wiring up democracy...

The agoras of ancient Greek city states were “public spheres” where true democracy was lived each day by citizens who made collective decisions about issues affecting their lives. Inspired by their story, we have initiated a project to bring about a vision of a purer democracy that may now be possible in the information age. To that end, we propose to reinvent the public sphere as an assemblage of "New Agoras" that exist both face-to-face and in cyberspace.

The social contexts of the New Agoras are the families, neighborhoods, community groups, and organizations within which we live and work. Operating as a New Agora, individuals in these these contexts organize themselves as evolutionary design communities and collectively envision their ideal futures. Then, they design evolutionary guidance systems that can steer them toward those futures. Ultimately, these specific local agoras will be able to join together in a virtual agora on The Web and facilitate the guided evolution of society.

posted by Unknown  # 5:17 PM


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